Sunday, January 08, 2012

Happy Birthday

She Who Was the Helmet-Maker's Once Beautiful Wife

After last week’s blog, I’m not quite sure what to write this week.  I wrote about time flying, and my goals for this year, so this week, I think I’ll simply quote one of my favorite passages from one of my favorite authors, Robert A. Heinlein.  In the book “Stranger in a Strange Land” Ben Caxton, a news reporter is having a discussion with Jubal Harshaw who is sort of the paternal figure of the book, in a room with replicas of Rodin’s sculptures.  Ben has just made a derogatory comment on the nude of an old woman, “She Who Was The Helmet-Maker's Once Beautiful Wife.”  This is Jubal’s response.

“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master—and that is what Auguste Rodin was—can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired—but it does to them.”

At Twenty

September 2011, Age 60

Is there any one of us who doesn’t bop to a song from the year we were eighteen? Or glance in the mirror and wonder who that old woman is?  Sure—I earned every wrinkle, laugh line, grey hair.  I wouldn’t trade my kids or grandkids or great-granddaughter for all the gold in the world.  But I still love rock and roll.  I still have some good moves on the dance floor, and I don’t ever plan to get stodgy!

Lea Shizas MuseItUp Publishing, Inc.
My birthday is actually tomorrow, January 9, but…Lea Shizas, of MuseItUp Publishing, it’s your birthday today!  Happy Birthday, Boss Lady!

I promised gifts!  Comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win copies of both Rock Bound and Rock Crazy!

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  1. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Happy birthday to you both! And wow, Rochelle, the picture was awesome! You look barely older than your 20-year-old self. :D Write on and rock on, ladies!

  2. Hi, Adrian: Thanks for the good wishes. I was looking at the two photos and thought about how serious I looked at twenty. I was trying so hard to seem grown up because I didn't feel as though I was. Besides, I was in uniform and that was my engagement photo, I think, so I was going for demure. Anyway, these days I laugh out loud and don't care who hears me. And I appreciate L'Oreal! Someone asked if I dye my hair now that it's going grey and I said, "I've been dyeing it since it started going brown!"

  3. Anonymous5:06 PM

    Hope this comes through...I love "Stranger in a Strange Land". One of my favorite all time science fiction novels.
    Happy Birthday, Rochelle!

  4. Hope your birthday was spectacular Rochelle & that you got to spend it with lots of your loved ones.

    I had to lol at your saying you were trying to look grown-up in your 20 yr old picture. Isn't that how it always is? When we are young, we want to be or appear older & when we are older, we want to look young.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  5. Your article is quite interesting. I was told I have not changed in my looks for the past 20 years but I have to disagree with the people who tells me that. I have wrinkles that wasn't there 20 years ago. My body got a tad bigger too. ha ha Happy Birthday to both you and your publisher..I had mine on the 4th..started the party going for all of us. susan Leech

  6. Again, thanks for the comments! I'll put names in a bowl or something on Sunday and have one of my grandkids do the honors!