Friday, June 11, 2010

Ivory

I have been longing to join the Creativity Boot Camp along with some other wonderful women bloggers (whom I discovered through the Momalom gig), but the first word prompt on Day 1 threw me so badly that I had to let it rest for several days. I was planning to remain several days behind the rest of the camp anyway, as Boot Camp began in the days prior to my oldest flying out of country, and I needed to spend time with her. Anyway...the first day's prompt was the word, "Ivory," and I haven't been able to finish the piece of writing.

Here it is in its partiality...so that I can move on, and let it sit while I continue with the boot camp prompts.


Ivory makes me think of elephant tusks and piano keys and the book about the tooth fairy that I used to read to Mane when she first started losing teeth. It also makes me think of wedding dresses, of the more muted and elegant color of ivory in contrast to the stark white of...well...white. And then there's the stigma that off-white is for the non-virgin bride. And then my thoughts spiral away like elephant tusks thinking of the damage done in the name of female virginity.


I finished a novel about a week ago called Breath, Eyes, Memory about a Haitian girl who comes to live with her mother in the U.S. at the age of 12 and her experience with the practice of mothers "testing" their daughters to check the status of their virginity until they marry. This is to insure that the family name will not be dishonored by a woman turning out to not be a virgin on her wedding night. This, of course, raises myriads of questions for me. Among them: What kind of husband parades a bloody sheet through the streets after his wedding night? Should he really be proud of himself for that? 

And then I think of the opposite of the ivory wedding dress...the ivory tower: the elite untouchables, those who are too clean and pure to touch the rest of the world. Strangely, I feel that both the obsession with virginity and the cloistered elitism are part of the religiosity of conservative Christianity...or, perhaps, it isn't Christianity, but just religiosity, which seems to fall so readily into legalism. I'm not talking politics. I'm talking about graceless religion...the kind of religion that looks down its nose at people but refuses to get dirty in the trenches doing the real work. Hypocrisy. Claiming to love but refusing to love anyone who is lost, or wounded, or misled.


And I keep picturing the curve of the elephant tusk, the fine, easy graceful curve...the dangerous curve...both sides of the same coin. 


That's really all. Spiraling thoughts, eh?

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boot camp

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