If you want to know what this blog is about…
Another cheesy post about love? I hope not…
There is this idea that to talk about feelings in general and love in particular, you have to be a cheesy romantic or a band singer. I don’t agree. I think one can be cheesy about absolutely anything and can also talk sensibly about absolutely everything. Let’s talk love. No cheese, please.
When we say love we always understand romantic love. We picture a young couple falling in love for the first time. Well, that is not love. Love will come later. And before. Reducing love to falling in love is taking for granted too many things. Altough falling in love is great, and necessary, restricting love to this demeans the concept. A person who has just fallen in love is normally infatuated, blind and dumb, is not trustworthy, and usually makes people around smile in cheerful condescension. Falling in love is like getting high on a powerfully emotional roller-coaster drug. So great if corresponded, agony if not. Black or white, no grays. We all love and hate to see people in love. They are so dumb, so ridiculous and so absolutely happy. We remember, and we feel a tang of envy. Cannot be helped. And why should it? Falling in love is fun, intense, vivid, refreshing.
Love, however, is something different. When I think of love, and there is not just one kind, I think of my kids. I love my wife, but I can imagine a future without her. I cannot imagine one without my kids. They changed me from head to toes, made me vulnerable where I was strong and strong where I was vulnerable and they made my life meaningful. They come to me, hug me tight and then forget all about it to go play with their clones or Transformers. They give me all their selfish love and take mine for granted, which is just as it should be. You see. Everything in our lives depends on love.
Children that are raised in a loveless environment will lack emotionally and will usually have problems to cope. We are all made that way, me you, the richest guy in the world, or the President of the US of A. We all need love to grow up balanced, with the right amount of self-esteem and confidence and with joy for life. Take love of the equation and the balance goes overboard. We can get an education later, there are other needs that can be lost in the way and coped without to some extent, but a kid cannot be loved later. So, when we talk about love, let me get a little serious and forget all that crap about cheese. We cannot take love for granted.
However, that is just my particular case. There is no greater love than that for me. And I am guessing now, because I have not lived that, but I believe this love somehow fades as the kids grow up, become independent and leave home, maybe to be rekindled by grandchildren if they share one’s life. My kids are eleven and eight. The older one doesn’t hold my hand in the street, I have to remind him to kiss goodbye and he does not sprain my neck when he hugs me anymore. The young one still does, but they are both almost little men and I am already missing it. Happens so fast. That is something I hate about time. It speeds up when you are happy and slows down when you suffer. Should be the other way round, right? I am wandering again, but this is my blog so, what the hell…
I was saying that is just my case. Other people chose, or life chooses for them, to live childless. They find a life companion and live happily without missing their kids, the same way I do not miss that third son I do not have and for whom I would die without a blink if I did. And that is also love, the same way mine for my wife is. That is a different love, more deliberate, more complicated, more demanding. That is why some couples try and then move on. Love between two adults requires a deep knowledge, acceptance and sacrifice. I am not the man, the boy, I was when I met my wife back in ’95. She is not the girl I met. Falling in love is easy. The tricky part comes when the blindfold falls and you are left hand in hand to face reality and routine. I am not perfect. Far from it, and neither is my wife. We both get on the other’s nerves every now and then. We have had a long time to learn one another’s virtues and defects through the years and we have successfully managed to brush off the sharp edges that made us react. She is my partner, my lover, and the person that shares my life project and I try to find a moment everyday to remind her. I do nothing she will not agree to and, if all goes well, we will take every step of this wonderful sometimes terrible journey together. And that would not work without love.
Well, love for kids and partners is the most common, but not everybody follows the same trends. We love to sustain the illusion that we are in control of our lives, but in truth we are leaves floating downriver in the current. We have a little steerage, but we cannot really control the general direction. And so, people who thought themselves solitary end up with big families and family people end up alone.
There is love for friends. I have not been at war so I cannot talk about brothers in arms, but I think that is also love. A love that sprouts in the most terrible conditions.
There is love for pets. I know this can sound ridiculous to many people who do not have pets and some who do, but it is a fact. We need to be loved and love and when life does not choose to grant you with a family, our pets become the center of our affections. And why shouldn’t they? Pets give us so much, even as part of a greater family, that is easy to understand what they can be to a person they are the only daily company.
There is love for work. This one I do not understand. I do not mean it is wrong, just what I said. I have always thought that work is important, fundamental, in many ways. It helps us provide, it adds to our self-esteem, but I have always though of work as a means to sustain my life, meaning by life all the time I live while not working and which belongs to me and to the world I created. If you ask me who I am, I will say, first a father, then a husband, then a curious person, and then an engineer. Many people start to define themselves by defining their jobs. I do not get it. The means becomes the end. The exception is for those jobs that affect in a direct and positive way to other people, like doctors, some teachers and many compromised social workers. People who work helping people in need. Those people, if they are doing things right, love everybody. We will talk about life and work some other day.
What am I talking about?
Well, what I mean is very simple. We all need to love and be loved since we are born. Nothing really makes sense without love, so if you are living your life without sharing it, do not resign yourself. After all, we all have a twin soul out there. In fact, we have more than one. I guess you all have been walking down any street some time or other and crossed eyes with a person and walked on shocked, because something had happened in that fleeting glance. You are overwhelmed by a feeling of loss because that person had to be somebody special and you will never see her, or him again. I still remember the last time that it happened to me, some eighteen years ago. I was crossing the road to the other side of the street. She was blonde and wore her hair tied in a low ponytail. Wonder where she is now…
So. If you have love in your life, cherish it. If you don’t, pluck up your courage and go find it.
About the Pictures
I shot the candle as usual, making two versions, single shot ad HDR. Then I worked on them to get the fire just so, the rest was easier. Some masking, some darkening and the words that inspired the shot. Sometimes I make a picture and it inspires me some thought or other. This one was the whole way round. I was thinking of love as a little light in an immensity of darkness. I had no white candles, so I used this one that is actually eggplant color. Y burned it carefully, blowing this way and that until I got the drops I wanted. Then I polished this old hand candelabra that has been in my house longer than me and used a towel for the background. Voila.
The picture of the leaves comes from a wonderful Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) I have in my garden. There are two, like 6 feet apart. One is growing healthy, the other is not growing. I made the usual shots and later saturated the small leaves a little and under-saturated the rest a little also, but the color difference was already there and was what caught my eye in the first place. I enhanced the contrast and darkened the background. When I was editing the picture I thought about the idea of the twin souls.
This pictures can be printed in photo paper, canvas, metal or acrylic surface from 8″ to 48″, or in greeting card format. You can check them by clicking the images above. I am all in for customizing pictures. All of them can be retouched in many ways, texts altered, changed or deleted. Ask freely.