In response to SoulPancake's question: "What is your definition of romance?"
A quick Google search for "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" can answer the question better than I can. The "romantic" portrait, painted by Jaques David-Louis somewhere between 1801-1805, is epic--conveying a stoic, yet somehow fierce, Bonaparte atop his majestic white war-horse Marengo. Everything in this picture seems to be in motion, as only a master painter could convey: Marengo's eyes show fatigue and distress as he rears back into what seems to be an isolated whirlwind around he and his master. This very same wind sends Napoleon's scarlet cape flourishing around him like a circle of fire, as the dictator points toward a horizon we cannot see--this grand gesture, no doubt, saying "forward!" to the men pushing cannons up the icy slopes in the background. Had Instagram been around back then, he could have easily captioned this picture with "#LikeABoss".
The realist portait, by Paul Delaroche some 50 years later, is much different: no rearing white horse, no isolated whirlwind, no circle of fire. Everyone just looks tired, wet, and cold.
And that's what romance is: a filter. There is a romantic way of viewing the world, of taking in all the color, motion, and passion of the moment. To believe that these things are, in fact, present to begin with and worthwhile. "What is today?" the romantic ponders. Well, today is another opportunity to continue the grand quest--whether that is reaching some life-long dream, finding true love, changing the world or even one life, creating something meaningful that will outlive ourselves. And so our feet hit the floor with a sense of urgency and excitement. We don't simply listen to music on our commute to work, we soundtrack it with sounds that inspire and energize us. We don't just finish our workout and go on with the day, Instagram a sticky after shot saying #ImAChampion--yet another victory. And we don't dare show up to the one's we love empty handed, because we're living happily ever after. Today is another scene in a hero's journey.
The truth is, it's Tuesday. The gym is not a gladiator's stadium, and your home is not a castle. There are no dragons and damsels, and few pure "happily ever afters". For the most part, life is one long, exhausting, cold, icy slope, and we've all got something to push to the top. But romance is to see more than that--to see color and beauty, meaning and motion.
For Those Who Insist On Believing,