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Monday, June 12, 2017

Our Lady

I've just begun reading Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving. There's a Virgin “battle” in the town of the main character's youth.
The Solitude Virgin, Lupe said, was “a white-faced pinhead in a fancy gown.” It further irked Lupe that Guadalupe got second-class treatment in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad; the Guadalupe altar was off to the left side of the center aisle—an unlit portrait of the dark-skinned virgin (not even a statue) was her sole recognition. And Our Lady of Guadalupe was indigenous; she was a native, an Indian; she was what Lupe meant by “one of us.”
I can SO relate. As a young Catholic School attending kiddle, I wondered why Mary seemed to always be depicted with medium brown to blonde hair – never dark like mine (or most folks in Mary's Galilee ‘hood). She had perfect, porcelain white skin and blue eyes – unlike me. She was thin and curve-less (I knew I wouldn’t grow up to be so) and had enough fabric in her gown and cloaks to clothe a squad of Jabbas. Oh and she was always totally placid – tranquillo even as her son was murdered. Completely unrelatable. Possibly the Virgin was doing some heavy ‘ludes. Maybe just Xanax, eh?
As a self-described Guadalupe girl, Lupe was sensitive to Guadalupe being overshadowed by the “Mary Monster.” Lupe not only meant that Mary was the most dominant of the Catholic Church’s “stable” of virgins; Lupe believed that the Virgin Mary was also “a domineering virgin.”
The child understandably missed the “fact” that all virgins were one – all of them were Mary mother of Jesus. Still, who can blame Lupe, Mary has, seemingly, 1,001 handles.

In addition to Our Lady of Solitude and Our Lady of Guadalupe, (AKA the Virgin of Guadalupe) there’s:
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage — I believe she’s the patron saint/mother of travel agents.
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel — Obvs, the heavenly advocate for shrinky dinks.
  • Our Lady of the Valley (Girl) — Like, fer shur!
  • Our Lady of Victory — Clearly she is Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore’s guardian mum.
  • Our Lady of the Angels — She hangs in L.A. and is a big baseball fan. You knew that, right?
  • Our Lady of Vladimir — Who knew? Putin's got his very own Virgin.
  • Our Lady of Fatima, Lourdes, the Cape, Mount Carmel, Africa, the Mountains, etc., etc.
Babe gets around, don'cha know. Also too:
  • Our Lady of the Lake – But wait just one red-hot minute, the Lady of the Lake was Mary???? ¿Que? I did not know this. I've also just learnt that Sir Lancelot was a foster kid. Lake Lady, AKA Nimue, raised him beneath the dark, muddy waters of her pond. Huh. Lance-baby was an early Aquaman. Waddya know! 
This particular Lady was also a bit of a kingmaker . The rabble were having none of that shit though as Dennis the constitutional peasant tells:
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony! …you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.
OK, nevermind, I don't think this is the same Mary. Mebbe. Call it a hunch.

Also, of course, there’s Our Lady of Complicity. I know, I know – dear Ivanka converted to Judaism – she’s not Catholic but then, neither was Mary.
IVANKA TRUMP HAS WRITTEN a book about female empowerment, and it is about as feminist as a swastika-shaped bikini wax.
I have many questions, the first of which is: Sweet, sleepless, unwed, teenage single mother of God, where does this woman get her nerve?
DO go read her whole column – it's magnificently awesome+.

Who’s my Mary? IF I were to go that route, mine’d be the Black Madonna. Why? She is too damn cool, that's why!

Let it Be – Beatles

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