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In Our Element

For my 2023 digital Valentine's Day card, I reused an image I made last year during a bout with a particularly debilitating head cold. A cabinet card photograph of a minor royal became an undersea adventure in which a lady bedecked with the jewels of the sea communes with an upside-down snail. Thanks, Nyquil!

A weird image to choose for a hearts-and-flowers holiday? Definitely. And still: love—of all kinds, not just romantic—makes us feel that we've come home, to a place where we can be our weirdest and most authentic selves. That we're in our element, so to speak.

Even if that element is a deep, drifting realm in which we garb ourselves in our lavish and elaborate best to lock gazes with a gastropod.


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