Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cecilia, a portrait


What makes a woman beautiful? There are women of astounding beauty. Women who are tall, sculptural, with blond hair, blue eyes and generous breasts. They are the women that we expect to see on a magazine cover, on a movie poster. Just past her twentieth birthday, Cecilia is pretty, but with a discrete beauty that is only revealed under close inspection. She is petite, with features reduced in proportion. She has black hair parted in the middle; a sea of unruly curls messed up by her habit of sticking her fingers into them, combing them back in a coquettish motion that often ends with a wild shake of her head. Her face is triangular and symmetric, with high cheekbones, straight thing nose and sharp chin. Her lips are expressive, able to change in a heartbeat from a charming smile to a grimace of annoyance, and her big dark brown eyes are shaded by long eyelashes that emphasize that thoughtful look so common in her. One can make out the shape of the muscles in her strong, well-proportioned body, particularly in her arms and her thighs. Her breasts are small, with that shape rounded from the front, conical in profile, that establish youth and elegance. Her most attractive feature is her bottom, which has a bold, insolent curvature that make men turn around in the street to look at her as she walks away.

What makes a woman interesting? There are women with high-pitched, childish, excited voices. Other have voices that are as profound and seductive as the night. Cecilia speaks with a youthful, serene voice, sometimes fast, sometimes meditative. Her gaze often gets lost in the distance or glances self-absorbed at some random object that happens to be in front of her. Her eyes smile better than her lips, but they also know how to glare in anger or
to let tears flow with abandon. She moves with quick, nervous gestures, or occasionally rests motionless, lost in deep thoughts. Because Cecilia is above all a girl of exceptional intelligence, of unconventional ideas, who chases her goals with a stubbornness bordering obsession.

What is it that some women have to make everybody fall in love with them? Perhaps, more than their beauty or their personality, what makes them irresistible is the power of their passion. Cecilia carries inside a burning desire that, like it happens with volcanoes, can be asleep sometimes, but sooner or later it explodes in a rain of incandescent sparks and blazing lava flows. Somehow that inner fire peeks out in the glint of her eyes, in the warmth of her skin, causing many to be bewitched. But beware those who dare love her! For Cecilia is also a woman of dark fantasies, one who courts pain and infamy, and it isn’t always easy to accompany her to the murky places that she likes to visit.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of our story we encounter a different Cecilia. An innocent, immature and sanctimonious girl, trapped in the historical circumstances of the country where she was born: a Spain that was just beginning to wake up from forty years of gloomy dictatorship. That tyranny and the devastating war that preceded it could smother perhaps the yearning for liberty and justice of an entire generation. But what the fascists never expected was that the desire to be free and to fight for a better world will be reborn with renewed strength in the hearts of their own children.

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