It's Easter morning in Virginia, and the sun is shining and the sky is that aqua blue, so perfect you feel like it's singing to you, and out on the streets folks are all gussied up for church. Except us, that is--we're dressed in our usual jeans and sweats, ready to drive out the woods and the beautiful blue hills around the town-- our idea of church . . . But even on the main roads I keep staring at the people walking by, all gussied-up in suits and dresses. One woman teeters along the road in white high heels, looking as if she can barely walk. She is wearing a purple dress and a purple hat with something like a wimple around her neck--and holding onto it as best she can while the wind whips away at it. The scene brings back memories of all those itchy Easter dresses we used to wear-- with puffy sleeves and crinoline along with those hats with colored ribbons and white gloves with pearls (not that they ever stayed white for long). And the church women, like powdered Easter eggs, who stood on the front steps of the church, gabbing and gushing and happy Eastering. And my father who would push us past them and hurry us up to the church balcony so we could witness what he called "all the falderal." Once the service began, he'd belt out a few hymns, say a few prayers, and then hurry us downstairs and out into the sun before "all the bellyaching about God begins."
Wallace Stevens: Of Mere Being
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