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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Making connections: the lock of love

The more I travel the more I make connections. Between people, places, cultures, countries, and all kinds of kooky things. The more connections I make, the more everything and everyone seems the same. In a heartening kind of way. And the more this crazy planet and my even crazier life seem to be like one big magical game of connect the dots. A puzzle I'm working on that I hope will never end. Sometimes the way things connect across the globe, between seemingly disparate points and things, surprises me. Other times it just makes so much sense. Uh-huh! Oh I get it! Right... And sometimes, the connections, those similarities, those little quirks, habits and customs we all share... well, they just make me smile. As we've been travelling a lot recently (well, pretty much constantly for 2.5 years to be precise!), I keep seeing a strange but wonderful custom everywhere... the habit of fixing these locks of love to a romantic place. Locks clamped to big old iron gates, fixed to fences that look out over a stunning landscape, and locks joined to beautiful bridges all over the world. From Syria to Cyprus, Turkey to Italy, everywhere people are fixing locks to places and throwing away (or giving to their loved-one?) the key. Locks carved, scratched and painted with messages of love: be mine forever, marry me, I'll love you 'til I die... that kind of thing. These locks were on a bridge in Verona, Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet. Could there be a better way at a better spot to declare your love for someone then throw away (perhaps swallow?) the key? I'm curious to know, in my eagerness to make connections... where did it all start? Where does it end? How many locks of love have you come across in your travels? Have you ever left a lock somewhere? What did it say? And what on earth did you do with the key?

5 comments:

Heatheronhertravels said...

My guess is that all those who've seen the film Ho Voglia di te/ I want you about the locks on Ponte Vilvio in Rome have fallen in love with the idea of being in love, not to mention that gorgeous hero of the film.

see the trailer here.
http://www.filmitalia.org/popvideo.asp?vid=8863

laradunston said...

Hi Heather - yes I know the film, however, I thought that the filmmakers were inspired by the phenomenon itself, because it's not only in Italy that it occurs, and people have been doing it for years. I'm sure it's certainly helped the trend along though - you see them absolutely everywhere now. I'd be keen to know where you've seen them. Thanks!

David Whitley said...

Interesting phenomenon, isn't it. I'd come across it in Keila-Joa, Estonia and Kiev, Ukraine, and had been told that it was something unique to the Russian community.

Evidently not, though. It doesn't half bring a smile to the face when you see it, though.

laradunston said...

Oh yes! Now, my husband Terry reminds me that we also saw them in some of the Eastern European and Baltic countries... I'm glad they bring a smile to your face too!

I'd love to find out when they first started appearing... wouldn't you?

- Suzie - said...

Funny. I saw my first one, yesterday. In Italy. It was no special place at all. I wondered why my mother-in-law said: Ancora? It is when I realized that it was not locking anything. Anything? I just learned by you today, that it is about love.