I have a few other blogs percolating, but here's a quick one for right now.
Someday, I want to get a nice print of this, and an equally-sized print of this, and hang them above my writing space. It's to remind me of what love looks like.
Here's the story: once upon a time, back in those halcyon pre-marriage days, when I was blissfully twirling around in the delicious winds of possibility, having yet to discover the more satisfying delight of actuality, I was in my college library, flipping through an electronic file of Bouguereau paintings.
And I saw this one. I admit, I stared at it for minutes on end. It was exactly everything I was dreaming of. (Remember, I was about 19.) I don't know if I was more enchanted by the enthralled feminine form (what I wanted to be!) or the smooth, perfect masculine body that held her (what I wanted to have!). But that picture is pure, romantic bliss. It's aesthetic perfection and utterly captures the abandon that I was so carefully keeping myself from (and so hoping to someday lawfully experience). I admit, upon seeing that picture, I was spellbound. Especially by the perfection of Cupid's body, as Bourguereau painted it. I thought, that's what love looks like.
Really. Those were the words going through my head. (Remember: young!)
But, eventually, I felt self-conscious staring at the picture for so long, and I flipped to the next one. And I saw this.
And, immediately, I knew I was wrong. Oh, I thought. That's what love looks like.
I've never forgotten. And now especially, as I pursue a career writing romance, I don't want to forget what I've learned. So I want both paintings, hung up next to each other, like a diptych, to remind me of the lesson I learned.
There's love. And then there's Love. And the one only looks all-consuming when you look at it in isolation. Once you put them next to each other, there's no question which is greater. I don't want to forget.
peace of Christ to you,
p.s. I'd add that you also realize that the lesser love has to imitate the greater, or it won't survive.
p.p.s. Finally, and someday I might have to get this to hang over my diptych, I need to remember that love looks like this. And like this.