Heart and Hands

Popular culture is obsessed and saturated with love. Especially romantic love. From Valentine’s Day to rom-coms, it seems that nothing pulls our heartstrings quite so tenderly.

We learn and internalise the narrative of romantic love from an early age; it is something that we are taught to seek and experience. But there are other expectations too. For example, we are often reminded to tell other people we love them – what if someone died suddenly and you hadn’t told them? How bad would you feel?

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with telling people you love them, but showing our appreciation and feelings for others is not always something that can be expressed in a few words, or even in words at all. In many ways, love is nonverbal; it manifests in the time we spend with others, in the attention we give to their needs, in acceptance and careful listening. Words aren’t everything.

Perhaps you have tied a child’s shoe or brushed a friend’s hair, rubbed dirt from someone’s face or cooked a meal for yourself or others. Are these not forms of love expressed through physical actions, through the use of your own hands? Romantic love deserves its attention, but this doesn’t make other types of love any less worthy or real.

These images are a tribute to those quieter, often unnoticed forms of love, which are just as powerful.

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