You fall in love with a beautiful painting at an exhibition, or in the artist’s studio – you simply must have it! You take it home, you consider carefully where to hang it, and hammer the nail into the wall. When you spend time in that room, you look at the painting with pleasure, feeling the joy of being in love with this gorgeous find.
After some time has passed, the joy and thrill tapers out. You can sit in the room without even glancing at the painting that used to be so enchanting. Eventually, you don’t even notice the painting anymore, as it becomes part of the furniture.
You have fallen out of love.
Or, have you, really? What if there is something else going on?
The brain is a funny old thing. While it is constantly active, it edits out what is always there. It is like it says: “Yes, all the furniture in the room is still there, and I don’t even have to register how they look, I have this nice simplified memory image stored, I’ll just save energy by using that instead of looking.” You literally do not see the painting anymore.
The brain immediately notices changes, though. “Who put the garden tools on the dining table, dragging in all that dirt!?”
What if you outsmarted your brain (!) and deliberately caused that change which will make it sit up and take notice? What if you changed paintings, or changed which wall or room they hang out in? Yes, you are right – you would suddenly start to see the artworks again, rediscover how beautiful they are, and feel the joy anew! This effect lasts up to three months, and you can rekindle it by rotating your paintings, or have some stored away and change the display regularly.
And be gloriously in love again.