When it comes to our prompt of “love” I wasn’t quite sure what to sketch for today and a bit short on time, so we inexplicably have a couple shrimp nigiri sushi. I’d love to say that I saw them nestled together on a plate and it reminded me of love, but really, I was just craving sushi so that’s what we ended up with here. I was going to try it with just two colors, orange and blue, but had to dash in some opera rose. As for love, the first thing that popped into my mind was the chant that kids used to say on the playground. “Charlie and (whoever I happened to be talking to) sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G (spelled out slowly and menacingly), first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage!” That was considered a horrible taunt as we were at the age when all of that sounded perfectly gross, so we’d quickly move away from the other victim or simply run away. As an adult, I have to marvel that the chant says that love is first and then marriage as though the two were mutually exclusive. It’s a wonder any of us grew up to get married at all. But, I’ve discovered that if you find the right someone, love thankfully only gets stronger after that happens.
I’m not sure that marriage was something I particularly aspired to or ever really craved. What I wanted was someone to spend my life with and that was all. When Philippe and I first met, our marriage wouldn’t have been recognized in most of the United States. What was certain was that we wanted to actually be together… for life. This in itself is an extraordinary thing to decide. To be certain that someone you’re with is “the one” and that you intend to share your life together. My friend who visited me recently asked me an intriguing question. She asked, “What’s the one thing that made you fall in love?” I wasn’t sure how to answer. Just one thing? But the more I thought about it, I realized that there was that moment that seemed nearly mysterious and almost impossible to describe. There may not have been one word or phrase, but there was that one thing that changed a friendship into love. Or rather, took a friendship and made it even more incredible.
Though it’s definitely important to love yourself, that wonderful feeling of self-worth that propels us to succeed, there’s more required. The feeling of loving another person is one of life’s greatest gifts. Not simply romantic love, absolutely any kind of love shared between two people. Each relationship is so different and the love felt so unique to each special person who melts your heart. As strong and self-assured as we strive to be in life, we need others to make our lives complete. There may not be marriage and a baby carriage, but the close and cherished relationships we have are the reason life matters. As wonderful as spending a little time alone can feel, knowing that someone else out there misses us when we’re gone is the best feeling in the world. Some days I feel like I still have so much more to learn about life, but of all the things I still don’t understand, there will always be one thing that’s certain. True happiness is always possible, but to make it happen, it takes two.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Opera Rose, and Phthalocyanine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.