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Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mona Lisa Smiles

It is widely held that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in all of art history. That may be so. I’m sure we’ve all seen that smile. In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve seen it so many times that we barely pay it any mind any more. Pity.

Ms. Mona is worth some serious contemplation every now and then.

There is something in that smile, no? Poets have pondered it, songs are sung about it, historians and critics forever hypothesize about it, and dreamers continue to dream about it. I can get lost in that smile. Why? I think it’s because the smile elicits, not one reaction, but many. The smile captivates because we see emotions at play. We hunger to look and learn and discover more. Who can resist a glimpse into the enigmatic human heart?

* * *

It was a misty Kansas morning. Her face was half-lit by the soft rays tip-toeing past the open window. “You’re beautiful,” I whispered. She smiled a genuine “Mona Lisa” smile. Her face instantaneously, and simultaneously, registered surprise, modesty, pleasure, disbelief, thrill and gratitude. Her face was so delightfully expressive! It was, truly, the window to her beautiful, enigmatic heart. She never looked more radiant.

She was in full blossom.

* * *

I paid an admission fee at the Louvre just to see the Mona Lisa.
I stood patiently in line (and a long line it was). I was jostled and swept along by the crowd as we passed before the barricaded painting.

I went through all that just to glimpse a painted smile.

I would gladly suffer infinitely more and give up all my worldly treasure just to glimpse, just one more time...even if it were to be for the last time...that radiant smile in the soft morning light.

* * *

4 Comments:

Blogger Amaris said...

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter: therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal - yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

I envy the privilege you had to view such a piece of art.

Tue Jun 27, 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Ah, Keats. He needs to be read on a rainy, summer day, when the world is in bloom and the air hints of melancholy.

I envy the privilege you had to view such a piece of art.

Yes, I've been blessed. (And it was worth the time and trouble to see the Mona Lisa, too).

Amaris, find your way to Paris...someday...whenever...just go.

Tue Jun 27, 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Amaris said...

Today is a rainy, summer day. Keats would be proud.

I plan to visit Paris as soon as I possibly can... If it were up to me, I would throw my life into Europe. I've been persuaded, however, that a degree is a nice thing to have. I intend to visit Europe next summer, and continue my pursuit of a degree abroad.

Tue Jun 27, 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Most excellent!

(and, yes, education IS important...and an education abroad will be just that...an incredible education)

Tue Jun 27, 10:11:00 PM  

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