Been obsessed all week rereading the story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward, the king who abdicated his throne for “the woman I love.” It would have been the biggest story of the 1930s except for something called the Great Depression and that other event called the beginning of World War II. The King’s Speech got me started, watching Bertie step into a role he didn’t wish for because of his brother’s abdication. And then I found an old volume of letters between Wallis and Edward and a biography. Their affair became a grand romance, but even with all the money, it couldn’t sustain itself, though his devotion to her never wavered. I was reminded again of how cunning one must be to survive in high circles of power, of how when the establishment spurns, it’s a tsunami, crushing everything in its path. I’m reminded of the narrowness of what is called morality, how culture shapes it. She was a divorced woman, a label which offended many. She was cunning, but not cunning enough to do the homework she needed to have done to have helped salvage him. I’m reminded of Marie Antoinette, only grasping her power when it was too late, because she was too busy playing. Play isn’t a luxury those in circles of power can indulge for too long. And love. What is that creature exactly? It can’t be simply lust to endure. Truth, duty, honor, gratitude, a certain purity of heart must underpin its fragile tendrils, as well as a sense of community and purpose. At least that’s what I theorize as I wind my way into my crone years and attempt to understand as fully as I can the unicorn we call love.
What do you know that I don’t about love? Tell me.
Posted in Before Versailles, book covers, books, character, creativity, Dark Angels, fame, historical fiction, history, Karleen Koen, life, love, story, story and character, Through A Glass Darkly
Tagged Duchess of Windsor, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Edward, King George, love stories, Marie Antoinette, the Great Depression, The King's Speech, Wallis Simpson, what makes a love story, World War II
This has been a lump in the throat week, first with Barack Obama winning the nomination and then with the remembrances of Robert Kennedy. Obama moves me when he speaks. I haven’t heard someone with his eloquence since John F. Kennedy. I can still remember Kennedy’s trip to Berlin and his famous I am a Berliner speech, the words said in German. Berlin had a wall, which was part of a division called the Iron Curtain, through its city’s heart, and his words electrified the crowd and electrified those watching him on TV, like me. Obama brings up a sense of hope in me; he calls upon the angels of our better natures, words another eloquent man, Abraham Lincoln, first used.
So there are always tears at the back of my eyes when Obama is at his best. And those tears slipped over this week watching the tributes to Robert Kennedy. Kennedy wasn’t as eloquent as his brother, but he was intense. You knew he cared. You knew he was stirred. And you knew he was a fighter. You knew that he represented something different, something the status quo had better be afraid of because the times were achanging, and he said it, felt it, lived it, campaigned it. I still remember waking up to my alarm going off, news radio shouting that Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated. My lumbering up to run to a TV to find out more. It couldn’t be possible, I thought. Not after the blow that was Martin Luther King’s assassination. But it was possible. 1968 was a year of wrenching kills, as if men who dared reach out to the stars must be destroyed by our barbaric heart. It was the year we all grew cynical.
Posted in book covers, character, Dark Angels, history, Houston, Karleen Koen, life, Now Face to Face, story, story and family, story and life, Through A Glass Darkly, writing
Tagged "Barack Obama", "Martin Luther King", "Robert F. Kennedy", 1968, angels of our better natures, fall of Berlin Wall, I am a Berliner, Iron Curtain, John F. Kennedy, Karleen Koen, moved by a speech, politics
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