She is susceptible to swooning. Falling in love easily with people, places, and ideas, even amidst a lifetime of prophetic warnings from her mother. “Don’t get too attached,” her mother would caution, “Don’t let them see how much you care. Guard your heart, your feelings, your deepest desires because once they see them, they will break you to pieces.” She chose to live otherwise, her heart not tucked away in a velvet-lined vaulted box, but for all to see, right there on her sleeve. It wasn’t always pretty. Bloodied and tattered, vulnerable and yet still beating. Like a broken bone, each break knitting itself back together to create a vital organ even stronger than before. Exposed to the elements, her heart forms a patina, tarnished but beautiful as it displays a history of a passionate life lived wide open. Not without fear, but with the intuitive knowing that there is no other way. Still, late at night, she sometimes tells herself she doesn’t care, her mother’s cautionary tale whispering in her ear. Morning breaks and sheds it’s light on her sleeve again. Scarred but still beating, again she chooses otherwise.