The Artist’s Heart: Castles, Life, Les Miserables

Sand Castle (Artist Unknown) "The Artist's Heart" by Maria Lauren

Sand Castle (Artist Unknown) “The Artist’s Heart” by Maria Lauren

“I know a place where no one’s lost. I know a place where no one cries. Crying at all is not allowed, not in my castle on a cloud.” Les Miserables, lyrics sung by the child, Cosette.

Gratitude: Soaking in the natural beauty of the last days of summer at my favorite place along the shore line, I saw children at play, dolphins too and a man about my age building a castle in the sand. Hours passed, as the oceans hypnotic sound eased my tired body and mind while I breathed in the fresh salty air. My husband was there and we took a stroll along the beach holding hands like lovers do. We had already shared a few decades together; our daughter is a woman now. During the pauses in our conversation, I reflected on our life together while the ocean waves crashed to the shore. Together we weathered the ups and downs of life; our love, prayers, including the nurturing of family, friends and the knowing that God is for us, kept us steady and strong.

We stopped to admire the castle in the sand. The sand sculptor was now building a barricade to shield his art from the approaching waves. I knew it was futile; the ocean’s mighty waves would eventually break the barrier. Why did this artist diligently dig away for hours creating something so beautiful when he knew the ocean would ultimately sweep his creation away? I noticed the artist’s warm and welcoming demeanor with all who passed by and stopped to take a look so I asked him the question that puzzled me.

His answer was charming and simple, “I get to meet nice people like you.” I chuckled and my husband and I continued our stroll on the beach. His art was created not for money, fame or praise but to communicate with other human beings.  Just a few feet away, a father and son were making their own version of the castle. I realized that the artist had inspired this moment. Long after the sand castles have disappeared, precious memories shared in love remain.


Maria Lauren – Riccio and Carmine Riccio

The master artist, God created us in love. During this season, fond memories of loved ones who have passed are bittersweet but their light fills the void in our hearts with warmth. The light of love can never go out because love never dies.

“To love another person is to see the face of God.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Les-Misarables-MovieThe heart of the artist touches humanity and the strength of the human spirit endures. This strength of spirit comes to light among the sorrows and hardships of life in Les Miserables. The evolution of this masterpiece is timeless. In 1862, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo was first published in French. Later, Les Miserables was turned into a musical operetta with French libretto and then adapted to English lyrics. In 2012, the movie was released with a stellar cast: Hugh Jackman, Ann Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen… etc. As I left the movie Les Miserables, the haunting melody had me humming and singing the lyrics: “Do you hear the people sing; lost in the valley of the night? It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.”

In 2012, we have seen our share of tragedies that tear at our hearts. As we take down our Christmas lights, let us remember the light of loving moments, a smile, a child giggling or the gift of kindness. With an artist’s heart, we have the ability to create beauty that shines light on the darkness.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Let faith and trust light your path,

Maria Lauren – YourPowerfulLIFE, (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio



Alberici Sisters

 * Maria Lauren and her sister, Linda Eichberg (Alberici Sisters) have written the book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS selling on-line at  Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Alberici Sisters followed their dreams into a showbiz journey through the groovy 70’s while performing with the entertainment icons of the 20th Century including the Rat Pack! Their book, produced by Billy Ingram contains over 300 pictures. The Alberici Sisters continue to entertain and lecture. Click on to title, “Alberici Sisters – Promo” at the  top of the page for more information. Contact:

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DISCLAIMER: This is a personal Blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

7 thoughts on “The Artist’s Heart: Castles, Life, Les Miserables

  1. I saw the original stage production of Les Miserables at London’s Barbican Theatre over 27 years ago, and I felt exactly the same as my high school classmate Maria Lauren. Although I have not yet seen the film, I am looking forward to doing so, and I will probably also watch the 10th Anniversary DVD which occupies a place of honor in my collection.

  2. The movie Les Miserables was fantastic! The co-stars, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, gave Oscar worthy acting performances. Although the movie was sad, it gave hope through it’s message of grace and mercy, triumphing over judgement and condemnation.
    Maria, I love your personal story of the man on the beach, building and creating beauty just for the pleasure of it, even though he knew it would soon be gone. It reminded me of these words attributed to Mother Teresa:

    “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    • Linda, thank you for sharing Mother Teresa’s poem, “Do It Anyway.” Mostly, thank you for sharing in “The Artist’s Heart” during the next chapter of our sisterly journey. 😉
      Love, Maria

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