Friday, June 1, 2012

A Leather Satchel or...


On a recent trip through the CBD, somewhere along Bourke st, I passed a somewhat incongruously placed footy fan wearing his beloved Tigers jumper. I know Melbourne is pretty footy-mad in May but you don't expect such sights at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning. Anyway, as I passed I overheard the answer to what must be a question he is surely used to answering by now as he said 'You gotta wear your heart on your sleeve...'


Though tempted to stop and point out that his 'jumper' is sleeveless so he might need to re-think his phrasing, I passed by without giving the comment too much of my attention. But it eventually came back to my mind as I sat on the train heading back out to our HQ in Yarraville. Ever interested in etymology I couldn't help but wonder what he meant by heart. There are a few ways to think about the word so I wrote them down.


There is that pop culture ♥ icon, normally followed by 'NY' and about a million other uses. The anatomical heart, an ugly lump of myocardium with its own electrical current or the physiological heart...a way of saying that the function is distinct from the form.


It is this last one that I like most. The first is misleadingly simple and a little diluted nowadays. The second is ugly and problematic. But the third? It's full of wonderful metaphor! It keeps us alive, humbly, tirelessly and reliably. So much so that you probably don't think about it...I know I don't. But there it is in the background, taken for granted but unwaveringly delivering what we need where we need it, right on time!


Content with my scribbled monologue, I put the Delfonics Rollbahn back in my satchel and pulled out something to read - The Space Race. How thankful I was to have a distraction from the rattling train, the industrial west's not so scenic scenery and the train's PA system that tells you it's Flinders st when you're in South Kensington.


It was here, just before finding my bookmark, that I realised - wait a minute! This satchel, this lump of stitched leather that I'd never really given any thought to, was actually keeping me alive in its own way! Nothing physical, of course, but still ever so important, delivering what I need where I need it, right on time! Where the cells need oxygen, the mind needs something to do, something to challenge itself, to broaden its horizons.


I looked at it again. Opened it. Closed it. Felt the shoulder strap. I probably had the same expression on my face that the proto-humans of 100 thousand years ago had when it finally clicked that 'it's not just a rock, dummy! It's a tool!'


So here was my satchel, here is my satchel, here forever will be my satchel, like a heart strung over my shoulder! Keeping me alive and happy, healthy, and properly functioning. Without it, there is no notebook, no pens, no observing and making sense of the world. There is nothing to read, no exploration, self-improvement or broadening of my horizons. There is no iPhone, no iPad, no laptop and no quick finish to that thing at work. There is no expression of myself, just a diminished representation to the world around me. This satchel is my heart...lucky I've got a good one!


It's tempting here to say 'And I love it!' but I'm sticking to my guns. Nobody really loves their physiological heart, the relationship goes beyond the jurisdiction of love. It's one of need. I need it, I rely on it, I would be kind of lost without it!


Maybe that is what the Tigers fan meant on Bourke St. Maybe he was just repeating something he'd heard many times before. This is no repeat. Appropriation, perhaps, but it comes from thought and is confirmed by feeling. This satchel is my heart, it keeps more than just a tiny part of me alive, and I need it. I wear my heart on my shoulder!

Click through to check out the rest of the NoteMaker team's Work Bags and what we carry inside everyday! Show us what's in your bag and win a new one! The coolest heart transplant of all times! (Please note: Competition now closed.)

4 comments:

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