Culture

We love hearts: The natural essence of the symbol of love

14.02.2019 | By ELENA LONGARI

Red or pink, beating, broken, a sequence of little ones, glowing, a black one.

We are overwhelmed with the shapes and colours the symbol of the heart has been given in modern days; one red heart was no longer enough to express our messages of love, affection, compassion and friendship.

One day, we’ve all forgotten why we all fell in love with the pointy red symbol of the heart and started messing with it, for our digital uses, or compulsions – as they have most recently been identified as.

It’s a new symbol. Of how we have failed, greatly, at love. We already knew it, didn’t we?

Pure romantic infatuation, the one love, the one told in letters between a soldier and his new wife waiting for him to make it back from the front.

The one.

The many.

We have become disposable. Temporary objects of entertainment. The mere consolation we are left with is the mere fact we are also recyclable, and someone, some time, somewhere, might need us again in their lives. Our fantasies have become obsessions, and we are turning into the victims of our own obsessions.

Off Grid is the modern version of the word hope: we can regain a connection with the value of our human side, with the primal instinct and desire of our human nature. Sharing happiness and experiences with our fellow humans is the biggest trend of the 2019, and that’s the kind of love to look for.

Our relationship with nature is where to find and repossess the origin of love, and without dwelling too far down into cosmic laws of attraction, it’s in the origins of the heart symbol we can find muses to let us stick to authentic love.

Silphium. A plant used by the ancient Greek and Romans. Its seed pod is indeed shaped, by Mother Nature, as a glorious, triumphant and elegant heart. The plant was believed to have many properties, some of which can leave room to plenty of speculations; your Google search on it will make you believe it was part of an intricate plot, by which the plants was actually used as birth control. Love was safe, in a way.

Silphium was so overused it even got extinct at one point. And it was so popular that in Cyrene the heart shaped plant ended up on a coin.

There you have it.

Money

That’s where it started, and where it ends.

Money can’t be me love, a famous band used to sing.

No one is trying to buy love; modern society has sold its soul. For the sake of popularity, fame and being happy at all costs.

Stripping back to what matters.

A minimalistic approach to love is the beacon of light in the gloomy but glossy Instagram feeds, where endorphins filled white hearts pop on the photos as you tap.

Stripping back to the nature of the heart symbol. When we depended on nature, solely; in fact, back then, Gods were Gods of nature, Aeolus the God of the Winds, Hephaestus the God of Fire and many more.

But what was love really like back then? Was it blissful and pure as in our most utopian dreams?

Love also meant war, alliances and power. Take Helen of Troy.

We need to go further back in time than ancient Greece; but to when?

Is there a ‘when’?