The Heart and a Beat

As many of you may know, I spent a few days this week in Brooklyn recording a few songs with release dates tbd. We were working 20 hour days, sleeping for a couple hours between sessions. Wednesday morning around 6am we wrapped up all the mixing. I went back to the hotel to sleep for about an hour before catching the bus back to DC so I could make it back in time for my job in the cardiology unit at Children's National in the afternoon, which is the real subject of this post--hence the title: "The Heart and a Beat."

In the cardiology unit, I see a wide variety of kids all with different ailments pertaining to their hearts. Some are waiting for transplants and are kept alive by several machines to continue pumping blood through their bodies while they wait, others have undergone surgery already and are in recovery, some are in for testing, and most are under the age of 2. 

I've been working here for some time, so seeing the torture these littles ones go through isn't too shocking or emotionally draining to me anymore. It's incredible that they are able to be given life through the advances of modern medicine at all and I'm glad to be a part of their comfort and rehabilitation. That said, there are definitely moments that still manage to shake me down to the core. Yesterday, I had one of these experiences.

Forgive me for my wrongful terminology, but sporadically throughout their stay, infants are set in front of some apparatus that pulsates, rocking them forward in their beds at a very steady rate. This was the first time I saw this type of thing in the unit, but I assumed it was some sort of pace-making device. The tempo at which it was pulsing was the same as one of my favorite John Mayer songs, "Stop this Train." The lyrics are heavy and are all about accepting what life has to offer and keep "chugging" along. (Very understandable metaphor, but still a strong metaphor nonetheless). As I played this tune to the beat of this machine, this 4 month old and I really began to connect. Not through lyrics, metaphors, my slicked back hair, the sound of my voice, but through our shared rhythm. I have experienced this through playing music in bands, going to the club, or going to loud concerts and sharing a beat with multiple people can be one of the most uplifting experiences a human can divulge. This, however, was far more powerful. 

The reason I am still feeling so strongly about this moment was that not only were we on the same page rhythmically, but I'm convinced that the pace was actually the rate in which her heart was beating. (Health field friends, feel free to correct me if this is totally off base). Even if she wasn't feeling it as much as I think, I was thrown for a loop. I could seriously feel our energy's being intertwined through the metronome of the machine pulsing her back and fro. Her mother was in the room and was enjoying the atmosphere for her and her daughter to share a few moments that were completely unrelated to all the monotony of tests and tubes they endure all day, every day. I haven't felt anything so strongly in several weeks, myself.

Anyways, I have many more moments to share, but this was the first one in a while that really revitalized me. I hope to continue to understand how to harness positive energy and take all of these lessons from inside the hospital to my live shows and every interpersonal interaction I have throughout the course of a day. 

On that note, I want to give you all a takeaway from this: there is so much more than words involved in human connection. HOW you are is just as important as how you can describe yourself as being. No matter how tired you are, no matter what is going on in your life, if you want to become a positive force of energy for people around you, you need to learn how to let go of the ego and make the decision to keep "chugging." Now, I'm no expert and I don't know if everyone even wants to live this way, but if spreading light and positivity doesn't contribute to your being happy, then I guess there are several breeds of people out there. Stay happy, y'all!

Jordan Sherman1 Comment