When I saw this dress from Nylon Outfitters for Collabor88, I decided to wear it for my Mardi Gras set when I DJ’ed at The Velvet. It has that flamboyant exuberance with which the last day before Lent is celebrated in many parts of the world. For someone raised in a religious tradition stripped of anything approaching exuberance, it is a fascinating spectacle. There is an element of the opera bouffe in the decadent and wildly flamboyant celebration of music, life and the sensory pleasures for that last Fat Tuesday before the penitent and solemn Ash Wednesday and the month of sacrifice for Lent. As an outsider to the faith, the rituals are like a play, a passionate, loud and beautiful play of extremes – melodrama in its highest form.
I will never forget my first exposure to religious exuberance. One Sunday, someone slipped into the back of our church after the service started. No one turned around to look, because we were a congregation of serious, severe and studious Scandinavians who would never express an emotion so gauche as curiosity. That this was someone very different was obvious the first time we heard the word ‘Amen’ coming from behind us. The pastor was giving his sermon, a sermon punctuated for the first time in his long, long pastoral career with phrases like “Amen!” and “Preach it!” “Praise Jesus!” and “God Bless!”
If you can imagine a congregation of quiet, note-taking, margin-writing Scandinavians, some of whom still recalled with shock and disapproval a visiting pastor swaying to the rhythm while singing “Power in the Blood”, you can get an inkling of the chagrin and curiosity that gripped that frigid little church that Sunday morning. But of course, everyone was too polite to turn their heads and look behind to see who was there. I could see a few people try to get a surreptitious glance, straightening their necks and turning their heads ever so slightly, but everyone sat in the first four rows and he was too far back. I, too, started to ever so slightly look to my left before my mother grabbed my knee and squeezed her reprimand.
After the service our curiosity was satisfied. He was a traveler, a Baptist from Mississippi, who did not want to miss fellowship with his Baptist brethren even if he was so far from home. Of course, he had no way of knowing that Baptist services were so very different in our neck of the woods. He was also the first African-American several of us, including me, had ever seen in person and not on television. I remember he was not the least bit uncomfortable about being vocal in a congregation of the silent. I also remember he was made welcome and invited to Sunday dinner with the family whose turn it was to host the pastor, on the receiving end of the fawning hospitality heaped on a foreign exchange student when they first arrive. It was a brief encounter, memorable for the novelty. However, I most remember how next Sunday when the dour and ascetic hatchet-faced elementary school principal remarked “I do hope our service today will be free of interruption.” that my mother, never shy about unkindness, said, “I don’t know. It was good to be reminded that faith is supposed to bring us joy.”
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Skin: Adam N Eve Skins – Shelby T1 Fawn
Makeup Tattoos: Schadenfreude Sulfur Vlinder Blushing (glitter)
Schadenfreude Malachite Vlinder, Full
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard
Mani/Pedi: SLink Mesh Hands
Hair: [LeLutka]-GLORIA Hair – Rita
Clothing: (NO) Ivy Drape Dress – Yellow/Green
Shoes: Miamai_Camille High Heels_Chartreuse Flax
Jewelry: (Yummy) Caprice Necklace – Color
::je suis…grande::all color::bangles