Love Locks

Standard
Double Heart Lock

I saw this love lock on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the fall of 2015.

I think I must have first become aware of love locks when walking across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, County, NM some time between 2012 and 2014. I saw a padlock affixed to the bridge’s railing, but I can’t remember if someone explained the lock was there to symbolize everlasting love, or if I figured it out on my own. Later, I heard all about love locks on the 81st episode of the Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase podcast (http://betty.libsyn.com/81st-show-lovelocks); that episode is called “Lovelocks.”

I Love You

This love lock was also on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the fall of 2015. I love the detail on this lock, which was obviously not picked up at a hardware store on a whim.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_lock,

A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.[1] Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love. Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. They are now mostly treated by municipal authorities as litter or vandalism, and there is some cost to their removal. However, there are authorities who embrace them, and who use them as fundraising projects or tourism attractions.

The history of love padlocks dates back at least 100 years to a melancholic Serbian tale of World War I, with an attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi (lit. the Bridge of Love) in spa town of Vrnjačka Banja.[2] A local schoolmistress named Nada, who was from Vrnjačka Banja, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other Relja went to war in Greece where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow, and after some time she died due to heartbreak from her unfortunate love. As young women from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet.[3][4]

Lock Trio

I think this is the only trio of locks I’ve ever seen. These were also on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the fall of 2015.

In the rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s.[5] The reasons love padlocks started to appear vary between locations and in many instances are unclear. However, in Rome, the ritual of affixing love padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio can be attributed to the 2006 book I Want You by Italian author Federico Moccia, who made a film adaptation in 2007.[6][7]

Tule River 2The next times I saw love locks was during my adventure on the Tule River in California. (You can read about that adventure here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/05/22/steps-to-the-kern/.) As I walked down the steps to the river, I saw a lock left by Ash & Kate.

South Creek Falls Fence

Many love locks were left on the barrier fence at South Creek Falls.

A few weeks after that, I saw more love locks at South Creek Falls. (Read more about South Creek Falls here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/?s=south+creek+falls.) Quite a few people had left locks on the barrier fence.

Yellow Lock

This yellow combination lock was one of the love locks I saw fastened to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the fall of 2015.

When I returned to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the fall, I found many people had affixed love locks to the bridge’s railing.

During a brief visit to Tucson, AZ in late 2015, I spent an hour or so one afternoon wandering around the hip little North Fourth Avenue shopping area. I was excited to see several metal heart sculptures made for people to fasten on their love locks.

A brief announcement from February 2015 on the Arizona Daily Star’s tucson.com (http://tucson.com/put-a-lock-on-it/article_b40d5fb6-b244-11e4-9f1c-5724f278e6a8.html) says,

IMG_4216

This is one of the heart sculptures made for love locks on Tucson’s North Fourth Avenue.

IMG_4184

Here’s another heart sculpture made for love locks on Tucson’s North Fourth Avenue. There are four or five of these hears on North Fourth Avenue.

North Fourth Avenue is going all out for Valentine’s Day — big sales, live music, and all sorts of hustle and bustle. And get this: there will a number of heart sculptures along the avenue. Bring a padlock inscribed with your names, attach it to a sculpture, and lock in your love by throwing away the key…When a sculpture becomes full it will become a display in Haggerty Plaza.

Tomorrow I will share more photos of love locks that I took in California, New Mexico, and Arizona.

IMG_4242

I took all photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

One Response »

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply