Friday, August 22, 2008

Explanation of Women for Neil, Part Quatre

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things
are corrupt without being charming.
This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things
are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
~ Oscar Wilde

Native American Ballerina Maria Tallchief

British Ballerina Margot Fonteyn

As I read through the comments following Lisa's most recent Explanation of Women For Neil, I noticed a disturbingly common theme: Shoes are silly, therefore any discussion, analysis, appreciation, or outright coveting thereof must also be regarded by sane members of society as frivolous, if not downright harmful, physically as well as fiscally.

This is nonsense, of course. All art is expensive, relatively speaking; all art can be termed "quite useless", as indeed Mr. Wilde himself did. But that is because art exists for its own sake--just as truth, its parent, and beauty, its child, do. It is; therefore we feel.

Shoes, then. Any decent series of attempts to Explain Women ought to touch on our motivations, especially the ones that lead us to make seemingly incomprehensible choices in footwear and more. And that necessitates an understanding, or at least some foreknowledge, of the archetypes and motifs that guide our imaginations.

I'll share a few of mine: Doll, princess, firebird, swan; dancers, all, ever dying and reborn. The ballerinas, three of my idols, at the beginning and end of this post.

Accordingly, those delicate, high-heeled, feather-light shoes I love (and I know I'm not alone in my obsession) remind me of the sculptures and paintings and gowns I will make--not to mention the dance classes I will once again take--when my currently-family-centered real life resembles my dream one. You see, I stand on my toes, which you have to do in my favorite shoes, and in the shoes of Lisa's post, and although I may be readying myself for something drearily quotidian, it all comes back: I imagine I'm airborne and free and quite small.

Beauty. It trumps reality most of the time. Watch:

Italian Ballerina Alessandra Ferri performs to Bach, played by Sting

Also at Cogitamus

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