I’ve been a fan of Victor Huge since I was young. Truthfully, it all started when my mom bought me the Les Misérables soundtrack when I was about 13. I tortured myself with that soundtrack, belting out each song in my bedroom with teen-angst abandon. I have been lucky enough to see the show in New York, Boston, and now Perth, and to this day my heart aches over each and every mournful song.
Following my teenage fandom, I later read the masterful novel and became more an ol’ Hugo fan than ever. If you haven’t read it, the novel (and subsequent musical and even further subsequent movie made from the musical) tells the story of social condemnation, of poverty, of fighting for the greater good and fighting for what we believe in our hearts to be right. Contrary to popular belief, Les Misérables actually doesn’t translate to ‘miserable’ but rather “the impoverished.” And I think it’s always been a favorite because it speaks of the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of poverty and devastation. As you have probably worked out by now, this is not a cheerful story. Imprisonment, prostitution, death, war, unrequited love, and injustice abound as you follow main character Jean Valjean through all 1200 pages (have I made you want to read it yet??). And yet you still close the book and feel hopeful. You still leave the theatre with a lifted spirit. And it’s kind of an amazing feeling to gain from a story that is so full of sadness.
A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.
I have no idea what brought this book to my mind this morning as I was scrambling to get ready and ingest my first coffee of the day. Except that we all go through periods of darkness. Sure, it’s highly unlikely any of us have been in jail for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread, but even the most stressful times, our saddest times, our times of impending change, we too come complete with a certain resilience. And maybe all you need is something to hope for.
So if you, like so many others around me right now, are experiencing sadness, uncertainty, loss, confusion – know you’re not alone. We’re all stumbling through something and when you least expect it, life happens. War is waged. Chaos takes over. And the best things we can do is roll with the punches. And savor the joy in the little things – the perfect floral vintage dress and a garden to twirl in. Your pup raising his face to the sun and grinning like a fool. Immensity to dream in. And a certain broadway soundtrack you can belt out on the way to work, loudly and with utmost abandon. Remember, you’re tougher than you give yourself credit for.
Just keep spinning…
Dress: The Jolly Gargoyle (similar modern or vintage here, here & here)
Headband: Gift, from Love Like Style
Necklace: c/o Chloe + Isabel
Handbag: Gift, vintage (similar here & here)
Shoes: Steve Madden, thrifted (similar here & here)