Rodin on Faded Beauty and a Faded Daisy
I’ve just finished my first month of recovery after having had open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. Not easy. I’m like a faded flower hoping to bloom again, soon. They say it takes 2 to 3 months to fully recover, but I’m impatient and want it sooner! 🙂
Faded flowers fascinate me! Is the beauty of the flower that once was gone? I don’t thinks so! This is a new stage of beauty, a wiser stage, even more true of faded human beauty.
One of my favorite books is Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land.” He made me revise my thoughts of beauty 45 years ago when he describes the following statue:
She who used to be the beautiful heaulmière
“You know I wouldn’t be rude to the old woman who posed for that. What I can’t understand is a so-called artist having the gall to pose somebody’s great grandmother in her skin . . . and you having the bad taste to want it around . . . ”
“Anyone can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart . . . no matter what the merciless hours have done. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me—but it does to them. Look at her!” Quote from Stranger in a Strange Land
Below are photos of a faded daisy that I took on my first semi-long walk after my aortic valve replacement. I was feeling as faded as this Daisy! They are all versions of the same photograph.