Thursday, June 24, 2010

Love At First Sight

Wham! It happened. Love at first sight. It happened to me this week with a work of art by Jim Nelson. Jim happened to be coming through town and stopped in at the office with many of his pieces to show us in person at Artful Home. I had been extremely attracted to his work since the first time I saw photos of it, had been mildly disappointed with the one piece I had seen in person, so was prepared for this viewing with mixed preconceptions. I must admit that I had played out the scenario in my mind many times of what I would do with a piece by Jim in my home. And then it happened. There, on the opposite end of the room, was the most beautiful stranger, a piece that spoke to so many parts of me, that was everything I had hoped a piece by Jim would be, a piece with which I immediately fell in love. And immediately bought. Gulp!

I've done this before, felt that strong visceral attraction to art, known immediately that it was "the one", and acted. Most of the time, these impetuous purchases have been spot on, as I have remained in love with the work and have lived with it for years. Occasionally, it turns out what I thought was love was merely lust, or a misplaced substitute for something else, and the piece gets placed in my home and then gently moved out.

Of course, this really isn't so different from falling in love with people. When I met my newest best friend, I knew immediately that I was attracted to so many aspects of her very being; now this new friendship has blossomed and grown in ways I never could have imagined. While I knew I was looking to engage with new people, I never went to that particular party where we met looking for a new best friend. It just happened.

Romantic love is not so different, though ever so much more complicated. There, I'm afraid, lust has led me far too often into thinking I'm in love. And just as with the most recent art purchase, my impetuous nature acts on love/lust quickly. But unlike art which you have to purchase and live with (and then can remove without undue emotional pain), I'm trying to treat romance more like a lease with an option to buy. I do fall in love, head over heels infatuation, and I love the feeling. I also know that the real thing is much deeper and harder and ultimately even more joyful than that first strike by Cupid's arrow.

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