Fallen Caryatid With Stone

by Auguste Rodin

The B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford University
Palo Alto, California

The following excerpt is by
Dan Bowman
from the Blog Archives at

So I was thinkin'...

...about how I was going to comment here about how you really need to be able to see the beauty in things. ...to look past the surface. ...or look at the potential. ...or just think about it for a minute.

Yeah, there's non-beauty out there. ...and perhaps close by. ...and sheer horror. ...but is that worthy of much time spent in contemplation, other than to learn from it? ...or to try to change it?

But to be able to open your mind and your senses, to be able to look and see...

...and to be able to at least try.

Years ago, Robert Heinlein used this statue in one of his stories to attempt to show beauty where apparently there was none. His words:

This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She's a good girl---look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods...and still trying to shoulder her load, after she's crumpled under it.

But she's more than just good art denouncing bad art; she's a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women---this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled under their loads. It's courage...and victory.

Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn't give up...she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her...she's all the unsung heroes who couldn't make it but never quit.

Robert A. Heinlein,
Stranger in a Strange Land

...and then I'm reinforced with some emails.

...and by garret ... with two photos.

...and I go on about my day.


5/21/02 2:20:38 PM

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