Becoming a real girl…
I think everyone wants to be adored, even the stubborn, independent souls thirst for it in the secret pockets of their hearts. I didn’t grow up with great examples of marital bliss, but I will always remember how fondly my great teacher speaks of his parents, blue collar workers, and yet at the end of a long day his dad would sit his mom down and wash her feet, a wordless act of the deepest respect, devotion and affection, and an image that has stayed with me for the past 15 years. Tenderness sometimes comes to us from the most unexpected places, if we would but shed the blinkers and look past what we are conditioned to want and expect. And as I sat pondering this last night, in the wake of meeting someone extraordinary, who makes me feel like Pinocchio, shedding the hard exterior of dead wood to become a real boy of living flesh and blood, an old poem popped into my mind…
The Romantics were a strange and rebellious bunch, but they set out, in their art, to say something about the importance of not losing touch with nature and truly authentic and human feeling in an age when they felt the encroaching power of social division and the industrial era. In their own way, they moved the world. Today, in this 21st century, we pretend that we have overcome social division and have embraced industry and technology and made it our servant and plaything, but instead it separates us the more. To find someone who sees you for who and what you truly are is increasingly rare! I searched out the poem and was deeply moved by it last night, not for Lord Byron or the subject, but for everyone who goes through life never being truly appreciated and adored… for the first time in my life, I don’t count myself among them.
She walks in beauty – Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.