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LOVE LETTERS, 2021

Love verb /lʌv/

  • To like another adult very much and be romantically and sexually attracted to them, or to have strong feelings of liking a friend or person in your family. ‘I love you.’

  • To like something very much. ‘She loves animals.’

  • Used, often in requests, to say that you would very much like something. ‘I'd love a cup of tea if you're making one.’

 

Love noun /lʌv/

  • The feeling of liking another adult very much and being romantically and sexually attracted to them, or strong feelings of liking a friend or person in your family. ‘Children need to be shown lots of love.’

  • A person that you love and feel attracted to. ‘She is the love of my life.’

  • Used as a friendly form of address. ‘You look happy, love.’

 

It is all about love.

Sometimes the hardest part seems to be writing about the simplest things. What can one say about happiness or love? One can talk about actions, objects, colours, senses, flavours, impressions, the outer world, but how can he or she really describe the unique personal feelings or the intensity of the multitude of feelings and sensations one experiences while in love? Perhaps this is why we have words such as ineffable or indescribable or sublime?

I have many times written about my series in an attempt to support the viewers to better understand the concept or the idea or ideas behind each series. Now I am not sure that's the reason any longer.

This time, however, it is different. This is our story; this is as intimate as it can get; this is how my wife Anca and I met; this is about the infinite happiness of having found love and an equally endless sorrow of having found out that it was (what I then thought it was) an impossible relationship.

At various ages, you dream, you imagine, you make plans, you visualise, and perhaps even discuss with your closest friends or imaginary ones what your future ideal partner will look like, or what are the things you are going to do together and how, or, in short, how your perfect relationship is going to be. Perhaps at times you may wonder if such a person really exists on Earth, but these are fleeting thoughts, and you pretty swiftly get back to the definitions.

When at some point, usually when you least expect it, the person appears as in a miracle right in your face, you fell in love at the first sight. You know, you just know beyond any trace of doubt, beyond any thought, hypothetically assuming that there are thoughts in such moments, beyond any logical reasoning questions you may have, you just know.

In our case, it all started with an acupuncture session, a shabby blue door open, and the most beautiful eyes in the world. I looked into her eyes for an instant and I knew. It was the holy instant wherein the miracle was born. How long is an instant? Eternal, it was the single instant of the eternal love. Then, I was the person I was but a moment ago, with a small change, I knew she existed, and that made all the difference in the world.

 

Fast forwarding, weeks after that initial heavenly moment, we had met, and we understood we were both having the same feelings but also that any potential hope for a relationship was impossible. I was a single father raising two children, and she was, even now seems difficult for me to write, already married.

 

In searching for love, how far can one go against all the awfully strong moral codes he proudly holds, against all the beliefs, against all the friendly, sometimes unsolicited advice, against all the family culture, against all the social customs, perhaps against all religious beliefs and canons, against the so-called personal history?

Originally, as if frozen in a world that was not ours, as painted in a painting we were not part of, we couldn't do anything. We have, however, agreed, as I wrote to her, that “I shall search for you on all the planets and in all the lives I shall ever have,” and we allowed ourselves to write to each other.

These are our love letters rewritten on our costumes since we were two faceless souls communicating with each other. These are our words, our feelings, our embraces, our buckets of tears of sorrow and joy, of desire, of love, of... hope!

Cristian

Love approached me when I was less thinking of it... or so I thought... and my life was torn asunder before I knew it in a single day, in a single moment with a single glance.

The veil I had drawn over my thoughts came off with words. We melt into each other with written messages, with words hidden into secret letters.

I didn’t wish to be a poet; I wished to be a lover.

The flow of the language with words and words in phrases let my passion unfurl while I was rising up, forgetting who I was. But words are meaningless unless they reinforce what is already felt.

New lovers attract each other, drawn together by some unexplainable pull as if magnets.

It is not desire, it is not the sparkling fire of a physical attachment; they wish to dive into the unknown to become empty of thoughts, empty of memories, empty of past and future, letting love flood free every cell and every atom.

Lovers see the ideal in their beloved. They often alter details as they go on, but never depart from the main lines.

“Seek for me, my darling, and find me in another life where I’ll be free to love you as I now long for...” I wrote to him.

Where does the feeling come from, when married, that we are not at liberty to give the love we feel as if we were not belonging anymore to ourselves?

It took me many words to crack asunder restrictions that wrinkle and contract, beliefs of moral code, of responsibility and commitment... It took me many phrases in order to undo the error of believing I was not free to love, the error of believing that I was still the one who decided to marry in her twenties.

I never wished to be a wife; I wished to be a lover.

The more time I spent with my feelings, the more they grew up extending stems or branches, enclosed within my heart... and my heart was dispersing words like seeds, gliding or spinning through the air, shaped to float as letters.

Love letters... to whom addressed? To my lover... to myself?

What was I seeking out that was no longer inside the woman who was living side by side with the man, once a friend and husband? When do we cease to be lovers in our marriages?

If I had observed my words, I would have known. Some words were absent, and some were seldom used as if I were becoming a stranger to my own language. I was tired of missing words. Tired of unarticulated broken feelings. Tired of omitted or misplaced emotion.

I was yearning for the beginning of the story, the moment when there are just a few lines drawn upon white-sheets of paper. That moment, when we are learning words, inventing language in the light of our burning desires.

I longed for that silence where I could feel the shadows of the new two selves growing together... and without clearly seeing the form of their becoming, knowing they were growing into one.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Us, and the Word was Us.

Anca

NOTES

The series comprises 32 photographs.

C-Type Printed on Fuji Crystal Professional Archive Maxima Paper
Matt Coating · Weight 245 gsm
Mount: Aluminium Dibond

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