She called me a romantic. Not like Don Juan with all the girls swooning. Or the most interesting man in the world. I don’t drink dos Equis, but I do stay thirsty.
There is a difference between being romantic, all hearts and flowers and such, and being a romantic.
I’m pretty sure that there have always been people who could be termed romantics in the second sense. They just didn’t have a name for them until the end of the 18th century when the Romantic Movement began. This was when a lot of artists and writers and philosophers were breaking away into a post Enlightenment movement. Folks like Goya, Verdi, Keats and Shelley.
What was happening was that these creative people were expressing themselves via their hearts. Emotion and feeling. Moving away from the rules of the day. Expression through the mind and a literal representation of things and ideas.
For years my mother had a painting hanging in the kitchen. A bright watercolor of a very inviting front porch. Wide space with plenty of shade and big comfy furniture. Down south we’d say it was a great porch for visiting and sippin’ sweet tea. Not my parents front porch, but not too different.
For my parents fiftieth anniversary we children gave them a painting of their farm home. Big old stone house. Big front porch. Very welcoming. The painting is firmly rooted in realism and depicts every detail in perfect absolutism.
I like the make believe porch picture better. Don’t get me wrong. I love my parent’s house. Including the porch. But it’s the other painting, the one that gives me a hint and let’s my mind run free with my ideas about the porch that I love so much.
Thinking with my heart and not my mind. The painting is just one example. I guess she was right about being a romantic.
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