Long ago, there was a fairy tale castle overlooking the Loire river. It was an enchanting castle and the sight of the castle was so breathtaking that Charles Perrault was inspired to use it for his tale, Sleeping Beauty. Young and old marveled as the story of Sleeping Beauty came to life. Château Ussé or Château de “La Belle Au Bois Dormant” (Sleeping Beauty) was fortified in the eleventh century by Norman Seigneur of Ussé. Since then, the Castle has been owned by various people. The Blacas family is the current owner and they still live there today.
Each of the scenes carefully displayed in the castle began to awaken some of my own childhood fantasies. I was reminded of a time when my childhood friends and I used to pretend that we were “Sleeping Beauties”. We used to lie down with our eyes closed, waiting for that magical kiss, as the boys crept slowly behind us and cruelly dumped dirt on our faces. Suddenly, we were snapped back out of our fantasy and into reality. Have you ever felt that way with real-life experiences?
What is “Sleeping Beauty”? Is it just a fairy tale or is there more to her story? Maybe Charles Perrault was trying to tell us that in each of us lives a sleeping beauty. We all know what it’s like to wait. Just imagine having to wait 100 years to be validated, as Sleeping Beauty had to endure. When we are young, we dream of what we want to be. As we enter into our twenties, we struggle to find our voice and who we are and what we are about. Sometimes, the norm that society demands of us, can serve as a kind of spell. What people think we should be and living our lives for an audience, can sink us into a deeper sleep. Could “Sleeping Beauty” represent all of us at one point or another, when we have lost the sense of who we are? How do we then wake up?
So what is sleeping beauty? Is it you and me when we have allowed the demands of society to define us? I hope you find your voice. To find your voice is to find your place in the world and there is nothing more powerful nor beautiful.
Thanks for reading until next time!