Where do I begin …

St. Valentine´s day has passed, but February prompts me to speak of love stories. The names of Romeo and Juliet immediately come to mind. I imagine that Shakespeare never suspected that his work would last until eternity, just like the love that his characters pledged.

And it´s that “romantic love” apparently will leave its mark on humanity, and in some way many would like to experience something similar regardless of whether its ending be happy or not. The intensity of idealized love is considered a different feeling than the pure physiological needs, such as sexual desire or lust. It is a kind of affection that its presumed to to be for life (I will love you forever), exclusive (I can not love anyone but you), unconditional (I will love you no matter what) and involves a high degree of resignation (I love you more than my life).

It was in the 70’s when I received my first kiss (a precocious child) and it was also the decade when the film “Love Story”, a romantic drama film written by Erich Segal and based on his novel Love Story, premiered. The film, well known as a tragedy, is considered one of the most romantic of all time by the American Film Institute (#9 on the list). This precious song, written by Beethoven, was chosen by the director, and I believe it´s very significant to the movie.

Certainly not all are romantic, but for those who, like me, like this prototype of relationship, I would like to share these links and urge you to dig a little about the biographies of these artists as a couple, who no doubt would have inspired the our beloved English writer.

Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel

Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hébuterne


 

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner

I love you

The heart symbol is most often associated with love. Throughout history we have depicted it in many ways and with different materials but with the same message: “I LOVE YOU”. Opinions differ about the origin of this association and I prefer to believe that it is simply because when we are close to our loved ones, in various situations, are heartbeat speeds up.

This beautiful message was done for me by my son, Juan José, while playing with cards on my bed.

It is difficult to talk about love as it shows itself in many ways. Anyway, each one of these qualities found in 1st Corinthians 13 should be present, although we have heard them repeatedly, I want to mention them again.

Heart amulets, Dynasty 19–20 (ca. 1295–1070 b.c.) Egyptian, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Love is “suffering”: it tolerates, it endures, it conforms, it adapts.

Ancient Heart for A.B. by Thalo-Porter

Love is “benign”: it is affable, it is kind, it is caring, it is selfless, it is compassionate and humane.

Kenia Brea ring pillow

Love “envieth not”: it is not greedy, nor resentful, nor upsetting, there is no rivalry.

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Love “does not boast”: it is not self-sufficient, there is no bravado, it is not insolent, it is not cocky, it is not vain.

"Hanging Heart" sculpture by Jeff Koons

Love “does not behave unseemly”: it does nothing illegal, it is not unfair, it is not incorrect.

Finally, “does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Although the message of this song is opposed to what is stated above, while searching for hearts, I remembered Americo, who in sculpture classes, repeated it incessantly.

I see the moon, and the moon sees me

Guillermo Armentero´s photo

There is no better accomplice for those in love than the moon, with its pale, silvery light, and imposing circular shape. The moon is the celestial body larger than we observe for hours without optical damage. It haunts me, I believe in its power of attraction and the fascination that it has aroused in mankind; and let´s not forget about the moon’s influence on nature, including humans.

At different times in a span of 30 years I have been questioned at some point on a deep desire, and without thinking, the answer comes to me “walking in the moonlight with my loved one”.

There are so many fond memories from my childhood, and I say this because I belong to a generation and environment where nature played as important a role as for a primitive society. One of those fond memories is going out on the road in full moon nights to play “step on the reflected shadows”.  Back then, I had never heard of Peter Pan and his adventures, but by way of the collective unconscious, our shadows were so loved and protected as his was for him.

Referring to the moon, in art and literature we find, among others: Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata, one of my favorite tunes, which I share with my beloved Rebeca.

Kiki Smith with her handscreen wallpaper “Maiden and Moonflower,” which tells a beautiful story about a woman who used to sit under a tree in the moonlight, surrounded by nocturnal animals and the stars.

 

And Pablo Neruda in his poem “If you forget me” refers to it, and reading it revives in me the moment I received one of the few poems of love that I have ever inspired.

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda