Wonder woman | Eastern North Carolina Now

Lib Campbell: Above
    Our little Pierson Point Community celebrates July 4th in a big way. A 100-pound pig is cooked. Sides include slaw, Brunswick stew, baked beans, squash casserole, watermelon, beer and banana pudding to round out the menu. But before the meal there is the Pierson Point Parade.

    I love a parade. We did a July 4th parade in our neighborhood in Elizabeth City. That was the first time I built a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane. Our children were young enough to go along, dressing as Wilber and Orville. I still have the trophy we won for that entry.

    But children grow up and move away, and a mom who likes a parade is left on her own. The first Pierson Point Parade entry we did was a replica of the Statue of Liberty. She stood about five feet tall. Built on a wagon, she was made out of chicken wire with sheets soaked in wallpaper paste. It was reminiscent of the characters from Macbeth that our English Class made for Mrs. Little. Lady Liberty was dried and painted a green that looked like aged bronze. She was a prize winner.

    Those who don't know me don't know that I am a costumer and set maker. Those skills are part of my early life at East Carolina. Working in Summer Theater gave me great opportunity to use Home Economics sewing skills and a marginal ability for art to create costumes and sets for venues now long ago and far away. But they still come in handy for Vacation Bible School, Halloween and the Pierson Point Parade. No skill learned is ever wasted.

    I have an unruly closet. I have Icons, candles, and a stool I sit on for prayer. But just beyond those Icons are two large bins filled with costumes, wigs, boas, and boots for any occasion in which a costume is called for.

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    I have no shame in donning wigs and boas at Annual Conference. A little levity, a little advocacy, a little protest wrapped up in feathers is a good thing.

    This Fourth of July, Tom and I will be American Avengers - seeking justice, peace, and kindness in the world. He will be Captain America. I will be Wonder Woman. I've always wanted to be Wonder Woman. I finally found a plus-size costume. Talk about having no shame. We likely will even put pictures on Facebook.

    Wearing a costume, a mask, a wig can take one to another place. Then when the costume gets uncomfortable, it comes off easily. Playing with costumes is fun. A river friend sat on our front porch and told stories of his Mother and her fun times in costume. He said he was grown up before he really knew this side of her. When she was 80, she tried out for a community theater play, something about Opal. He said Mom brought the house down with humor he likened to that of Carol Burnette!

    I can take my play mask and cape off at the end of the day. But I think about those who dress up, and wear various masks seeking a place beyond their ordinary lives. So, we invent alternative personas. Exhibit one: Anna Delvey and George Santos. They live pretend lives, they swindle and grift for personal gain. Bilking money out of people does not a good life make.

    There is a lot of pretend leadership and faux statesmanship being lived in hallowed halls today. There's a lot of bluster and rancor and one-upmanship. A funny story is told about Marjorie Taylor Greene's tiff with Lauren Boebert. MTG was upset with Boebert for filing impeachment articles against Joe Biden before she could do it. Surely this race to the bottom is just show. Surely people are not as mean spirited as they act.

    If this is pretend, if this is performance art, we need to unmask now. We are on a road to perdition. There are real problems in the world. We need real solutions, real leadership, real statesmanship. As God's Beloved we are called to justice and right relationships with God and one another.

    What do we need to do to live that? For one thing, we need to be truth-seekers. Lying, disinformation and misinformation are too widespread for anybody's good. Truth seems to be a moving target. Some people these days say there is no such thing as truth, as if truth is fungible. Alternative fact. I think truth is the way and the life. Truth is what lives behind the mask.

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    At the end of the day, that's all we have.

    Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader and hosts the website: avirtualchurch.com. She welcomes comments at libcam05@gmail.com.
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