Sunday, February 6, 2011

In All Her Glory

I'm captivated by these dolls by Khamit Kinks. I find them beautiful. The one immediately above resembles my cousin Maureen, who is four years older than I am. As a child and young teen, I hero worshipped her with a force almost like a yearning. People said we looked alike, except she was the perfected version of who I would never be. Her father said as much to me one morning when I was a chubby, broken out thirteen—"See what you could have been?" His daughter had just passed through the room, laughing in a way that animated her sea-green eyes. My uncle didn't mean to be cruel. I was a pale version of his glorious daughter and he was simply stating the facts as he saw them. As everyone saw them. The curious thing was, I didn't begrudge his daughter her gifts. No, I adored her. I was slavishly loyal to her, at least until I turned fifteen and began to step out of her shadow and into the possibility of who I could be. Almost always, my cousin treated me with the easy affection of a big sister and it was enough. We are still close today. Age and weight gain have made us more alike than we were back then, except she will always know what it is to walk through the world magnetizing all eyes, while I remain a watcher. Who is to say who has the better view?


  1. Angella, you make this world positively glow with beauty. I want to just hold you up to the masses and say, "This is what the Lord wants!"

    And I don't even believe in God.

    But I do believe in love. And in the power of gratitude, and in really looking hard at the world and picking out what's best in it. Not ignoring the shit and the bile and the terror, but not making the mistake of thinking that's all that matters, either.

    I just admire the hell out of you.

    I think a long evening over a massive pot of paella and a dozen iced-down beers would be a good start.

    One of these days....

  2. Dear Scott, that will be a moment so fine.

    Thank you for the sense you've given me of being accompanied in the deepest part of the night. Sleep well, my friend.


  3. Angella, your generous young heart could have been tainted and embittered by being dimmed in the sun of such beauty, but you loved her for who she was, which included things you could never know and never have, just because of who she was which included her beauty. That you were able to know just to bask in love and wait until you could step from her shadow and grow into the extraordinary woman you are now is so moving. You were wiser at fifteen than most of us ever get to be. Thank you for showing us your love and gratitude. xo

  4. deb, bless you, dear soul. Happy Sunday.

  5. Melissa, not embittered, but i did crouch down inside myself for a while. it is unkind to put people on pedestals, because at some point they will come crashing down, our illusions will shatter, and i think only then can we offer the truest, most embracing love. She didn't choose how the world responded to her beauty, but she was shaped by it. Even I, who adored her, put her in a prison of hero worship. And then one day, the veil lifted, it was over the smallest thing, a birthday card, a story for another day maybe, but from that point on, I was freed to be me and not just an inadequate version of someone else. I love her dearly still.

  6. Hey girl. I'm here. I'm worshipping the beauty you represent. That's about all I can say right now.
    Amen and hallelujah.
    Yours truly...Ms. Moon

  7. Hey Ms. Moon, Amen and hallelujah to you too. And love.

  8. I've learned there are so many kinds of beautiful. I too was the watcher, always seated next to or rooming in college with a natural beauty who turned heads and I felt forever in a shadow, yet grateful to never be desired for my outside appearance. It is its own strange gift.
    You are beautiful. Your words are beautiful.
    The dolls are stunning, and now I must learn more about them. Thank you for this amazing post.

  9. Mel, such an empowering way to process this experience. and how wonderful to welcome you here! thanks for leaving a comment!