Recently, while in the carpark of an establishment, a semi-homeless man approached me and asked when next I would be going up for elections.
At first I was confused, but shortly after, I realised that he was referring to the "Vote For Love" campaign I had spontaneously started running during the 2020 general election campaign. I was surprised and touched that he remembered the campaign three years later and was excited to meet me and talk about it.
“It would take someone like you to do this,” he said, speaking as though he knew me, even though we had never met.
I have written about this "Love campaign" before, but will briefly recap, for those who may not have been aware of its existence.
During the 2020 election campaign, I drove around with two hand-painted "Vote For Love" signs adhered to the back windows of my vehicle. Some people thought it was a real campaign and often shouted out to my ‘campaign car—“Ah voting for Love!” Or they would quietly approach me to ask what the party was delivering.
The words of my "campaign promises" were Love messages in red capital letters on a white-painted wooden background. I placed these Love signs in random public places, to (ideally) inspire and uplift those who happened to see them.
Inspired by the conversation with the semi-homeless man, I recently churned out a new batch of Love signs and have been placing at least one a day, randomly, in public spots.
Sign 1: "The Miracle of Love is Real" – placed on some old concrete steps at the side of the road leading to Store Bay. The four steps had probably once belonged to a building that no longer exists. I considered those steps a symbolic "stairway to heaven" – the subliminal message being that when we believe that the Miracle of Love is Real, we can achieve "heaven" on earth.
Sign 2: "Be Love" – placed on the ground below a large poster (a skin-cream advertisement) of a woman laughing and caressing her skin. A large white heart of cream is on her upper left shoulder. The visual juxtaposition could possibly send the message that to "Be Love" and to be loved can include the experience of joy, lightness, of being caressed, cared for and having one’s heart nourished (as per cream to skin).
Sign 3: "Give and Receive Love" – placed on the second-to-last of the wooden steps leading to the Kariwak ajoupa where I was teaching yoga that evening. Love is an energy to be given and received. The placement acknowledges the aspects of love that are akin to what we experience in our Kundalini Yoga sessions –feelings of being relaxed, energised, uplifted, safe, blessed, balanced, empowered, grateful.
Sign 4: "Believe in Love" – In what may seem like an ironic twist (as I am the one painting and distributing all these Love signs and clearly subscribing to their messages), the wording for this sign was inspired by a question to myself that day: “Do I believe in Love?”...perhaps more of an investigative, rather than doubting inquiry.
The morning I went to place that sign, I had no particular spot in mind, so I let my intuition "drive the vehicle," as it were. I felt like "autopilot" took me to an empty back street where, lo and behold, on the road in front of me was a huge, heart-shaped pothole, filled with water from recent rains. It confirmed the message on the sign – which, of course, I placed on the kerb across from the pothole.
Sign 5: "Rise in Love" – This message was inspired by the shape of the wood scrap, which is reminiscent of the semi-circular appearance of the rising sun on the horizon.
En route to my destination that morning, I rested the sign on a pillar across the road from a friend’s mother’s house. There was no specific rationale for the placement, other than the fact that the pillar was an elevated point, and that her mother might appreciate the message. Philosophising in the aftermath, I could further say that in the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs, ins and outs and round-abouts, love is a pillar – a strong foundation, an elevating source. In any moment, we can choose to rise in and with it, above whatever else could bring or keep us, or another, down.
As Shakespeare might have written: "To rise or not to rise; that is the question.”