I fall in love, often ridiculously.

Sometimes, these feelings change as quickly as the Queensland sun turning toes in morning warmth to a red raw burn. Sometimes they don’t. It all depends, really. I use the indefinite ‘feelings’ here because it’s important to know that I’m not talking about romantic love that rises and falls around me like dangerous waves in a beating storm. In some circles they call that sort of love polyamory. Others call it ‘work trip away from the wife.’ I call it narcissism. You should know though, that what I want to talk about shares similarities with that romantic sort of love. Falling in love changes the way you look at things. I swear, I’ve felt grand symphonies looking at the pallid yellow of a McDonald’s M while in the throes of love. Some of these experiences stay with you; tattoo you for life. Sometimes they don’t. It all depends, really. Let me explain.

I started writing seriously after high-school. ‘Seriously’ seems like the wrong way to describe the experience though, because nobody is ever ‘serious’ about writing. It’s more a question of need, and to what extent the practice is required for a writer’s wellbeing. I started ‘needing’ to write after high-school in the same way some need a double shot in the morning to piece their brain back together. It was an invigorating process which gave narrative weight to the experiences I found myself living. Suddenly a headlight through rain in the distance became a signifier, something to be mulled over – considered. A fluorescent pink ice-cream baked to the side of a bin spoke to me in a language I didn’t understand, but one I could finally hear. Beauty was magnified through the process of writing, just as you might feel while loving someone.

I think people are their best when in love. See the woman waiting in a restaurant a half-hour before her significant other shows up. ‘It’s ok,’ she beams, feeling the comfort of tungsten light, and the warmth that comes with reconnection. And it is ok, if only for a short time. See the man dropping his date at work, and suddenly the radio playing T-Pain’s Buy U A Drank becomes a religious chorus for someone savoring the moment someone else’s hand clasps over theirs. Being in love makes high definition of a standard definition world. I’d argue for a life of being in love without the people involved. Try Foie Gras, give the pale underside of your arms to the sun, watch Clueless, go to a Thrash Metal gig and stand in the center – do all the things you’d do for someone you love while in that early phase, the phase where you’re literally clinging to each syllable they speak, the phase where electricity lines your veins and moves your body only in ways responsive to your special other.

For me, this was the immediate appeal of the written word. It’s a practice that almost forces emotion from a person to their surroundings. Picture spending thousands on a flight/holiday and arriving to an experience not entirely what you’d hoped – there’s a part of you that must enjoy the trip, because to do otherwise would be reject the decisions and effort that came before. Writing for me – in a world consistently trying to distance me from what’s a foot in front of my face – is kind of like that. You must enjoy that which surrounds, because to do otherwise would be ridiculous, and telling, of an ugly, meaningless truth.

I fall in love, often ridiculously. I’m sure others experience this regularly with different mediums, be it through painting, sculpture, gardening, cooking, making music – whatever gets you going. For those not yet trying, grab something close and hold it tight. Watch the world through halcyon shades, love a little more, and listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBrRBZy8OTs

[Photography Credit: Jason Rice]