♥ Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

A sea of pearls, lace, sequins, diamonds and designer gowns gushes through ivory-coloured air, completing the princess-like transformation of bridal beauties in tentative wait.

A sea of pearls, lace, sequins, diamonds and designer gowns gushes through ivory-coloured air, completing the princess-like transformation of bridal beauties in tentative wait.

‘True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.’ -La Rochefoucauld 

Throughout human existence, the concept of love has yielded from its sufferers, a rich array of visionary cultural masterpieces in the form of literature, art and music, which are said to become a medium for channelling the toxic emotional unrest brought on by such a sensation. From Joni Mitchell to Judy GarlandPicasso to Bessie SmithShakespeare to Schiller, thousands have declared themselves as being in the clutches of an all-consuming amorous desire, but with each individual perception of reality differing to such great lengths- why is it that we as a species claim to still so unanimously agree that each of us may undergo the exact same emotional process, that one word suffices to describe the essence of human relationships?

Biologically we are programmed for reproduction just like any other animal, yet as the melancholic swan waits suicidally beside his now deathly frozen mate on the icy lake until he meets his own ice-cold end and the monogamous Burrowing Parrot loyally returns each morning to revisit his lifeless partner on the roadside, it seems relationship patterns of lovers are more than just social constructions of the human world with even instances of homosexuality occurring among the animal kingdom.

For long scientists have studied the chemical pathways associated with romantic relationships, concluding that the emotional power of romantic love is linked to Oxytocin – the hormone promoting pair bonding that is also released across the synapses of prairie voles  (Microtus ochrogaster) – and Dopamine – the same neurotransmitter that is released in the brain when under the influence of cocaine. So it seems, love is a biological drug as addictive and hard to part with as any other; passionately proclaiming ‘I’m in love’ perhaps then simply equates to declaring ‘I’m under the influence of chemical neurotransmitters Oxytocin and Dopamine‘- to a certain extent we are nothing more than biological drug addicts bound by our own hedonistic addiction.

Can love truly be analysed scientifically, or is there more to it than simply neuroscience? To what extent can animals exhibit emotions & undergo the process known as love as we can? Is love a definable concept or just as each relationship is individual and distinguishable from another, is love merely a blanket term changing meaning as it passes from person to person? Are artists and writers more able to create innovative works that are apparently able to touch the human heart with their poetic beauty simply because they are ‘in love’?

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Chinese newly weds make their way to the picturesque parks of Beijing.

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New born pigs take their cosy Valentine’s nap.

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The woman in white- a bride to be takes to the streets of Chengdu with her bridal army of photographers and camera men in tow.

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Nature wakes to witness another year of Cupid’s magic, another year of love & perhaps destruction.

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Shop windows smile with chocolaty treats & commercial contentment to tempt the passing Cupid with a purchase or two.

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A villager in the city of Mianyang in China melts western tradition with eastern as he carries his bride in western dress & Chinese red over the threshold of his family house, for as Chinese tradition dictates, the bride must move in with the groom’s parents, whom she will call mother & father from now on.

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‘Let me speak let me spit out my bitterness,

Born of grief and nights without sleep and festering flesh.’ – Joni Mitchell

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13 thoughts on “♥ Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

  1. I presume this post is addressing only romantic love, which in the greek would be ‘eros’ or even ‘epithumia’. Love in the English is very vague, don’t you think? The greek language has at least five ways of using the word love.
    “Can love truly be analyzed scientifically or is there more to it than simply neuroscience?”
    — I believe this idea (love only being a neuroscience thing) to be a recent mind-set, based on post-modernism. Trying to explain away the existence of the ‘spiritual’ or of ‘God’. I know what I believe on the matter, but it all boils down to what one’s worldview is.
    Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Very well written.
    =)

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