LC Van Savage
Charmingalice and Other Kids
Statues are wondrous things. I just love to stare at them, can't get enough of them. Imagine, taking a big chunk of something and slamming at it a few million times with a chisel or hammer, chainsaw or whatever, and actually making a thing, a shape, come out of that mass; a person, an animal, something. What a gift. I'd really liked to have been a sculptor. I tried it once but found it to be extremely labor intensive and so switched to writing, since hammering at a keyboard is infinitely less taxing than hammering at a slab of something really hard. And there's somewhat less kerf loss.
My imagination really takes over when I'm looking at those (usually) great works of art. There are so many statues around the world, many heroic, brilliant, many ancient, some looking to be almost alive. Sadly, many of the most epic statues have been toppled by some regime or bombed to powder in some stupid war. (There's another kind?)
I love to gaze into the eyes of statues, and know what? They kind of come to life for me. No, I'm not a woo-woo, but I do love to play head games with my, well, head, and it does help pass what might be a boring afternoon.
So, asks my head, what if statues of people, before they became grown-up statues, were once children statues? How about the Statue of Liberty over in France, before she became the big green giant she is today. Did she laugh and play and dance about in green robes sporting a green pointy crown, dreaming about guiding immigrant people into a big harbor in New York, America, when she grew up? Did she ever think her right arm would maybe get tired as she held a huge torch up high forever? Did she even imagine that people would be climbing up inside of her to peer out over New York Harbor and Ellis Island? Or that a famous poem would be written about her? Did she ever even imagine that she would be one of the most famous statues in history? A symbol of freedom? I wonder.
And how about the Venus di Milo when she was a kid in Greece? Did she have her arms then? Did she think when she was playing around on the Greek island of Melos that one day she might be standing half-starkers in front of millions and millions of people in the Louvre, worshipped for her incredible beauty, and wondering where her arms went? Do you think she's glad that she, Aphrodite in Greek, has become such an icon of feminine beauty?
And speaking of arms, poor Winged Victory is also missing hers. How was it for her, being a kid with wings on her back? Did the other kid statues make fun of her? At least she had a head when she was a young girl on the island of Samothrace, Greece, where she was born around 190 BC. And were her peers jealous when she grew up to have one of the most powerfully sensual bodies in all femaledom and that she hung about with the likes of Zeus and Athena? Nike, Goddess of Victory, on a mighty ship's prow. What did she look like? I imagine her face even in childhood, was strong and beautiful, her thick, wavy hair streaming out behind her. I'll bet she was a great kid statue.
I knew a kid statue once. Pure white, she stood on a cream and brown marble pedestal in the hallway of my grandmother's old home. She was a chubby, sweet, naked toddler sitting on a stump, holding a butterfly on her open palm, smiling down at it, and there was a tiny, happy puppy at her feet. I wish I had that marble statue now and have often thought of trying to find it. Everyone tossed their hats on her curly head, but, outraged, I always pulled them off. I named her Charmingalice. I've always wondered what kind of grown-up statue she became. Beautiful, I know she'd be beautiful.
Hello Charmingalice, wherever you are. Where do you stand today? I miss you.
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