Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Down in the Holler

On Monday my friend, Michael, and I left our cozy Glen to wander up the Canyon to some crazy old lady's house. There the civic duty was performed; I voted. Take THAT Arnold! Thanks for wasting our tax dollars and personal time on your absurd measures.

On the other hand, had I not wended my way to Grandma's house, I never would have seen The Klumps sitting on their steatopygic asses, marking off the citizenry as we queued through Granny's living room. Really, I admire people who give their time to important things. And, I don't want you to think that I am so spiritually recidivist as to scorn obese people. Honestly, I'm not that ugly. I'm the girl who fell for that wheelchair-bound bastard, Henry (I guess I've never actually mentioned his condition in my various whinings, but he is disabled).

Yet, have you ever been stunned by the surreal appearance of another human being? It can be a person of any shape or size, but sometimes you really feel that you are peering into a comic strip, or at a wax effigy. Maybe it was the wig, maybe it was the splay of pendulous breasts, or simply that mother AND son had hiked their waistbands high enough to gird their ribcages. Perhaps it was simply the uniform and strict adherence to earthen tones in their garments.

I really don't know, but when Michael and I walked out, he surely did see the stunned look on my face. It's possible I dissociated and flashed back to childhood, when I was chained to my step-father's various political campaigns. Eight-year-olds should NOT be stuffing envelopes until 11 pm, Sir. Nor should they be in the society of overly ardent time-donatin' 'cause we got no life liberal volunteers; they are just plain weird. Or maybe it was the disbelief of watching those fatuous neophytes getting sucked in by you, would-be prophet that you were. Plus, when I think of the second-hand smoke... I've been leery of politics ever since.

Anyway, back to my confusion. On a rare occaision, I see a person whose physical appearance seems to so thickly mask who or what they are inside, that it creates a cognitive dissonance. That's the experience I am feebly trying to express. Other times people can appear to be so truly what they are on the inside that the effect is equally startling. Of course all this is just my projection.

A few months ago, I listened to some generally inscrutable new-agey tapes a friend lent me. The best thing I got out of it (and this really was good), was an idea that the physical appearance of a person, the skin they live in, is like a set of garments they have chosen to wear throughout this lifetime. Any defects or so-called flaws in the person are like holes in the clothing that allow the soul to shine through. The tears allow the true person to be revealed. This means that people who incarnate in "ugly" clothes are the ones who are most honestly showing you their soul.

Conversely, someone who chooses gorgeous, seamless, untorn garments is hiding behind them. Pretty people are not showing their true face. Think of the most famous examples of neurotic self-concealment or obfuscation: Michael Jackson, Joycelyn Wildenstein, Tammy Faye Baker (though I really kind of like her), and pretty much anyone who tries to deny the aging process, which means most of us.

I'm not saying I think attractive people are inherently bad, dishonest, maladjusted, spiritually bankrupt, etc. But it is really an interesting way to look at it, especially to overthrow the bogus notion that beautiful people are somehow more virtuous, heroic, or desirable.

On the other hand, my friend who is studying accupuncture says that in Chinese medicine, beauty is an expression of health and good spirit.

Whatever the case, "variety's the very spice of life." - William Cowper, some centuries old Brit.
& "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in its proportion." Sir Francis Bacon

1 comment:

scott Leberecht said...

"someone who chooses gorgeous, seamless, untorn garments is hiding behind them." This is brilliant. I have always felt this, but never been able to put it in words. so true. and you used the word "steatopygic"-- I had to look it up. such a snooty-sounding word for "fat ass." love it.