Love,Love,Love by Janice Carter

I've been thinking about love lately. Not just because February is the 'love' month, but because I've been tinkering with a new idea for another Heartwarming book. And there is no more apt word than 'tinkering' here, believe me, as ideas run in and out of my mind quicker than my husband's response to my, "shall we watch another episode of Narcos on Netflix?"
      The problem with talking about love is that there are too many variations of it. I could use up the rest of my post today listing them - love of a child; love of a country; love of a partner; love of a pet; love of travel and so on. And that single word isn't sufficient to describe or even differentiate between all those loves. The English language needs a definitive list of synonyms for love, something like the Inuit have for 'snow', because the common ones simply don't measure up. Words like affection, fondness or attraction are somewhat bland, while desire, ardor and yearning are too short-lived, burning fast and furious before fizzling out.
     So why this current pre-occupation with love? A recent trip to Mexico City (love of travel!) led me to the Frida Kahlo House and Museum.
exterior of the Blue House
       A few years ago, I saw a Frida Kahlo exhibition at my city's art gallery. I was fascinated by her work - mystical and mythical, compelling and colorful, bizarre and bold.

A papier mache wall hanging
One of her last paintings, ironically titled "Live Life"
But it was her life story and especially her relationship with that other famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, that captivated me.
     Rivera was already famous (and twice her age) when a teenaged Frida first met him. According to his autobiography (My Art, My Life: An Autobiography), she interrupted him painting his first wife for a mural and that first image of a young, impassioned Frida stuck with him. When he met her again years later (when she was eighteen), Rivera was smitten. They married four years later, subsequently divorced, re-married and then separated. According to her biographers, Frida was aware from the beginning that Diego loved women - many of them. Nevertheless, he remained the love of her life.
A wall in Frida's kitchen
Theirs was clearly a love of passion - a tumultuous and tempestuous storm that consumed them their entire lives. But their story was hardly a happily ever after. Diego was with his current mistress the night before Frida's very painful death in 1954.
       I call that kind of love 'dark'. Think of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights or Rhett and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind.  Few characters in those types of stories or movies get to enjoy a happy, growing-into-old age kind of love - the kind I like to read and write about because they make me feel good, rather than sad.
    That's why I like to write and read heartwarming HEA novels. They offer hope, comfort and passion too, but moderated to what the human heart needs - acceptance, understanding, forgiveness and trust.
    So when my husband asks, "Is it pizza or sushi tonight and whose turn to choose Netflix?" my mind might flash to Frida and Diego for a second before I answer, "It's my turn."  And I'm happy I also chose, 50 years ago, to be right here, where I am now, with my growing-into-old age spouse.

Here's to Love!

Thanks for joining today, 
Janice Carter


  1. Janice, great post. Frida's story really proves that there is no sure-fire recipe for love. It can hit when least expected and there is no known date of expiration. Keep on tinkering.

    1. You’ve nailed it, Roz, with your comment about Frida and Diego! I especially liked the “hit when least expected”. Hmmm, that’s given me an idea. :)

  2. I enjoyed this, too. I was never big on the Scarlett-Rhett pairing--I'm one of the few people I know who wasn't taken with pair from "The Way We Were," which seems so dated and sexist now. So, Janice, I'm eager to hear where all this musing ends up. I know it will be a great story.

    1. I forgot about that movie, Virginia, and totally agree with you! And fingers crossed that my musing will take me somewhere.

  3. I'm drawn to that "warm yourself by the fire" comforting kind of love, rather than the sizzling, scorching kind that tends to leave scars. I'll look forward to what you tinker up next.

    1. Same here, Beth. Those sizzling days were a long long time ago! :)

  4. Choosing well decades ago is a gift! Congratulations!

  5. One of my better decisions when I was young! :)


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