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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Considering Mildred

One day, during the past 90 days, whether in a vision or a trance I cannot tell, save that I was transported out of my busy and familiar bearings to some peculiar and distant land. As I looked around me wondering what manner of place I was, an unknown voice speaking in rich cadences called out to me and urged me to observe a certain damsel which was to be revealed to me shortly. I knew not what manner of assignment this was or indeed why I would be thus chosen to undertake this task but there was something quite urgent about the voice that spoke to me, which altogether ruled out the possibility of my disobedience.

I did not have to wait for long either—for soon after that imperious voice came to me straight like a bolt from the blue, I could see clearly in front of me, a damsel that I had come to know as Mildred. I looked at her and called out her name, temporarily forgetting my ethereal state, but when she looked in my general direction and then walked past me, it dawned on me immediately that she could not perceive me. I could follow her everywhere she went, overhear her discussions with the people around her, and even occasionally be privy to her innermost thoughts and feelings –all without her faintest knowledge about my ever-present supervision. This fact struck me with singular force; and for a while, compelled against my will, I was granted the ability to trail a friend so as to observe her in close quarters, for reasons which are, as far as I could decipher, unknown.

Mildred—that verily is her name—I soon came to discover was a complex daughter of Eve. At this juncture perhaps, I should attempt to describe her outward form. She was roughly 5feet and 5 or 6 inches, with a chocolate brown skin which I can imagine might be described as flawless in some fashion circles. Her face was oval or perhaps more accurately round, with the cutest pinchable cheeks ever. She had a full shock of flowing jet black hair which she styled as differently as her mood permitted—sometimes, all shifted to one side of her head concealing one jewel-adorned ear; at other times she would let them drop gradually in front of her face scarcely concealing her somewhat prominent but expressive forehead. Set in that beautiful rounded face were a pair of bright, oval-shaped and as I beheld them, very earnest eyes. She had a piercing glance when she looked at you as though she could see into the very innermost recesses of your soul.  If, as they say, the eyes are a window to the soul, her window though being large were somewhat covered with a blind—so that even though you may look upon her face, and see the expression dictated by her expressive eyes, you may not fathom what strange, shatteringly complex thoughts were roaming freely in her mind.

She had a pair of full lips—the kind that many white girls of her age would fain kill for. As a matter of fact, when she parted her lips in a smile or a laugh, revealing a gorgeous set of white teeth, she struck you with her angelic beauty. And here, it is only fitting that I add that there was something about her that is at once sweet, tender, and innocent; something that impresses itself firmly on you when she smiles, chuckles or even laughs. Her neck leads down to a well proportioned body; nevertheless, if I were to be dreadfully honest, I’d reason that she was somewhat endowed with bigger breasts than her physical stature would have demanded, or that her slender fingers were perhaps longer than it should have. She was outwardly beautiful judging by the number of the male-folk who plied her daily with their obsequious requests for friendships or a relationship.

Moreover, it would be an utterly incomplete narration if one were to leave out the intangible, non-visual aspects of this damsel. And here, I am reminded of the sound of her voice—soft, childlike and musical. As a matter of fact, her voice rose or fell according to the plethora of emotions that coursed through her. For when she was genuinely happy and excited, though the number of times she is with this cheerful disposition seems to be growing lesser lately, you could hear the loud peal of her voice with the accompanying melodic laughter. And on those rare occasions her countenance shone with delicate all-encompassing warmth; a warmth and friendliness so sincere that you’d have to be hewn out of rock not to be touched or affected by it. Conversely, when she was sad and downcast, her voice assumed a husky essence—faintly audible and transparently tinged with deep emotion. She would sit at such times pensively brooding over matters which I have come to learn, she had apparently little or no control.

On some occasions, she would open her mouth and sing, and for all her flaws (which I will later speak on), you could not help but be captivated by the simple sincerity and earnestness of her carol. It would appear that she knows that people appreciated her singing because as often as I could remember, she would burst forth into song like a veritable cherub, her cares and worries dropped momentarily, her eyes closed, as her being seemed consumed by the tremendous power of music or else transported onto some kind of celestial plane. With the help of a good vocal coach, and the right contacts into the erratic world of music, I think she has the potential to be a great singer.

At any rate, Mildred was not without her foibles.

Like all fallen creation, she was without question, a slave to the dictates of her baser nature. While she was kind and gentle, she was also obsessive about a number of things and would not hesitate to speak either in anger or in spite if she felt that the objects of her obsession were being taken from her. Though she firmly denies this, I could sense that she was also quite materialistic in the sense that she places a huge premium on her physical appearance, clothes, jewelry, and fashion accessories. She has to have all the accoutrements of a modern day fashionista and you could tell by the way she carries herself that she fancied herself somewhat of a fashion police or a fashion trend-setter. You may wonder why I would consider an obsession over one’s appearance to be quirky but you only need to have seen a promising young woman’s devotion to her looks to see how that leads to a downward spiral; it gradually eats away at the pursuit of intellectual and spiritual excellence and replaces it with crass, insipid materialism which exalts form and fashion over substance.

