Clay is strengthened through fire, love through friendship.

Clay is strengthened through fire, love through friendship.

February has said goodbye, and with its end, we have also left behind Valentine’s Day, that time dedicated to celebrating love, especially in its romantic form and in the context of relationships.

Falling in love is beautiful and often uncontrollable: an overwhelming feeling completely lacking in subtlety, and it could be the most intense experience we live through. Life goes on calmly until, unexpectedly, someone appears and thoroughly unsettles us. We fall in love with every detail of that person: their essence, their scent, their ideas, their voice, their movement, the way they pronounce our name. That same person who, although they were there, we had not noticed in that way, and whom we suddenly see in a new and revealing light. Our brain is flooded with hormones, and our mirror neurons activate intensely, to the point of even feeling attracted to what we sense that person might like.

It is often said that we feel deceived when the reality of the other person comes to light after the falling in love phase. However, it is not a trick, but a natural fascination that, if it did not exist, would probably make it impossible for us to reproduce. This mechanism set in motion by wise nature makes it easy for us to match and commit, to show the best version of ourselves and to easily adapt to the other person.

But nature only takes us so far. Then, these intense initial feelings give way to a new stage, marked by respect and affection. If we have built a family, companionship emerges to carry out daily tasks. At this point, we also face the risk of falling into a dangerous dynamic, where the weight of numerous shared responsibilities can extinguish the flame of the relationship. And it is then, since nature no longer helps us much, that we must make an effort and consciously work to keep the connection alive. This is the point at which my partner and I find ourselves.

Those who know Manu and me, know that we are two very different people. Although we have important things in common such as sensitivity for beauty, love for ceramics, certain philosophical ideas and moral and spiritual values; however, we come from different cultures, our temperaments could not be more different, and our rhythms of doing and thinking could not be more opposite either.

Sometimes I wonder why I intertwined my life with someone so different from me. How is it possible that, despite all our differences, we haven’t gouged each other’s eyes out (even though we’ve both wanted to at times) and yet, we continue together, eager and hopeful? The only viable answer is that friendship has made all this possible. Manuel was the first partner I had with whom, before any romance arose, we were very good and close friends. And I truly believe that this friendship is the foundation of our relationship. From it comes the superpower we have today to keep syncing up and finding our way to each other, however difficult it may seem at times.

True friendship is the basis of every constructive human relationship. Relationships with our partners, our colleagues, our bosses or employees, our children, our parents, are much more positive and fluid when they are intrinsically based on friendship.

I recently read an article that said friendship is the ugly cousin of love. It made me laugh, and I have to say I disagree. Friendship is what gives solidity and authenticity to our human connections. It allows relationships to flourish without undue expectations or pressures. It’s the gratitude for what each one can give and the freedom to be oneself.
Far from being the ‘ugly cousin of love’, I believe friendship is truly the fairy dust of every successful and healthy relationship.

Although I initially wanted to dedicate this entry to love, I’ve realized I am ending up talking more about friendship. However, I firmly believe both are inherently linked: true love cannot exist without friendship, nor can true friendship exist without love. Friends should be valued as the most precious asset we have, whether they are among our partners, family members, work colleagues, or are simply friends with no other additional involvement.

Let’s keep them close, take care of them, and strive to create beautiful moments together; after all, shared experiences are what truly remain at the end of the day. We don’t need to wait for a birthday, Easter, or Christmas; the mere fact of being alive and healthy is reason enough to gather and enjoy life together.

At 137º we have designed ‘Ceramics with Friends‘, a series of experiences to enjoy in a group, creating an unforgettable space full of meaning, laughter, affection and complicity. I invite you to discover them and remember that we are at your disposal to assist you in booking any of it or to respond to your suggestions and comments,

A big hug to everyone,

Dalia Sofronie