Take My Pulse

Entry by: Paul McDermott

4th September 2015
Take My Pulse

Don't be afraid. Put your hand upon my heart. It won't break, you can't hurt me. I've been here over a thousand years: I'll be here another thousand, and then some.

Blood pulses along each artery, supplying oxygen and other necessities of life along a network of fine, delicate capillaries which serve every part of me, cleansing away any spent cells, constantly replacing them. Cells die, and cells are born, every second of every day. The beat goes on: my pulse is strong, regular, immutable, unchanging.

Early records describe a community settling on both my banks over a thousand years ago, attracted by the fertile land fed by the pure waters I supply. The fish they catch and enjoy are almost an unconsidered afterthought, but I forgive their innocent, unintended display of apparent ingratitude: a human life is so disappointingly brief, there is little time for reflective thought.

The lifegiving water pulses and flows downhill, meeting the incoming tidal flow twice daily as it reaches its ultimate goal and empties into Liverpool Bay. For an hour or two there will be a cheerful chaos. My waters have flowed from distant high mountains to reach this lowest point, their nadir, sea level. The motion and energy generated by gravity is expended. Now the inrushing tide sets up restless crosscurrents, creating conflicts which will only be resolved when the tug of the unseen moon far above weakens its twice-daily grip.

The people who live along my banks pulse with a life of their own. Though short-lived, they each have their own distinct traits, foibles, strengths and weaknesses. The blood coursing through their veins can be described in many ways, but does it really matter? A, B, O, Welsh, Viking, Irish and a hundred more labels you can choose to hang if it suits your purpose. More important, it's Thicker Than Water and it performs the vital task of supplying the body with everything necessary for survival. Nobody ever said to them: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", or even thought about building a statue and hanging a stupid sign on it. But they came anyway, and settled here, and each brought their own unique skills with them. They seem to have done alright for the last millennium or so ...

The Liver Birds have sat up on that roof looking out over the town for a while now. Of course, THEY think it's been long enough to call themselves "icons" and preen their feathers into place, but really it's only been a hundred years or so: they're barely old enough to fly the nest yet, if you ask me (it's okay, I know you hadn't even considered it).

They're always looking different ways. Keeping a watchful eye on the town, maybe. Some say one's looking out to sea, waiting for Johnny Todd to return home: the other looks back into town, ready to warn the returning sailor if he sees The Missus on the warpath. They might just as easily be looking back into Liverpool's long and eventful history (especially in the Entertainment industry) and into the future as the town establishes itself as an increasingly popular tourist venue.

So come on, feel free: please Take My Pulse! I'm overflowing with so much energy I can't use, I really NEED to offload some of it or burst! It's environment-friendly, recyclable and best of all, its FREE! It might even do you some good. Take what you need, and pass the rest on!