Sunday, June 14, 2009

All-American Icons and their Power to Heal Me



If the human race survives into the new age, what do you think historians - say - 5,000 years from now, will make of the ruby slippers? Or the costume of 3CPO from the Star Wars films? The laptop on which Sarah Jessica Parker "wrote" for Sex and the City?

How adorable! I kept thinking, looking at the icons of this nation's culture at the Museum of American History yesterday. I'm guessing future historians might be puzzled, and perhaps not as amused as I was, by what is precious to us.

I studied for quite awhile a long row of protest buttons, dating back to the Suffragettes. A big percentage of these pins hail from the time when I was coming of age. There are pins calling for Civil Rights, "Women's Liberation," and many of them railing against the war in Vietnam. The era of the 1960's is historical, so bizarre to me since I remember it clearly. The 60's protest and peace pins are at least what you could call vintage, if not quite antique - not yet anyway. Just like me, I guess! Whoa.

One of my favorite rooms in the museum is the hall of First Ladies. In it are inauguration dresses going all the way back to Martha Washington's lovely - and almost unbelievabley petite - gown. That room is intensely haunted, but happily so. Walking in there is like entering a tea party that has gone on for two hundred years. Nice.


The pic was so blurry I decided to shamelessly photoshop it.

Of course there's an original Barbie, wearing her swimsuit and high heels, naturally. Interesting that she was paired up, not with Ken as you might think, but with G.I. Joe. Oh yeah! That's America! I thought, though I must have said it out loud because the people who were having their picture taken in front of a vintage vacuum cleaner a few feet away looked at me strangely right after I said it.

I know this is silly, but gazing at the ruby slippers (they're so tiny! Size 5!) really helped me move forward from all the weirdness of last week. The ruby slippers helped me heal - go figure! Onwards & upwards.


This is a banner on top of a stage set up in front of the capitol yesterday. The people were dancing for peace. Isn't that nice? I thought so, too.

30 comments:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Click your heels together & go back to ...
Hope you have a good week with no more crazies!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Cheryl. You know I grew up in Kansas City. Maybe that's why I needed to see the ruby slippers.

Cynthia said...

Maybe it is the color of the Ruby Slippers...you just needed to soak in all of the red energy and dance for Peace!!! <3

Mrsupole said...

Yes, follow the yellow brick road, the represents our journey and all the great wonderful and crazy things we meet out there. You can either get off the road or you can get back on it. When you feel you have gotten off the yellow brick road get a pair of ruby slippers and click the heals together and then you will be back on and all will be well.

God bless..

Mrsupole said...

Oh I also forgot to tell you that I have taken off a few more widgets to see if that makes it easier on you when you visit my site. Please let me know if this helps.

And thank you again for all the great comments you leave me.

God bless.

Barry said...

Museum of American History is high on my list of place to see.

As is dancing for peace!

California Girl said...

I'm glad you posted this because next time I'm in DC I'm headed there!

The ruby slippers (several pair in fact) went on the auction block around 1970 or '71. MGM decided to auction their props as they dismantled their lot to sell off property. I wanted those slippers in the worst way. I was 18. They went for $14,000. I'm writing this from memory w/o fact checking but I'm pretty sure I'm correct.

As for Barbie, still have all of mine including the original and her swimsuit and her wardrobe. Love love love her. My husband recently took a photo of my Barbies (Barbie & Ginger to be exact) and I'll post it.

deborah said...

wonderful
every bit of it
love

Sandra Leigh said...

Dancing for peace. What a great demonstration.

Love those ruby slippers. The best thing, for me, was that Dorothy wore them with socks. Very touching.

Joanne said...

I would imagine that many, many heels are clicked three times in front of that ruby slipper case. What an inspiring sight!

Susan said...

The ruby slippers are the icon reminding me that "There's no place like home", wherever that is. Home is sometimes a person, sometimes a place, sometimes a state of mind. Thanks for the reminder!

mum said...

the shoes and the quote on the banner - thank you for both.

wf: winglyri

Val said...

Reya i have been so enjoying your last few posts and all the food for thought therein. its like i come to dine at your blog!! strangely there seems to be a common thread of dealing with past issues/memories resurfacing insistently... whats going on up there now? x

Ronda Laveen said...

I had to laugh when I read your post from yesterday on immortality. I have been pondering so for the last couple of days. Go figure.

I don't know why but I, too, find that beautiful shoes have the power to give me peace. Although, I am at an age where I prefer looking as to wearing most of the heels. I also thought it synchronous that you mentioned Sarah Jessica Parker as whenever I think of her, images of her Manolo Blahnik shoe collection pop up. Happy Sunday!

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Sandra - she did wear them with socks! So sweet!!

And yes beautiful shoes are a guiltless pleasure, aren't they. No one can blame a person for having large feet, after all. You can't diet until your feet are size 5. Funny, Ronda.

And Val - beats me what's up, unless it's that devil full moon just past that unleashed so much energy. One of my clients just split up with her partner of years, another one is blowing off everything here to move to San Francisco. Both shifts happened in the blink of an eye. Wow.

poietes said...

I remember the first time that I saw the ruby slippers, and I thought the same thing: they are awfully small.

I think that we should all have our own ruby slippers so that when we become so completely discontent and overwrought, we can click them three times and have a time-out, so to speak. A break from all of the troubles, worries, and woes, and then when we are refreshed, we can tackle reality once more.

The Bug said...

I thought Ken was a wuss, so my Barbies always played with my brother's GI Joe doll (at least until he found out - ooowee you would have thought I'd emasculated him!).

Reya Mellicker said...

Ken was hardly sexy, was he?

Meri said...

I think dancing for peace is the best idea I've heard all day.

Lover of Life said...

We all need a pair of ruby slippers!

Verily I go. said...

I've used those slippers a couple of times myself. COMPLETELY forgot how much trouble Joe got into when he came over for a swim.... LMAO.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

So much to see, so much to dream about...those slippers do it for so many it would seem.

Washington Cube said...

I've stood there and clicked my heels. I know Debbie Reynolds owns one of the original pair...they used four sets in the movie? Not sure, but multiple pair.

hele said...

your post goes so well with the one i just read
http://thebuddhadiaries.blogspot.com/2009/06/art.html

i just had to bring the two together.

i suddenly find myself wondering what icons will represent our future say 100 years from now. will there even be museums?

A Cuban In London said...

I often ask myself that question and I hope future generations don't think us glib and shallow: Simon Cowell on American Idol, Sarah Palin running for vicepresident, a man in Britain celebrating Christmas every day of the year. It makes your heart sink. But there are so many other deeds at which we have excelled. Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

Greetings from London.

willow said...

Great post, Reya. I especially love the Capitol with the Dancing for Peace banner.

Megan said...

We have been planning to visit the "new" National Museum of American History when we visit DC in a couple of weeks.

Had you been there before the renovations? What did you think of it now... new and improved? or just new?

Reya Mellicker said...

Megan - It looks exactly the same to me, not sure what improvements they made. It's so 1958 in its design. I'll be curious to hear what you think.

Alexander said...

Gotta love the American History museum, but please remember that that golden robot with the one-liners from the Star Wars movies was C-3PO, not 3CPO.

Even the Express missed this error.

Reya Mellicker said...

Alexander - Ooops! Mistake noted. I won't make it again.