One of my favorite stories as a child was The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen… Here’s the opening of it, as stolen from Wikipedia:
“An evil troll, actually the devil himself, makes a magic mirror that has the power to distort the appearance of things reflected in it. It fails to reflect all the good and beautiful aspects of people and things while it magnifies all the bad and ugly aspects making them look even worse than they actually are.
The devil teaches a “devil school,” and he and his pupils delight in taking the mirror throughout the world to distort everyone and everything. They enjoy how the mirror makes the loveliest landscapes look like “boiled spinach.” They then want to carry the mirror into heaven with the idea of making fools of the angels and God, but the higher they lift it, the more the mirror grins and shakes with delight. It shakes so much that it slips from their grasp and falls back to earth where it shatters into billions of pieces — some no larger than a grain of sand. These splinters are blown around and get into people’s hearts and eyes, making their hearts frozen like blocks of ice and their eyes like the troll-mirror itself, only seeing the bad and ugly in people and things.”
Long story short: main character Kai gets these splinters in his heart and in his eye and turns into a cold and loveless boy. He then joins the Snow Queen in her frozen, cruel kingdom, leaving behind his happy childhood and his loving friend Gerda. Spoiler alert!!!!!! Love melts his heart in the end.
After all these years that story came to my mind today, as I actually had a feeling that my own heart is melting…! Hans Christian Andersen must have known something about losing and reclaiming innocence himself, having written such a story.
Love is the one thing that I find even the smartest people fail to describe in a way that doesn’t sound trite. I was able to find one quote that truly touched me though and here it is:
Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.