I would like to know what "accelerated, but still" means in the following sentences:
‘I’m a …’ I tried and failed under her gaze.
It was the same feeling, the same pulling to and fro, that one feels when standing on the edge of a diving board.
‘I’m a—’ My voice almost steady. ‘I’m a homosexual.’
The world did not tumble. Her face remained calm. The white winter light still streamed into the room as if into a church, illuminating the floor and us, my heart pumped blood around my body – accelerated, but still – and a shiver ran through me, through my entire being, and I felt like something dead and heavy inside had been expelled, as if I’d been carrying a leaden ghost within me all that time. I felt dizzy. I tried to say something else but there was nothing to say. She took me into her arms, and I allowed her to – into her soft arms, against her pullover, cushioned by the soft breasts beneath it.
‘It’s OK,’ she whispered. ‘I understand.’ She stroked my hair. ‘You’re good. Don’t you worry. You’ll be fine. You’re good.’
In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he decided to leave the country after trying hard to stay in the country. (The main reason that Ludwik decided to leave the country was the fact that his lover Janusz constantly tried to straddle between Ludwik and a girl named Hania, the daughter of some high Party officer.) But the Passport Bureau wouldn't give him the passport, blackmailing him with the fact that he was a homosexual. So Ludwik took another route, by visiting Hania's house and telling her about his situation and asking her help so that he could get the passport, but without telling her that he was a homosexual. But eventually, at the end of the conversation, Hania asked as to what it was that they were blackmailing Ludwik with, because she must know that to know how to best approach the situation, and Ludwik here made the confession for the first time in his life.
In this part, I wonder how his body was "accelerated" (becoming faster) and how it was "still" (calm, perhaps?) at the same time.
Or would it mean that, though his pulse was accelerated, his heart still continued pumping...?