Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When the glove fits ...

One of my animal guides whispered into my ear yesterday morning, Gather all your torches and make of them a cleansing bonfire.

All my torches? Well. That is interesting to think about.

The metaphor of torch is resonant. I've been thinking about torches I've carried for people or ideas. I've kept a lot of them burning way beyond a reasonable period of time. Then there are the torches that have been extinguished prematurely by me or someone else, or due to a change of environment in one way or another. I'm talking about disappointments, situations or relationships that ended badly, that sort of thing. I've held on to these burned out torches - don't ask me why. It's a form of internal hoarding.

One potent image that sprang to mind was the torch wielding mob scenes in monster movies. Below is a clip from a Frankenstein film. The action gets really good 1 minute into the video, with the dogs straining at their leads and barking furiously, the women cowering and weeping, the men tasting blood. Wow.

Of course I also thought about Triumph of the Will, particularly the scenes of the torch-carrying Nazis. There's something about the raging, passionate, monster chasing mob I understand (though it's frightening), but cold blooded, precise, organized torch wielding troops make for a very different image. To me it's much more frightening.

I think of Indiana Jones warding off snakes with his torch, also the Olympic torch of course. The statue of Liberty, one of my favorite images/symbols, lifts a torch high above her head.

Clearly further contemplation of my torch inventory is needed. I'll think about it for a couple of days prior to lighting the cleansing bonfire in my mind's eye. As a friend pointed out, that's kind of perfect since the feast of Lammas falls on August 2nd. Timely!

You can't plan for mildewed clothing, at least I can't imagine anyone who would (good lord), but just like the visit to the Holocaust Museum the day after I received my tattoo, this purge of my clothing is aligned exactly with the first festival of harvest. The thought came to me that my torches have gone moldy from disuse or from burning long past their expiration date, exactly like my ancient, ratty, stained, ill fitting clothes. They are, in many ways, one and the same.

I suppose I could get all worked up about having to toss my City Movie Center teeshirt, also my Kansas City: Paris of the Plains tee.

I could but I am not. Hasta la vista, baby. I will gather my torches and throw them on the ritual bonfire as I have gathered my moldy clothes and tossed them in the trash. So be it. Hell yeah.

Onwards and upwards. Shalom.

It's as if the cloud is trying to impersonate one of the chateau spires. Very cool.


Reya Mellicker said...

I should report for those not on FB, that I made a successful first foray into clothes shopping today. 6 new tops, 2 new pairs of shorts and a pair of pants.

Just as I typed that I heard a loud clap of thunder. The weather gods approve!

Kerry said...

Wow, I bet this feels really good. Like a bird must feel when it sheds its old feathers.

Reya Mellicker said...

It feels so much better than I thought it would. The REI clothes are right for me, for how I live and work. They fit! And there are no stains - also no memories - embedded in them. Wow!

Elizabeth said...

You are inspiring me-- I really dislike clothes shopping, but am getting tired of having ill-fitting clothes that don't help me feel good about myself --plus I wear clumpy shoes since I have feet problems and can wear only lace up shoes that will take orthodics so that limits me in styles of clothes... but maybe with some effort (and REI? I like their clothes) I can do better. Thanks for sharing your dilemma as well.

Cheryl Cato said...

Great that you had such success in your foray into shopping! REI, Whole Earth-type stores always appeal to me.

As for the torch clip... the mob reminded me of men going out to find and lynch someone. Very scary, but then mob mentality is frightening.

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth, I also bought some stuff at TJMaxx but I think the REI stuff will last much longer and look good for awhile. It's well made of high quality fabrics. I do feel better about myself in this outfit. Wow.

Reya Mellicker said...

The Torah Outreach Resource Center - TORCH - is located in Houston. Ellen!

Pam said...

Haha! Mob scenes in the old-fashioned Hollywood style are classic. Do the dogs have croup? Sounds like the chilly night air has got to them..and the mob has manners and a well orchestrated sense of direction, very un-moblike -and no-one interupts!! They rabble on cue and listen when necessary. Wish controlling tough high school kids were that easy!
Glad you are enjoying your new clothes-new beginnings Reya.

Pam said...

I know you love the film, but can I just add I've seen that look of terror on women colleagues' faces when they are told they have to teach out of control Year 9s for the rest of the year.
All jokes aside - torch imagery is powerful. Your Statue of Liberty is such a powerful icon.