Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Beautiful Moments

boaw-2013

Thanks are due for the second year in a row to the lovely and talented writer August McLaughlin, and her wonderful idea for a blog festival. Inspired by Sam Levinson’s poem The Beauty of a Woman, which you can read on August’s blog here, we are talking about beauty, feeling beautiful, aging gracefully, and that inner glow. Check out her blog today and tomorrow for stories, prizes, and links to other great blogs!

My contribution from last year surprised even me. As I said then, this blogging thing never really turns out how you expect, but something is always revealed. For this year’s post, I got to thinking about the question, “When have you felt most beautiful?”

I came across Gustav Klimt’s painting The Three Ages of Womanklimt3ages recently as I researched a character for my novel-in-progress. I have been fortunate to see the original in the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Rome. I came around a tucked-away corner, and there it was, at the end of a hallway. Klimt’s figures in this work represent the triangle of femininity often embraced by western culture and repeated in stories, marketing, and media — the Virgin, the Mother, and the Crone. Though not as celebrated as The Kiss, The Three Ages of Woman is interesting in Internet reproduction and stunning in the gold-leaf splendor of the original. The detail of the mother and her little sleeping daughter, lovely. The figure of the crone…well…but that’s the one that draws you in, for its gritty, powerful reality. The knotty knuckles, the fall of wavy grey hair, the strong wide feet. And you know, the more you look at the work, the more it is the crone that is the beautiful one — every bit as appealing as the swirling loveliness of the sweet mother and infant. Here in that stark figure is the truth of a life lived and survived.

I have come to think, however, that a woman experiences beauty not in stages as in Klimt’s painting, but in moments. More like the beads I used to string on dental floss with my young daughters. Some patterns were repeated, some were unique. Some of the necklaces were large and lovely to be seen in public, and some were small and completed only for private viewing, to be tucked away in a secret place, or your heart. So to answer the question, “When have you felt most beautiful?” here are some, a very few, of MY moments:

  • Pulling on my little white gloves with the pearl button on the wrist and the white marabou around the cuffs at about age six.
  • When all of my bridesmaids helped me dress in the cramped choir room in the church where I was married, and the moment after that when my husband-to-be laid eyes on me at the end of the aisle.
  • The incredibly soft star-shaped hands of my daughter stroking my arm as she nursed.GoldfishKlimt
  • My girls piled on either side of me in bed as we read a book of their choosing.
  • Beating another bike racer to the line in a full-out sprint.
  • Right now, remembering all these things.

What are some of YOUR moments? Do women’s lives have stages? Are all stages beautiful?

Painting at right: Klimt’s Goldfish

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25 thoughts on “Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Beautiful Moments

  1. Jenny Hansen says:

    Beautiful post, Kecia! I agree that it is made up of moments.

    I think I felt more beautiful when I was pregnant than almost any time. Whether I was or wasn’t was completely irrelevant to me. I felt beautiful and powerful, and so grateful that we were able to have a child.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Thanks, Jenny! It’s funny, the more I thought about all moments, the more I could come up with ones when I felt beautiful, and so many of them revolved around my daughters.

  2. Emma says:

    That was lovely, Kecia.

  3. […] Kecia Adams: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Beautiful Moments […]

  4. What a gorgeous post, Kecia. I loved this bit in particular: “I have come to think, however, that a woman experiences beauty not in stages as in Klimt’s painting, but in moments.” Indeed!

    Thanks so much for participating, and for the wonderful support. 🙂

  5. So simple & sweet, but I’m misty, remembering my own similar moments. Difficult ones. Stellar ones. Loved your post. New fan, totally.

  6. Debra Eve says:

    What lovely, poetic moments, Kecia! Thank you. There are times when I feel a beauty in just growing older that I never felt before. Perhaps it’s just a true appreciation of being alive.

  7. Jess Witkins says:

    I love this artist’s work, for one. But more importantly, I love your list of what makes you feel beautiful. Precious moments in many stages of a woman’s life!

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Jess! Thanks for your comment, Klimt has always been one of my faves but became even more so when I saw the original of this painting in Rome. Writing this post I sort of had this Zen moment after I came up with my list of moments, like “Oh, wow. There is something to this power of now thing.” 🙂

  8. “The incredibly soft star-shaped hands of my daughter stroking my arm as she nursed.” So heart-warming, Kecia. 🙂

  9. The Three Ages of a Woman is glorious. Seeing it in person is going on my bucket list. I am mere weeks from entering the age of crone; just two weeks from now, I’ll have gone a year without a menstrual cycle. A few short years ago, the idea would have horrified me. Now, I find myself welcoming it with wide open arms and a grateful heart. I’m coming into my own, as the crone.
    Stages and moments; the stages housing the setting, and the moments as the starring – sometimes supporting – roles. (Another example of theatre as life creeps in. I need to pay attention to this.)
    A beautiful post, Kecia. Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a beautifully written post, Kecia. I’m so glad I found you on Audrey’s site. I’ll be 47 in a few weeks, and I feel like I’m still growing in to my beauty. Though my skin isn’t as soft, nor my body as svelte, I feel more beautiful now than I did in my twenties. Perhaps it’s confidence or wisdom, or perhaps it’s just my failing eyesight 🙂

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Thank you so much! I agree I am more comfortable in my skin here in my 40s than I ever was in my 20s! I have also ceased to compare my looks to other women. It sounds a little sappy but we are all lovely in some way so why compare? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      • Isn’t it wonderful that we get to this place in our lives? That is one of the lovely things about reading the blog posts from August’s site: it is so powerful to read about the strength and beauty of women out there!

  11. Beautiful post. I agree–there are moments of beauty within every month/year/decade. I love how you touched upon those moments that you felt most beautiful in. 🙂

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Kourtney! Thanks for your comment. I was thinking there could be a ritual in this moments thing, kind of like a gratitude journal. Have to do some thinking on that! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  12. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with
    us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
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  13. […] Don’t forget to check out the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest III at August McLauglin’s site. And you can see my previous two entries at BOAW I and BOAW II. […]

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