The Meaning of my Life is She

Various Pens on Strathmore Blue Tone paper- words by Elvis Costello

For the seventh week of our calligraphy challenge we were asked to design something around a love song. I struggled to pick just one as there are so many good love songs out there. I recently watched the movie ‘Nottinghill’ and listened closely to the song that concludes the film. The words are by Elvis Costello and help illustrate the power and influence women have on the many relationships in their lives. I designed the piece so that as the page was turned counterclockwise different verses from the lyrics are highlighted, as if three or four pieces all connected on the page.

I think we sometimes forget that our own moods, thoughts, passions, and circumstances impact everyone around us. That is what a relationship is all about, loving someone through the highs and the lows, the ‘famine or the feast’ of life. What touched me about these lyrics is the way they illustrate the highs and lows of anyone loving a woman, and how in the end the author wants to ‘make them all my souvenirs, where she goes I have to be, the meaning of my life is she.’ I was reminded that all women, all people, have phases of life and all the good, the bad and the ugly portions of who we are have an impact on the ability of others to love us completely.

Love is about being connected to someone in such a way that their life, desires, ideas and insights make our world better. Sure it can be tough to love and forgive, forget and stay enthusiastic no matter the circumstances and yet no one said love was easy. If it were easy everyone would be in love, and we know that is just not true. Love takes a lot of effort even if that effort is as simple as listening to what is being said without trying to fix anything. Love means allowing the other person to be themselves and letting them be loved in their own personal way. Love doesn’t mean fixing it means letting them be who they are even if the way they squeeze the toothpaste tube drives us crazy.

As Elvis Costello put it, love ‘may be my treasure or the price I have to pay’. Love comes at a cost to us all, the question is are you willing to pay that price whether it is a good day, a bad day, or a day that is soon forgotten? We all want to be loved, the other side of that coin is loving others first and without conditions. If love were about making people behave the way we want I think we would all be in trouble, so choose today to love those in your life and let all the things that make them unique be your daily souvenir.

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