Fire, Flicker, Smoke

Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are often referred to as our “happy hormones.”

When you’re attracted to another person, your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is produced. This causes you to feel a surge of positive emotion.

https://www.healthline.com/health/love-hormone#dopamine-and-serotonin

I was born in a hurry

Cuz my momma had to be back to work at 8:30

Maybe that was the reason there was always this feeling

That she was rushing herself

She didn’t even have the time to spend loving herself

Let alone,someone else

The River by Lyfe Jennings

I’ve always been totally in awe of love and the inexplicable effect it has on music, art, literature, cinema, and daily life. The presence of love (or lack thereof) is extremely powerful. It transcends beyond labels. Meaning, romantic love and the love between a parent and child are different but I believe they are equally as impactful. Siblings and their connection to one another have been explored in many facets. Creatives often like to play with the idea of twins and the way they are tethered even when they aren’t in close proximity with one another. We are in an age of self love and self care as an expression of it. Why can’t it be defined?

My daughter’s middle name is Amore. The first Valentine’s day after she was born, my husband (then boyfriend) bought me an extraordinary gift. It was a book called, “Love, A Celebration in Art and Literature.” It’s starting to weather. After all, it’s 8 years old but when I flip through it I am still breathless. It’s beautiful, like walking through your own personal museum.

King Mycerinus and Queen Kha Merer Nebty II 2570 B.C.

When I am on the cold and lonely writer’s block, I refer to this book. I look at the artwork and read the excerpts of great writers. I imagine my work being respected one day the way theirs is. I imagine my work being studied in classrooms or viewed on posters in dormitory walls. As a writer I love words and the way they make others feel. I also respect words and I try to be responsible with the use of them.

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

This will endure. Not like a wilting, dry scentless flower. This love will be timeless. A reference point for those trying to scientifically emulate it with chocolate and treadmills and aromatherapy. This will be the tattered letter clenched in the bloody fist of a dying soldier. The words he clung to. Her smile, the last thing he fixated on in his memory. This will not be #goals or any posted fanciful facade. This is arguments, couches with human sized lumps, long text messages, Toni Braxton songs, and tear filled prayers asking God for signs. This is act 3, scene 6 and the audience is at the edge of their seats. The playhouse is makeshift and the actors are inexperienced and not professionally trained but there ain’t a dry eye in the place! This is a pleasant surprise. This isn’t fire, flicker then smoke. This commitment is still burning and all consuming. The colors and the scent are hypnotizing. This will endure.

By Shaun Liriano

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