Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Dreamed A Dream

Beauty. What is it, really? Can we quantify it...or qualify it? Is it possible to break it down into an outline, catalogue it, or measure its breadth or depth as if it were the ocean? Or is it something than can be charted and tracked? The stars have beauty. We can calculate their distance from the earth, their age, their luminosity. So, what of people? How do we measure the beauty of the person? Do we look into that sparkling spot that is in each of us to find it hidden there?

A stodgy, middle-aged spinster stepped upon the stage. Her dress was of a slightly dated style; it covered a body - not fat - but simply shapeless. Her graying hair bobbled in disarray. Although her eyes had a certain sparkle, one could see why they were easily overlooked, being upstaged as they were by the thicket of her impossibly heavy brows. She is the invisible woman you pass on the street, or who sits across from you on the train. No one important. No one special. Once you part, you would not be able to describe her. No one so plain, so nondescript, could carry within her anything of truly enormous beauty...correct? So assumed the audience. So assumed her judges. So would we all have assumed, if we had been present. But then, she began to sing and, suddenly, beauty burst from her like a super nova magnifying in brilliance with each luminous note.

The song she sang was from Les Miserables, a story of beauty and of courage. A story about redemption. "I dreamed a dream in times gone by, When hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving..." Susan Boyle: spinster, singer, and beauty of great proportion. Please watch it unfold.


  1. Isn't this so cool? My son was watching it with his cousins over Easter when she first came on and they were all electrified by her performance and came rushing back into the dining room where the adults still were to tell us all about her. I caught up with the clip later on youtube and it brought tears to my eyes.

  2. I also saw this on YouTube - at a friend's lunch after everyone started talking about it. I had tears rolling down my cheeks after a few bars. I think singing is so amazing - to just have that pure gift inside you, to hold your creative expression within yourself like that, not requiring any external factors to bring it to the world - and Susan Boyle captured the best and worst of us all in that performance. It was really something.

  3. Litlove and Doctordi, it was awe-inspiring. Makes me feel good just to think about it!