Hamb with a heart-shaped locket

I’ve been thinking about this picture a lot the past few days. I just find it really striking because, you really feel how loved this creature is, in its every aspect. If it were not loved, it would look very different, possibly repulsive even, maybe like a golem or something.

The effect of love on external appearance is almost like testosterone or estrogen in how they affect secondary sexual characteristics—you can feel that this content fat little goblin is dearly loved, and that love has permeated all of its cells and shaped it to be so endearing and “babymode”. The heart-shaped locket around it’s neck is kind of a literal visual symbol of that love. The way it looks at the camera radiates secure love, a calm expectation of it, like it already knows it will be kissed on its little head once the person puts their phone/camera down.

Ive been thinking about this hamb a lot because its so representative of the kind of feedback loop of love— it is loved because it is lovable, but it’s lovable because it is loved. It can be loved because it knows how to “be” loved, because it was loved. This is an aspect of the interactions of all things, not even necessarily living. A thing that hasn’t known love doesn’t know how to “be” loved, and people don’t know how to love it either, because love is like a dirt path that people trample in the grass getting to their destination repeatedly—actually called a “desire path“—a mathematical attractor system set in motion. And i think about how people and animals and “places” and “things” exist outside of this system of attractors until someone sufficiently loves them enough for them to be “initiated” into this system. In a way this makes me very sad, but it’s also kind of beautiful too. So it feels very special and poignant to see something so permeated with love.

Loved Hamb