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Archive for February, 2016

“Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born on February 27, 1932.
—Wikipedia article at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Taylor

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams . . .”
“Endymion,” a poem written by John Keats
(Quoted in full in previous post titled
“Angels among Us: Three Holiday/Anniversary Anecdotes”)

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you will recognize this second opening citation in which I quote John Yeats about a thing of beauty lasting forever.

I used it most recently, for example, in my previous blog post titled “Angels among Us: Three Holiday/Anniversary Anecdotes.”

In that post I applied it to my wife Marion (whom I call Mari) in tribute not only to her lasting beauty over the fifty-three years of our marriage, but also to her devotion and faithfulness in loving me and caring for me throughout those decades.

This devotion and faithfulness has been especially evident during the past two years in which I have been confined for long hours each week in the blood center of a Tulsa hospital. (See the following photo from that post and another photo of the beautiful Mari in the conclusion to this post.)

Mari standing behind me as I rest in my recliner on an IV at the blood center

Mari standing behind me as I rest in my recliner on an IV in the blood center (photo taken from the preceding post)

Part of the results of my blood disease is the loss of eyesight, particularly in the past month or so in which a side-effect of one of my blood medications has left me with damaged retinas, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to read print.

Thus, once again devoted, faithful Mari has had to come to my rescue—this time to help me compose a tribute to a deceased black-haired beauty whom I have already honored profusely throughout my blog. (See, for example, my earlier post titled “My Lifelong Attraction to Black Beauty”).

Elizabeth Taylor as a child in the movie National Velvet

Elizabeth Taylor in movie National Velvet, the first time I ever saw her in film or in photo as a child and fell in love with her (photo and other similar ones hanging behind my computer)

My rapidly failing eyesight (and other health issues) is the reason I have not published a new post in so long.

I had intended, for example, to compose and publish one in early January titled “Happy Elvis-Mas” about the birthday of my male American Idol Elvis Presley who was born on January 8, 1935, three years before my own birth on November 23, 1938.

However, that inspiration was not to be realized due to my worsening health. I will have to try to compose and publish that post at the time of the commemoration of the King’s death in August.

Thus here is my present attempt to make up a new tribute to my female American Idol, the Lovely Elizabeth Taylor, who was born on February 27 in 1932—six years before my own birth in November 1938.

Latest photo of Liz Taylor

Most recent photo of Elizabeth Taylor sent to me by Patsy McDermott Scavo who provided most of the photos in this post and others

Name Your Idols!

“Do not make any idols.”
—God’s command to His people in Exodus 34:17 NIV

“Elizabeth Taylor is the most beautiful creature
God ever made—except for Mari, of course!”
—Jimmy Peacock

You will note that in the title and introduction to this post I have referred to idols: Elvis Presley as my male American Idol and Elizabeth Taylor as my female American Idol.

Photo of Liz Taylor titled Shorpy

Photo of Liz Taylor titled Shorpy (which hangs on the left of my computer)

In evidence of this lifelong attraction to the Late and Lovely Liz I have inserted into this post copies of several photos of her as examples of the fifteen that I have attached around my computer monitor and in the shaving cabinet and on the walls of my tiny half-bath!

And even the fifteen photos featured in my office and half-bath are themselves only samples of the dozens of photos, articles, videos, etc. of her sent to me over the years by others who know of my “worship” of the “Goddess of Beauty.”

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of Good Housekeeping magazine

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor on cover of Good Housekeeping magazine (hanging behind my computer) as featured in an anecdote in an earlier post titled “My Lifelong Attraction to Black Beauty”

As a retired religious translator, interpreter, and copyeditor, I am of course well aware of the many divine admonitions throughout the Bible to avoid the making of idols in our lives.

In fact, in the entry for May 7 in the 2015 issue of Forward Day by Day, the devotional of the Episcopal Church, which I read daily, there is a direct reference to this subject of idol worship and the importance of naming our idols:

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor from an ad for her perfume White Diamonds

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor on cover of her perfume White Diamonds, Mari’s favorite fragrance (photo hangs behind my computer monitor and inside the door of my shaving cabinet)

Wisdom 14:27: The worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.

Once an idol is named, it loses its power to seduce. The devil is always giving old idols new names. There are probably no truly new idols, just newer ways of presenting the old in different packaging.

An idol is anything that consumes our time, energy, and devotion, usurping the place of God in our lives. The Seven Deadly Sins of medieval moral theology are all popular idols now called by other names.

The entry goes on to list several deadly sins going by new names that conceal their true identity and nature in our modern society such as pride, lust, gluttony, anger, sloth, avarice, and envy.

It then concludes with the admonition: “Name your idols.” (italics mine)

Even my seeming “worship of feminine beauty” (as in my lifelong fascination with and attraction to the loveliness of Elizabeth Taylor) may be considered a form of idol worship—or it may also be evidence of an appreciation of everything that “[God] has made beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).

One o fmy favorite photos of Elizabeth Taylor (hanging next to my computer)

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor, one of my favorites (which hangs on the right side of my computer)

In evidence, note the following quotation from the July 30 entry in the popular devotional titled Jesus Calling, which I also read daily along with the French Bible (italics in original):

WORSHIP ME in the beauty of holiness. I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor—all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world.

Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought. Some people use beauty, especially feminine loveliness, to sell their products. . . . [italics mine]

. , . [but] you responded to My creation [of beauty] with wonder. This is a gift, and it carries responsibility with it. Declare My glorious Being in the world. The whole earth is full of My radiant beauty—My Glory.

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor as evidence of her beauty even without makeup

Photo of Elizabeth Taylor as evidence of her beauty even without makeup (photo hanging inside the door of my shaving cabinet)

So in composing blog posts (such as this one) about my “worship” of a deceased Hollywood actress, am I “naming my idols”? Or am I following the biblical command to “declare [God’s] glorious Being in the world” as I “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness [i.e., in the holiness of beauty]”? (Psalm 29:2 KJV)?

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Elizabeth Taylor in the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, another favorite of mine (hanging inside the door of my shaving cabinet)

Conclusion:
Worship of Feminine Beauty
as Worship of Its Divine Creator

“The reason God quit creating when He made woman
is because He knew that even He
could not improve upon perfection!”
—Jimmy Peacock

“Though lovely and fair as the rose of the summer
Yet, ’twas not her beauty alone that won me
Oh no! ‘Twas the the truth in her eye ever [dawnin’]
That made me love [Mari, the Rose of McGehee].”
—“The Rose of Tralee,” traditional Irish folk song
(To view the complete lyrics to this song, click here.
To view the YouTube of this song with lovely scenes of Ireland, click here.)

Mari's favorite image of Elizabeth Taylor, a drawing by Robin Perker

Mari’s favorite image of Elizabeth Taylor, a drawing stamped on the back: Robin Parker, Artist ahalfbubbleoff.com 936-668-0644 (which hangs on the right side of my computer)

In my opening paragraph to this post I noted that in my preceding post I applied the poetic assertion that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” to my wife Marion (whom I call Mari) in tribute “not only to her lasting beauty over the fifty-three years of our marriage, but also to her devotion and faithfulness in loving and caring for me throughout those decades.”

My appreciation of that feminine beauty, devotion, and faithfulness in my own spouse is additional evidence that my adulation of Elizabeth Taylor, and indeed of all womankind—what some readers might interpret as “idol worship”—is less worship of feminine beauty itself but of the Creator of that beauty, and indeed the Author and Source of all created Beauty.

Mari as we were courting in 1961-62

Mari, “The Rose of McGehee [Arkansas]” as she looked when we started dating in June 1961 with “her beauty that won me” and “the truth in her eye[s] ever dawnin'” (to enlarge and gaze into those eyes of truth, click on the photo)

Addendum:
“Thank you, Elizabeth!”

“Le véritable amour est éternel.”
(“True love is eternal.”)
—Honoré de Balzac

“If it ever dies, it wasn’t love to begin with!”
—Jimmy Peacock

Elizabeth Taylor as the Epitome of Black Beauty

Elizabeth Taylor as the Epitome and Icon of Feminine Beauty and my female American Idol! (photo, my favorite, hanging behind my computer console)

After working for hours in an unsuccessful attempt to convert the “Epitome and Icon of Feminine Beauty” photo of Elizabeth Taylor featured above to a .jpg file required by Word Press, I gave up and inserted it into an email to Pat McDermott Scavo asking her to resend it to me in that format.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could transfer that email photo into My Pictures and from there insert it into the blog post on Liz, as evidenced here.

But imagine my greater surprise and delight when I exited Word Press only to discover that in my computer illiteracy and helpless fumbling about on the keyboard somehow I had inserted that photo as the new screen saver.

Through no plan or intentional effort on my part, my favorite photo of my female American Idol is now spread all across the surface of my computer monitor!

And I don’t even know how to insert or change a screen saver!

Mari says that it was a gift from Elizabeth to me in appreciation of all my hard, painful work in preparing a post to honor Liz on her birthday.

If so, “Thank you, Elizabeth Taylor!”

“As I tell Mari, the Rose of McGehee, ‘Whatever happens in this life, you can be sure of one thing: as long as Jimmy Peacock draws breath, you are loved!'”

Sources

The full words to the poem “Endymion” by John Keats can be accessed at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endymion_(poem)

The blog post titled “My Lifelong Attraction to Black Beauty” can be accessed at:
https://myokexilelit.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/my-lifelong-attraction-to-black-beauty/

The quotation from Forward Day by Day was taken from the May 7 entry: Copyright 2015 Forward Movement. All rights reserved. Used by permission. (www.forwardmovement.org)

The quotations from the book Jesus Calling were taken from the 2004 edition by Sarah Young, published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide: www.zondervan.com.

The lyrics to the Irish song “The Rose of Tralee” were taken from:
http://www.ireland-information.com/irishmusic/theroseoftralee.shtml

The musical video of this song can be accessed at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBAnwchB59Q

The drawing of Elizabeth Taylor noted as Mari’s favorite image of her is identified by a stamped message on the back that reads: Robin Parker, Artist ahalfbubbleoff.com 936-668-0644

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