Selected Shorts: Healing Hearts

When a heart is broken it goes dark. A wave of depression, self-doubt and rage separates it from the world. But once the wave passes, something amazing can happen. The knowledge of that pain–the pain of loving someone, and losing them–can deepen our understanding, make us live our lives more carefully and more closely, and give us a greater appreciation and sympathy for those around us. If you can live through your heart being broken, if you can hold on through that darkness, when you finally emerge from the other side, you will be different. You will be reborn. The stories on Selected Shorts this week find ways to heal (and learn) after losing love. Allegra Goodman’s “La Vita Nuova,” performed by Marin Ireland, takes its title from Dante’s famous text, which translates to “The New Life,” and is about a young woman’s recovery after being left at the altar. Our second story, “The Secret Goldfish” by David Means, performed by Charles Keating, follows a family’s trajectory of loss through the medium of a neglected goldfish. The fish keeps going, just like our hearts, despite all the scum on the walls of its tank. And I think it is the better for it. The Selected Shorts site is down for the moment, but you can tune in to this show at your local public radio station, or hop on over to WNYC to listen to the stories right now.