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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)

TITLE: It's Just the Gypsy in My Soul . . .
By Judith Gayle Smith
08/12/13


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Translucent milky opals, fiery moonstones, incomparably lovely Swarovski crystals create brilliant rainbows parenthesized by teensy gold filigree bead caps. A swirling string of creamy freshwater pearls complements the opals’ sparkling, exquisite coloration.



Our feisty little paternal Hungarian Gram fueled my sis’s wildfire. Gram, stretching to barely five feet tall, gold tooth piratically gleaming in the heart of her reluctant, infrequent smile, spoke seven languages fluently. She was brown as a walnut from living in her magnificent gardens. She was either born of the Aristocracy, or was an outrageous Gypsy. Methinks we lean closer to the Gypsy with our love of the exotic enshrined in beautiful gemstones.



Brings to mind the lovely Hollywood Hungarians – remember the Gabor Sisters? Who could outshine Zsa Zsa?



My colorful, virtually unstoppable sister daily creates high drama with natural uncut stones. I prefer faceted crystals, freshwater pearls, rhinestones, glowing opals . . .



Is Barb the gypsy, and I the Aristocrat? Nah. I tongue twist English, lacking the exquisite calm demeanor of royalty . . .



Barb dresses like the colorful` brilliant gypsy she is. I prefer velvet, dramatically displaying stunning royal blues,, purples, reds . . .



At seventy-one, Barb layers patterns mixed with wilder patterns, and prefers the leopard tennis shoes a friend gave us. At seventy, I slink in striking leopard. I wear a leopard hat, leopard dress shoes and a leopard sarong swim dress.



Does this justify people gleefully insisting we are exotic, colorful, wild? Yup. I have an excuse, being singularly blessed with a Histrionic Personality. A gypsy.



I wear my thick wavy hair long, softly falling over my velvet-clad shoulders with an eye covering part, ala an aging disheveled Veronica Lake. Barb wears her long soft baby-fine beautiful hair in a crunch atop her head – remember Mammy Yokum? Where do we get our stylish ways?



Our mom was a cats-eye green, naturally wavy ash-black haired beauty. Yes, like a gypsy. She was once told that she looked like a Sephardic Jewess – a rare and wonderful compliment to her loveliness. Her eyes slanted – well, a gypsy.



What makes a gypsy? What desires and spirit drives someone to travel in caravans, dance and sing madly, and jingle their bangles?



Today’s gypsies caravan, not in romantically fantasized wildly painted carriages, but in gorgeous motor homes with all the advantages. No longer do they woo with jingling bells, dancing artistry or sweet beggings. Sigh.



Strange, unfamiliar and exotic members people the Body of the Christ. Colorful, exciting, gregarious, highly volatile are gypsies. Not to say that all else are boring, drab, quiet and somber. These qualities are also beloved in the Christ. The spectacular eyelashes fringing “the windows of the soul” are not more important than the humble toenail.



I gape open-mouthed, stupefied by the exquisite Peacock – an explosion of riotous exotic colors. But he is humbled by a wee blue Parakeet trained to call “praise the Lord”.



Parading in breathtaking finery impress some and humble others into their sheltering shells. Some of us peeking from our shells may have more heart to offer to our Lord. What is important is that God is glorified, not us. Words paint glorious colors, but humility eclipses them all.



Yes, this aristocratic gypsy parades in bright colors and leopard prints. This does not and should not be all that people see and think of me. The Bible that quietly sits beside me as I bead speaks louder than my getup.



When I first became enamored of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ – I decided to humble my then even more flamboyant appearance. I stopped wearing makeup, dressed in long dark dresses, twisted my unruly hair into an unbecoming bun.



Was I glorifying God or my rebellious idea of what humility meant? The outward appearance is important, but when you use it to shame others into your concept of religious ardor – that is so wrong.



We are His. Hallelujah. Praise Him. Who reigns over the showy Peacock and the humble brown wren? We are all to glorify Him, and we must learn the gifts He gives us to so do.



This bordering on elderly, colorful, wannabe Peacock, still quite the exotic gypsy – winsomely preens her bustling feathers down so she can snuggle into our Father’s comforting Arms. She has tooted the horn of the exotic long enough



An afterthought – be warned that concentrated love of beautiful things, even and especially gorgeous gems, border not on the exotic, but on outright idol worship. Just saying . . .



KJV Proverbs 3:15, KJV Proverbs 20:15, KJV Proverbs 11:22, KJV Ezekiel 16:11-13, KJV Job 28:18


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This article has been read 244 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/17/13
I enjoyed this. I think you have a wonderful sense of humor and you had me smiling throughout as I read.

It almost feels if you're trying too hard though. You have a wonderful message in the end, but it could get lost in your big words and purple prose. I'd hate to think someone felt overwhelmed by that and missed out on your divine message.

Sometimes simple descriptions and common words can help the reader relate more. For example your first line is beautiful, almost poetic, but it doesn't really tell me what your story is going to be about. For me, the second paragraph drew me in more and I looked forward to reading about how your feisty Gram influenced your life. I think you tried to pack too much into only 750 words. I used to try to fit too many things in when I first joined FW and have learned that it's better to focus on just one or maybe two ideas and bring them together with the message.

The ending is quite profound and really has a powerful message. In the end, shiny things are just things and cannot compare to the majesty of the love Jesus has for us. I think you have a delightful sense of humor and your words are filled with energy and passion.

As I read this a second time to make sure I capture all you were trying to say, one part about the peacock and the parakeet really tugged on my heart. Oh, how foolish we humans (and apparently birds :)) can be. We long to be beautiful on the outside, or to be noticed by others, yet it isn't how exotic we may be that will make a difference--instead the words coming from our mouths and hearts are what will draw another to the ultimate beauty--Jesus. Beautiful messages in this piece.
Camille (C D) Swanson 08/20/13
I thought this was great! I loved your descriptions and analogies and the whole thing. Wonderful message too!

Thanks. God bless~
Brenda Rice 08/21/13
Beautifully written with humor, wildly descriptive and interesting.

I enjoyed your entry very much.