Furthermore, her mood was erratic and turbulent by means of the various reprehensible passions that gripped her. She could be hauntingly jealous, petty and small-minded. It is perhaps useful to say that her nature tended to be quite carefree and impulsive, as she has confessed that on many occasions she had regretted some of her actions or words which were not carefully considered. She was to the best of my knowledge also an attention hound—she craved the indulgence and the attention of the male species; an attribute which has unfortunately landed her in a string of loveless and dare I say, dour and directionless dalliances with dudes.

But there was something strangely fascinating about this young woman. If she were to tell you her life story, it would be a surprising tale of emotional hardship and pain. Beneath her childlike face and her elegant beauty lay a bruised spirit. As I watched her, I began to see an emotionally insecure and painful childhood, and in some ways, I surmised that they played a role in shaping her present personality. I could see that as a young girl, she lost her mom early and was thus denied the warmth and motherly affection that only a mother could provide. I also noticed that once or twice she was sexually assaulted by people that were close to her—a very painful ordeal which she stoically kept hidden from everyone, choosing to bear the shame and indignity of it all rather than expose the people who audaciously robbed her of her childlike innocence and purity.

Then as she grew older there was the emotional roller coaster of living with strict and morose guardians; of dating some young and unprincipled chaps; of running after emotionally unavailable guys; of losing her virginity to a bumbling and beastly boor; of feelings of inadequacy and unrequited love; of low-esteem occasioned by a super-critical self-evaluation of her physical form; of stress and strain with her academic work even though she was easily gifted with raw smarts; of indecisiveness about what her life would amount to or when she would get married (if at all); of loneliness and feelings of not being loved; of crushing disappointment at the treachery of her boyfriend-stealing female friends; of confusion and sometimes deep suspicion  and revulsion at the male species; of her father’s new marriage to a woman whom she had neither met nor indeed met her children;  of nights of intense sexual arousal with no apparent source of relief; and above of all, of the conflicting inner battles between the angels and demons of her own nature.

Thus it was that on one day, feeling utterly forlorn and incensed with despair, she wept some bitter tears.

“Why me? Why must these things always happen to Milly?” she said, apostrophizing herself in particular.

Then in communion with me afterwards, she recounted in painstaking detail, another intriguing but doubtlessly commiserable account of betrayal at the hands of a most trusted ally. But as I watched her, I could sense that she was torn between her righteous indignation at the unpronounced but stolid audacity of her buddy and her own conscience which elected at that moment to remind her of her of her unbridled selfishness and her callous disregard for the legitimate feelings of her dearly loved pal.

Then spoke I to her in accents grave and sonorous, urging her in so many words to tame her hurt feelings of betrayal and her desire for retribution because things, especially matters of the heart, have a way of sorting themselves out in the end, if patience becomes our watchword. This appeal to the better angels of her nature produced a very interesting and strange phenomenon.

Herein was the profoundest of things—hitherto, I had esteemed her brash, unpredictable, impulsive, emotionally scarred and sometimes exasperatingly juvenile. In a moment’s notice however, it was as if a veneer was lifted from her general comportment and an amazing transformation happened before my very eyes. Suddenly, the once proud head bowed in humility; her blazing fires of wrath were replaced with wells of compassion; her contemptuous tone gave way to a forgiving mellowness; her clenched fists relaxed; she took a deep breath and reached down deep into the recesses of her soul and mustered the courage to forgive whatever wrong she felt she had previously endured. And in so doing, she found peace and a momentary respite from her downward spiral.

Therein lay the mystery to this damsel—for quite apart from what I was led to believe about her general vanity, I discovered in short notice, the magnanimous and Godly attributes which took possession of her faculties with such child-like innocence and simplicity that defied understanding. Indeed, in a moment’s flash, her youthful exuberance was replaced with a sagacious candor; in a twinkling her sometimes shy weakness were replaced by a gentle strength of character.

Indeed, as I chronicle these thoughts, I cannot but think that Mildred, or Milly as she preferred to be called, reminded of a fallen angel. It seemed to me as I observed her that every now and then, like an abased angel, she would set her gaze skyward, raise her wings towards heaven and rise as though desiring greatly the former purity, innocence and strength that characterized her former estate. It was as though she sought redemption. Verily, in those moments, she did show a remarkable strength of character and a selfless kindness that gave true assent to the meaning of her name. Nonetheless, with tiresome and predictable regularity, the effulgent spark of the Divine that I perceive in her wanes, and somehow, powerless as she would seem, she would once again be enveloped by a deep and gathering darkness. She would once again find herself in the throes of painful and remorseful inner disquiet. Bubbling to the surface, no matter how masked they may be, will be the familiar currents of vice. In that lowly and downfallen state of affairs, she might even scoff at scripture or question the Uncaused Cause of all things; she might even be offended by those who strive no matter how haltingly to live above the dictates of the carnal flesh—you know, this trumpery clod of kickable matter!

I recovered from my trance at the behest of that imperious voice that summoned me earlier. In a matter of moments, the memories of what I was shown struck back at me with incipient incisiveness. I had faithfully noted the vision. I found Milly a few days afterwards and observed her hoping desperately to find a picture different from that which I had been given.

Here is the final verdict going forward—Heaven and Hell are still locked in a vicious conflict for the mind, heart, soul and desires of this comely, once-chaste daughter of Eve. I know not what side will win the battle for her soul. If peradventure she comes across this missive and reads it, she should take the words to heart lest some careless indiscretion overtake her and spell long-lasting ruination.

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