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Love Locks Inspire Curiosity

By Rene Esler
I admit that I am a curious individual. More frequently than not, my curiosity bends toward topics involving science, math, or engineering, and while I wish I could say I am a philosopher, I think I am too dense to understand the depth of most philosophies.
Nevertheless, I am curious. And I am a commuter. Not just any commuter though – I am a pedestrian commuter. I am one of the few individuals fortunate enough to walk to work every day. This commute feeds my curiosity, as I see and hear much as I walk, and I have the time to get lost in my own thoughts.
My most recent mental meandering involves the evolvement of “love locks,” three of which are currently clamped on the Memorial Drive overpass fence at I-20. I first learned of love locks a couple of weeks ago when a Parisian friend of mine told my children that when we visit her in Paris, we need to bring a lock so that we can write a message of love on the lock and lock it on the link fence of the Pont des Arts. This idea intrigued me, but eventually slid into the recesses of my brain to make room for new thoughts.
But a few days later, as I walked to work across the I-20 overpass on Memorial Drive, I saw three locks attached to the chain link fence. I swiftly swung the conversation about the Paris bridge back to my conscious self and flipped over the locks. Indeed, there were messages written on them. How did the movement first begin? I don’t wonder who decided to write a heartfelt message on a lock and then secure the lock to some immovable object. The gesture of the lock makes sense to me – love is eternal, love can’t be broken. What I wonder is, who thought to flip over the first lock to see if there was something written and then clamped on another messaged lock in a sign of solidarity? And then I wonder who was the person, or persons, who decided to ignite the movement here?

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