Love and a red rose can’t be hid.-Thomas Holcroft
I saw this painting when browsing the art gallery on board the Carnival Imagination last week. As I gazed at her obscured but beautiful face, my mind started weaving a story. I couldn’t afford to buy the piece. It was an original, and the price was $3,500.00. I don’t think Roger Darling would have liked it if I purchased it with my Sail and Sign card. I just stood there and took in her beauty. I had my little digital camera with me. There was a staffer there but I snuck a shot of the portrait anyway. He turned as the flash went off. I smiled at his young and adorable face. Then I giggled. He smiled back and shook his head at me. Why is it that most men do that, shake their heads at me? Am I really that ridiculous? Yeah, I guess I am.
I turned back to look at her. This beauty. Holding a lily in her hand. I imagined her standing on a beach. Sand in her toes. Smiling but crying inside. I thought that she was probably standing on the outside looking in. Wishing to be a part of something. Better. Bigger. More. I guessed she was wistful. That she was waiting for someone to save her. When all she needed to be was her own savior. Still she waited for more. For him. She was standing in a beautiful place, but felt so ugly. So fake. The hand on the chest. It was her discovering that her skin was gorgeous. With age and experience she had become more lovely. More loved. Even though she felt alone. Look at her curves. Look at that hourglass figure. So perfect. I’ve learned that about myself recently. My curves are perfect. They’re me.
I guess that’s what I thought when I looked at her. That she was me. Standing in a roomful of people but feeling alone. Being happy but weeping inside. Wanting to be more. Do more. Write more. Feel more. I realized as I looked at her. I’m perfect the way I am. I am, me. Beauty, frailty, weeping, smiling, craziness, ridiculousness. I’ve a beauty that no one else has. I have a heart that loves with everything, but I’m selfish too. I am good. Even when standing in a roomful of people and wanting to scream, I am good.
I walked away from the painting, then past the staffer. I turned and flashed him a smile. He smiled back and told me to come back again. And I did. I stood and looked at that painting. That Lady in Red, at least five more times. She was beautiful and I couldn’t get enough of her.