Love is something we have to learn

"...love is something we have to learn, and we can make progress with, and that it’s not just an enthusiasm; it’s a skill. And it requires forbearance, generosity, imagination, and a million things besides. And we must fiercely resist the idea that true love must mean conflict-free love, that the course of true love is smooth. It’s not. The course of true love is rocky and bumpy at the best of times. That’s the best we can manage as the creatures we are, that flawed humanity, the better chance we’ll have of doing the true hard work of love."  /  Alain de Botton on the True Hard Work of Love and Relationships

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A series exploring the newness and intimacy of marriage via roadside curiosities. 35mm film scans shot on a Pentax k1000.

These are the kinds of views that lure us onto another trip, and what makes hitting the road seem suitable for our honeymoon. It's comforting, as always, to know that much of the US is still open and uninhabited, that there is still space to breathe and feel small.

These are the kinds of views that lure us onto another trip, and what makes hitting the road seem suitable for our honeymoon. It's comforting, as always, to know that much of the US is still open and uninhabited, that there is still space to breathe and feel small.

Cacti, my desert muse, to set the scene.

Cacti, my desert muse, to set the scene.

Romantic and rugged, the road looks especially alluring from an overlook in central Arizona.

Romantic and rugged, the road looks especially alluring from an overlook in central Arizona.

Here and there, signs of hope thwarted by the desert.

Here and there, signs of hope thwarted by the desert.

An accidental double-exposure perfectly depicts the dreamy, sun-drenched, luxurious mornings of Palm Springs.

An accidental double-exposure perfectly depicts the dreamy, sun-drenched, luxurious mornings of Palm Springs.

A frothing, churning winter sea awaits us in San Diego; the water is by no means friendly, but it is still rejuvinating.

A frothing, churning winter sea awaits us in San Diego; the water is by no means friendly, but it is still rejuvinating.

Bagel sandwiches and strong coffee in our pajamas to lure each other out of groggy morning stupor.

Bagel sandwiches and strong coffee in our pajamas to lure each other out of groggy morning stupor.

Fierce storms chase us indoors, where Jacob takes his chances with low shutter speeds in dim light.

Fierce storms chase us indoors, where Jacob takes his chances with low shutter speeds in dim light.

The Mission Beach boardwalk is eerily deserted in a storm; the few of us that dare to venture onto the beach are quickly asked--unless we want to be struck by lightening--to leave by a megaphoned lifeguard.

The Mission Beach boardwalk is eerily deserted in a storm; the few of us that dare to venture onto the beach are quickly asked--unless we want to be struck by lightening--to leave by a megaphoned lifeguard.

In the desert, we opt for our lunch routine of choice: pulling off the side of the road when we see a view we like, then assembling sandwiches from the cooler in the trunk of the car.

In the desert, we opt for our lunch routine of choice: pulling off the side of the road when we see a view we like, then assembling sandwiches from the cooler in the trunk of the car.

All throughout California, towering, alien giants sweep us through their homes.

All throughout California, towering, alien giants sweep us through their homes.

In a tiny town near the California/Nevada state line, azure sky is in both the heavens and the doors--or maybe that's intentional.

In a tiny town near the California/Nevada state line, azure sky is in both the heavens and the doors--or maybe that's intentional.

Coming into Death Valley, the land is harsh and colored in a mostly monochromatic, earthen palette. It's hard to imagine what the desolate landscape would be like in oppressive, dangerous July heat.

Coming into Death Valley, the land is harsh and colored in a mostly monochromatic, earthen palette. It's hard to imagine what the desolate landscape would be like in oppressive, dangerous July heat.

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Towering juxtapositions: on the left, a snowy formation in Zion NP, on the right, a manmade pier patiently waiting for the storms to pass.

Bad weather turns our planned three nights in Joshua Tree turned into one, but we are still lucky enough to catch a purple fading sunset in this magical place.

Bad weather turns our planned three nights in Joshua Tree turned into one, but we are still lucky enough to catch a purple fading sunset in this magical place.

In Death Valley, the sand dunes from afar almost look made out of concrete. With a relentless wind that sweeps away trails every day, we wander, uninhibited, wherever we please.

In Death Valley, the sand dunes from afar almost look made out of concrete. With a relentless wind that sweeps away trails every day, we wander, uninhibited, wherever we please.

The trails in Zion are slick with ice and snow, but we brave them, Jacob my trusty scout.

The trails in Zion are slick with ice and snow, but we brave them, Jacob my trusty scout.

Some people come to watch the sunset at Zion; I come for the cacti.

Some people come to watch the sunset at Zion; I come for the cacti.

We've never seen as many full, complete rainbows as we do on this trip. A good omen for our new lives together?

We've never seen as many full, complete rainbows as we do on this trip. A good omen for our new lives together?