Well... yes... ok. I will first acknowledge that this post is going to a) be undoubtedly overly sentimental and cheesy, b) potentially be a touchy little topic for the few diehard romantics out there like yours truly, and c) may or may not seem kind of trivial. So let me define this thing up front.
There are a few things in this world that, whenever I encounter them, make me daydream of love. I'm not talking about with a specific person. Something that I shared. No.
There are a few things that, empirically, a priori, make me feel like love exists. The abstract concept becomes concrete. With only the vague semblance of a picture of another person-- unidentifiable. It's more about the feeling.
Curiously, most of the things that do this have to do with a certain shade of light-- yellow light, to be specific. Warm light in which you can see the dust swirling around....
Songs layered with an infintely repeating short theme...
Super-imposed, out of focus shots...
The pressure points on my palms...
The smell of honeysuckle...
The point of this short list is to demonstrate that none of these things either make sense or seem remotely connected. But they all dredge up the same feeling.
I'm not super eager to figure out why these things inspire these emotions, but I felt like throwing them out there for you all. Perhaps-- much like that love potion in Harry Potter that makes you smell specific things-- everyone's list will be very different. I suppose it has to do with subliminal attachments made in childhood-- but I'm no psychologist.
Funny thing is that, often, I end up finding these little things embedded in art where they endeavor to inspire the exact feelings that they do, in fact, make me feel.
Take, for example, my favorite perfume:
After a few hours, it smells exactly like honeysuckle.
Poster, selling the movie as a romantic love story... look at the light.
So, I suppose, my question is-- are these "love aesthetics" as I'm calling them-- specifically mine, or is there something universal that my subconscious is tapping into?
I think it's a little in between. Which is why these aesthetics, being not the feeling themselves but tangential spring points, can be used for trickery, irony... and we all can get duped.
Oh... Woody Allen. Teaching us a little something about mistaking perfect light for perfect experience...
[Photo 1 from Bloom, Grow, Love, Photo 2 from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Photo 3 from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden Flickr, Picture 4 from Lollia]