Portrait of Frida Kahlo at the Picasso Exhibition in Mexico City in 1944 captured the by Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002).
The photograph is available for $12,500 at The Line.

Take a lover

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.”

I remembered this quote vaguely when admiring an old Frida Kahlo photograph at The Apartment a few weeks back.

Such great advice, I thought, and decided to look the quote up to find the exact wording and the original context.

Finding the quote was not difficult. It is all over the web.

The words have been printed on mugs and posters and t-shirts and cards, and they are attributed to Frida Kahlo, just like I recalled.

Yet Kahlo never said that. The line is taken from a poem by American poet Marty McConnell and it has also been removed from its context so that the meaning is a little different.

The only somewhat similar Frida Kahlo quote I found was this: “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are a bourbon biscuit.”

But no! I prefer the false quote that folks on Internet made up. False advice in terms of who it is addressed to yet such a wonderful piece of advice when you focus just on the meaning, don’t you think?

Yet I think there is something even more important to remember about relationships. And this is big, so focus.

“One is not loved accidentally; one’s own power to love produces love – just as being interested makes one interesting. People are concerned with the question of whether they are attractive while they forget that the essence of attractiveness is their own capacity to love.”

This quote is real. It is from Erich Fromm’s book Man for Himself.

Your own capacity to love is everything. Just love. The more you love, the more love you will have.

Overspend your love, waste it to anything, throw it around, like confetti – and that’s when people watching you cannot help but think that maybe you are magic.