|Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.
hmm. no archives? no tagboard? hmmm. must be bad mojo.
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Tuesday, June 01, 2004 I had thought I'd get another Pioneer Story post - for the next one is a funny one - but I spent a goodly part of yesterday at another funeral. The shocking health crisis of last week turned sour and a very beautiful, gracious, but reclusive woman died way too young. The weather was beastly - pouring rain, then sodden humidity. We were about 4 people from the door when the heavens opened up with a final downpour at the same time that the church maxed out, so the last 100 of us went 'round to the Sunday school rooms where they piped in the service. This was not an Episcopal funeral, with all it's calls and responses, but more of a Baptist one with all the talking being done by the preacher, so it was easier to listen to at a remote location, but since we couldn't hear the organ, nobody sang the hymns.
This was not a peaceful funeral or even a grateful one. It was just a down in the dumps blue one, because the one we bid farewell to had choked at dinner and died from brain damage due to lack of oxygen. creepy. scary. crummy. But it was also upsetting to folk because she was gentle and soft and this was a violent frightening death. It was also interesting how many people were upset because someone so beautiful had died. It's very interesting how beauty affects people. We covet it and treasure it and when there is unusual beauty, people attach all sorts of virtues to it, which may or may not be there.
I wonder how obliged the very beautiful are to be sweet. Or perhaps I ought to qualify that - I wonder how obliged a certain type of beautiful woman is to be sweet - in much the same way another type of beautiful woman is obliged to accept the judgment that she's mean, or stuck up or stupid. Nobody could ever accuse B (of the funeral) of being stuck up, but also, she didn't have that sort of beauty. She was more the heavenly Madonna beauty than the fashion model beauty.
I think of all the things Princess Diana was expected to be. It really didn't matter what she really was like so long as she fulfilled the public's expectations. Ordinary looking people, especially ones living in ordinary circumstances, don't have to live up to much - mostly you get to reveal yourself as you want to be seen and people accept or reject you based on what you offer. But the unusually beautiful, like the unusually ugly, have extra burdens, I believe.
BD asked for my observations on the long sweet drive home, (for he always takes the back roads). Other than personal comments on individuals, the biggest thing I noticed was that we are becoming the older generation. That layer of people between youth and death. One woman who's worn baby doll dresses all the years I've known her is finally putting aside peter pan collars and puffed sleeves. All the men are either bald or gray. Funny, their voices are still the same, so when you hear someone you haven't seen in a while speaking behind you, you get a shock when you turn around and see his dad - only it's not his dad - he's just gotten old.
So. My life has been a long passage in the same place. I've watched us all, young hopefuls with bright eyes, now we are the stately matrons and patriarchs (or the burdensome parents or even the SOB's who run things ... into the ground). One day we'll be the frail old sticks, balancing precariously at the edge of life. And then we will be the subjects of funny stories told in parish halls and Sunday school rooms. A few of us will have left public legacies, all of us will have bequeathed personal ones.
It is all a big circle - a sweeping curve from dawn to dusk, like the sun's chariot race across the sky.
Good-bye Becky. I'll see you soon enough.
posted by Bess | 7:31 AM