Thursday, January 6, 2011
Love in Black and White
Our bodies are illusions, ya know. Smoke and mirrors.
Have you ever met someone and had a familiar feeling? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a stranger and thought, "You are so familiar to me... I KNOW you!" ?
Happens to me all the time. It's 'cause I HAVE met that somebody before.
When I found this dress I gasped and clutched it to my chest. I whispered, "You are so familiar to me, Oh Gorgeous Dress. I KNOW you!"
Then I turned to the stranger next to me and said, "AHHHHHH! MIIINNNE! I was MEANT to own this dress! It's destiny!"
I couldn't help myself.
The stranger was jealous. I could tell. So I stuck my tongue out and did a raspberry. (That's a lie. No tongue. No raspberry.)
This dress is a SILK 1940's HANDMADE MIRACLE. I paid $35 with real money from my wallet. I didn't even trade the old things in my closet for NEW old things. I paid CASH MONEY, HONEY.
At first I couldn't zip it up because I've gained 5lbs of Holiday Winter Coat. I had my husband strap me in. I can't breathe, but oxygen is highly over-rated. Some things are more important than others.
This dress is my favorite thing EV-ER in the world!
I'll tell ya a sad, triumphant, romantic tale about this dress.
Once upon a time there was a man and a woman madly in love. Sue Ellen and Jimmy.
They were up in heaven and hadn't been born yet. They were excited for a new adventure. They wanted bodies. They wanted a chance to be like The Gods.
"Promise me you'll find me, Jimmy," said Sue Ellen. "Promise me you'll help me through this veil of tears!"
"I'll find you, my love. I'll find you and we'll be together forever. I promise."
They stared deeply into one another's eyes memorizing every ounce of truth in the soul of the other.
Jimmy and Sue Ellen were born in 1946 in a small town in South Carolina.
Sue Ellen was born into the family of a well-to-do Congressman. She was given every advantage a girl could desire.
This was Miss Sue Ellen's dress. She wore it to her Cotillian agaisnt her mother's wishes.
"But Darlin," said her mother. "Cotillian dresses are supposed to be white! What will The Community think if you 'come out' in a blue dress?"
"I want to wear this dress, Mama! I won't have a cotillian at all if I have to wear a stuffy white dress with gloves! I refuse to look precious and sweet for the sake of The Community!" She stamped her foot.
Miss Sue Ellen was the Katie Scarlett of the county. Every young man vied for her attentions. Suitors made fools of themselves in attempts to win her affection. They lined up in droves at the family plantation for a chance to dance with the lovely belle at her party.
Miss Sue Ellen danced with several boys to appease her parents and their stuffy friends.
Then she slipped out the door in need of some fresh air.
That's where she met him for the first time on this Earth.
He was carrying a tray of mint juleps to the guests that mingled on the white wooden porch that stretched around the house.
BUMP! CRASH! SPLASH!
Glasses flew in every direction.
"Lawd! Are you alright, Miss Sue Ellen? I'm mighty sorry!"
She looked up, "Why, I'm just fine! Clumsy me! I swear I have two left feet someti....".
Their eyes met.
The world stopped turning.
There was a clap of thunder and lightening filled the sky.
There was a jolt and a remembering of forgotten promises.
"You are so familiar to me! I KNOW you!" she whispered.
True Love knows no boundaries.
Jimmy was a Negro boy. That's the word they used back then.
In the eyes of Sue Ellen's parents and The Community at large, Jimmy had no business so much as licking Miss Sue Ellen's boots.
Their Love was a dangerous one. Miss Sue Ellen's father belonged to a group of men who dressed as ghosts in the black of night and brought destruction to the innocent who dare over-step Man Made boundaries.
For a year the young lovers met secretly. They suffered greatly and knew this union could not be. Yet they could not deny the Power they felt.
I am loathe to tell you they were discovered making love in the woods one summer night. I don't want you to think badly of Miss Sue Ellen. She wanted to be chaste and pure. Really, she did! But her passion for Jimmy filled her with a burning that could only be quenched by his touch.
When they were discovered, Jimmy ran. He hid. Death was imminent.
Sue Ellen's screams could be heard for miles as her own punishment was carried out.
"PLEASE, DADDY! NO! PLEASE! I LOVE HIM!"
She was finally left to herself. Battered. bloody. broken.
She ran away that night.
She heard the dogs and men with torches in search of the man she loved.
I don't know if she ever found him. Perhaps they found each other and escaped. Perhaps they made a life together in Yankee territory.
Or perhaps she ran in the direction of the dogs and men. Perhaps she ended her own life when she saw the horrors that had befallen her love at the hands of Demons in White sheets.
All I know is that this life is a sleep and a forgetting. Our existence here is the blink of an eye in the face of Eternity.
We are not who we think we are. Sue Ellen is not a cultured, white Southern Belle. Jimmy is not a downtrodden, poverty-stricken black boy.
I am not a Mexi-Half Breed blah blah blah...
YOU are not merely the body that holds your spirit.
We are housed in these tabernacles of clay and begin to believe that flesh is all we are.
We begin to believe our worth is a direct reflection of the mirror. Not so.
We are Gods and Goddesses with Divine Worth. We are meant to Love. We are meant to search for Light and Meaning in this darkened world.
Sue Ellen and Jimmy are safe now. Together.
They passed the test with flying colors.