Flipping around, looking for something to wile away time, I came across Splendor in the Grass, about young love. I cried at the end, as I always do. Why? Because Deanie, the heroine, tries so hard to be a good girl. And when being a good girl loses her the boy she loves so deeply, then she tries to be sensual. But her being a good girl is important to him, too, because he loves her. She breaks into pieces and when she is back together again, he has moved on. And so has she, driving away from the ranch where she has just met his wife and seen the child that might have been hers. She isn’t pathetic. She is lovely inside and out and moving forward with her own life. But what might have been is there in the car with her and with the viewer.

It made me think again of becoming a woman and of sex and how a girl-woman goes forth to meet that part of her destiny. Before birth control, the complications were huge. But after birth control, I think it’s all still complicated. I know a girl-woman who is so in love with her someone, who loves her back. Will her being able to explore sexuality more safely guarantee happiness? It’s so complex, this journey into a sensual self. Society doesn’t make it simple; religion often makes it sinful; conventionality tries to make  it invisible and nondisturbing.

Maybe it shouldn’t be simple. I don’t know. I just know from my own experience that the journey can be so difficult. That journey is often what I explore in my novels.  These are the lines from Wordsword at the center of the story:

What through the radiance

which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Through nothing can bring back the hour

of splendour in the grass, 

of glory in the flower,

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind……

What do you think?

3 responses to “splendor

  1. Way too much to say here. I lived that movie in my own life, sans the mental institution. It’s a long story–but a mother meddling cost me my true love and he married someone else. We are together now, for the last 9 years. But we missed our youth together and building our own family.

    As for sexuality issues, there is a marvelous account in yesterday’s Sunday NYTimes Magazine. It deals with current sex education in the schools, with only one school in the whole country teaching a liberal view. Most teach abstinence–a throwback to the 40s and 50s.

    Ironic you brought it up just as Natalie Wood’s drowning case is in the news after 30 years.

    Happy Holidays, Miriam

  2. I agree, sex remains a complex issue and probably always will be. The mystery mixed with ancient imprinting and social expectations is a psychological powder keg.

    In some cultures, sex is not such a “big deal.” I don’t think it is any less complex in these cultures – especially when we consider the AIDS pandemic. But it seems less laden with taboo, guilt, hypocrisy and all the other negative baggage we hang on sex in the United States.

  3. I think it is a matter of personal self worth and knowing who you are. If you have good self esteem then others seem to respect it. and If you are a recognizable success then it is even easier to have others accept your actions no matter what they are. Madonna is a good example.

    May I also say that I think it is really neat that I am assigned my own icon.

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