Shakespeare Totally Knew The Beauty of a Woman
As some of you know, the gorgeous August McLaughlin threw a fabulous party last year called, appropriately, The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. Well, I missed it and was super bummed, so when she offered up the blogfest this year, I jumped at the chance to join.
Be sure to check out her blog tomorrow for all the links to the participants. Their stories will inspire you, make you laugh, and maybe even draw a tear or two.
It wasn't hard for me to come up with my post for today. Last weekend I attended a writer's conference and spent far too much time in the bar, surrounded by beautiful women as varied as the tropical fish in the hotel's enormous tank. We laughed, we drank, we told stories about things as wide ranging as goat herding to hipster music.
The guys who joined us talked mostly about sex. Namely, whether or not they could have sex with one or the other of the women at the table. Some day I might post about the misogynistic men, but not today. Because, as I sat there listening to their posturing, it made me think of my husband and what an amazing man he is.
He truly loves me for who I am. Intelligent, quirky, spontaneous, overweight, outlandish, a bit too sparkly at times, but a damn fine woman.
And because my brain works in strange loops, his love for me made me think of Shakespeare's sonnet.
I'll bet you're thinking of this one…
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
But I meant this one…
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
In the first sonnet, Shakespeare is saying that beauty is fleeting and everyone grows old. He then gets a bit narcissistic and says that the woman in question's beauty and fame are only relevant because he wrote about her. Her beauty will fade, but his words will live on. Nice guy, right?
Now the second sonnet ~ that's where Shakespeare shows he's capable of true love. He basically says, “Look, I know you're going to get old and skanky, your hair will be like a bristle brush and your breath will totally stink, but I love you, Baby!”
I ask you… which would you like your true love to quote to you on a romantic evening? Okay, to be fair, most of us would like the pretty sonnet, but really we want to know that we're accepted for who and what we are. Right?
Being loved, truly loved despite all my blemishes and faults, makes me feel beautiful. And because my husband loves me unconditionally, I'm finally able to view myself through his eyes and love myself truly, madly, deeply.
There isn't anything more beautiful than that. Not even a Shakespearean sonnet.
Celebrate the women in your life. Let them know how beautiful they are. A kind word costs nothing, but it pays dividends for life.
What makes you feel beautiful? Is there a special song or poem that makes you feel special?
Make sure you visit August's blog on Friday, February 22nd for all the links to this year's Beauty of a Woman Blogfest! Just click here to be magically teleported to her site.