I use a pretty tiny camera these days -- a Canon SX210-IX -- and these swans were far enough away that I had to resort to the camera's digital zoom. But when I showed the image to the woman at my side (we were taking a break from yesterday's party), she said, "That's so romantic!" And now I see that the fuzziness contributes to that romanticized look.
But why is that? Does romance make us feel all fuzzy inside? (Well, yes...) Or is it that we don't see things all that clearly when we're in love? Or that our partner's minor flaws disappear in the haze of love?
It's probably all of these things and more: we've all known friends who have gotten involved with "the wrong one" who just couldn't see the difficulties clearly because they were lost in that haze.
But what is it that creates the haze? Is it the love itself, or the longing to be loved? Is it desperation that makes us overlook -- or accommodate -- those sometimes heart-breakingly serious flaws? I'm thinking some of the healthiest relationships I know of were the ones that didn't start with that delicious infatuation period but rather with wariness, a strong sense of self, and a willingness to walk away at the first sign of trouble.
That's certainly how my own marriage began -- I genuinely disliked my husband when I first met him, and even when I married him I reassured myself (terrified as I was of being hurt again as I'd been in the first marriage) that I could walk away if necessary. And here we are, all these years later, still pretty goofy about each other. But in a clear-eyed sort of way.
Does that mean it's not romantic? Well, kind of ... and kind of not. Not in the fuzzy illusory sense anyway. I mean, sometimes the man drives me crazy. We're both pretty conscious of each other's flaws. But at the risk of sounding a little corny -- it looks like, as the old song says, "Our love is here to stay."