Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hortensia, the Harpist

She wasn't a beautiful woman by any means. In her era, she would have been considered quite a handsome woman. Rubenesque. Her name is Hortensia, the Harpist. Her features are a bit mannish according to today's standards. Yet when she played her harp, she felt like THE most beautiful woman in the world. She had a purpose - to play heavenly music before nearby kings and queens as well as those she loved most, her family.

Hortensia worked hard doing daily household chores which she felt made her hands so big. She hated her hand's size but she came from a big boned family line. She was the only daughter in a house full of burly brothers who loved her. When all of the chores were done, the last dish washed and put away, after the evening meal, she would play her harp for her family until they were sleepy and it was time for bed. Only to get up and repeat the cycle except when she received an invitation from the king to come play for him. Her brothers always accompanied her to these events.

Even if Hortensia's hands were not dainty as she wished, she could still pluck her instrument gracefully like a feather. Often she felt like the heavy harp was apart of her body and pretended it was her lover. Deep down she knew she had to be of a certain size in order to shoulder it's weight against her. Otherwise it would have bowled her over like boulder in a landslide.

Playing before kings and their queens, she wore only the finest of velvet robes making her feel as regal as the company she was in the presence of. Most of the guests ignored her since she was not a beauty to behold, but that was fine with Hortensia. She would become so lost in her music and the crowd would soon disappear. She was in a fog of notes and images of her dancing with the man of her dreams.

Hortensia knew she'd never marry a prince and live that happily ever aftering every woman dreamed of someday. But lately she'd been noticing for the past three nights, a most handsome guardsman watching her play and smiling at her when each tune ended. It gave her hope of maybe one day... she might be playing her harp with all her heart only for the man she loved, or later for her children. Or teaching her daughter to play to carry on her legacy.


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