…to me (cha cha cha)
Happy Birthday to me (cha cha cha)
Happy Birthday dear MEeeee! (cha cha cha)
Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee! (cha cha cha! HI-YA! Funky Chicken, in the kitchen, with the pigeon, eating quail, looking quite pale, in jail, in a fridge, under a bridge…)
Ok. You get the idea.
Anyway – a while back, my little sister asked me what I would choose to have, if I could have any famous painting or sculpture in the world. I told her “Winged Victory.”
Technically it’s the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It’s also called the Nike (Greek Goddess of Victory) of Samothrace. It sits in a place of prominence (as you come up the Daru staircase) in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.
[See, Mom & Dad? That Bachelor’s Degree in French pays off EVERY time!]
Why would I want her for my very own?? Winged Victory is considered a great masterpiece from the Hellenistic period and is one of the most famous sculptures in the world. She shows a mastery of form and movement. Is she taking off? Is she landing?? She moves forward with grace and strength; she does NOT skitter in on her belly the way the Hawk People do (Hot People – hee hee hee).
To me, she is utterly fantastic and powerful, despite having her block knocked off a millennium ago. And even though she’s missing her head (well, and her arms, but let’s not quibble), she is incredibly beautiful.
Now, we all know it’s nigh-to-impossible to be a Greek Goddess of Victory by living a life filled with only sweetness and light. Instead, you can pretty much guarantee she’s had many hard-fought battles in her past. And her beauty has been forged in that fight. The fight…uhn, uhn…for her right…hunh, hunh…to paaaaaarrrrrTTYYY!!! (Boo-yah! Bonus points for bringing in the “80’s song for every moment of life” theory into my birthday blog about Winged Victory. Come on, Folks! You GOTTA give me some props for that one!) [snap, snap, snap]
The basis of her beauty? Her AGE and the life experiences that come with it.
Does this mean that my 10-year-old daughter ISN’T beautiful because she’s so young?! No – that’s not what it means at all. She literally vibrates with energy and, with her big brown eyes and darling, unlined freckle-face, she is absolutely lovely in her youth.
But it’s only when you’ve gotten your block knocked off a time or two – by an excruciating illness, the miscarriage of a baby, the loss of a really comfortable job, or any number of life’s big and small hurts – yet with courage and fortitude, you raise yourself up to move forward again against the wind. That. THAT is beautiful.
And that’s the kind of beauty that only comes if you’ve LIVED a little (or a lot…and partied a little…or a LOT). So if you’re of a certain age. Stand proud. Say it out loud. Don’t try to hide your age. Because with age comes TRUE, well-fought, hard-won beauty.
So, All the Beautiful People I Know….I’ll go first. I’m 45. Today. (cha cha cha! HI-YA!!!)