This explanation about my post "Perfection" may disappoint.
I wrote it in a nostalgic mood, I suppose mourning the fact that I now wear my Grandmother's skin, and possibly her body as well! To me, 'white' or Pakeha skin ages rather gracelessly.
In my nursing days, I would watch babies being born. I was always struck by how red & wrinkled Pakeha babies appeared when they emerged, but how beautiful & seemingly creaseless the little Maori babies appeared, with their beautiful brown skin.
When I was a young girl, I often went to dances, with my Best Friend J. I have often written about our evenings dancing & the fun we had on Saturday nights.
It was at a dance I met this young man. He was a good dancer, & very polite. He asked me out for coffee. Which used to be a 'date' in those early '60s days. The idea was, you went & sat in some dimly lit Coffee Lounge, & drank coffee, & smoked cigarettes, if you smoked, & talked.
These Coffee Lounges often had 'clever' names like the Little Red Rooster, or the Purple Onion, & were decorated with Chianti bottles with candles stuck into the neck, & the more wax dripped down the bottles the 'cooler' they were. Red, orange & blue light bulbs would be used for mood lighting. Often the walls & ceiling were painted solid black, so that a suitable dimness prevailed amid the smoke, & the flickering candles. Any windows would be obscured by black drapes, ensuring no light got inside the cavernous atmosphere.
So, in this very moody atmosphere, couples would sit, sipping coffee, & talking, getting to know each other.
I will call this young man Adonis. I fell in love with his perfect body, with it's beautiful satin brown skin. We had a light Summer romance, I suppose. I was completely infatuated with his body, skin, facial features, wonderful thick black hair. And his dark brown velvet eyes.
We spent hours lying on a beach we would visit. And I would admire his wonderful skin, & yes, I licked his satin arm. The weekends would be spent going to the beach, & dances on the Saturday nights. Or spending an evening with his married friends. We liked going to Coffee Lounges, & just sitting & talking.
Adonis' father was Maori, his mother was what was known as Dalmation.
I have put the link in, as there is very interesting history of the Dalmation people who went to live in New Zealand. Originally as Gum Diggers, but they began the wine industry in New Zealand, & their story is very interesting. They were also fishermen, & Maori were keen fisher folk too.
Adonis seemed totally unaware of his 'perfect' beauty. He had 2 brothers who were both older, & they too, were handsome men. His skin was really almost hairless, which is common among Maori people.
There is no wonderful story here of unrequited love, or hankering after lost love. We spent the Summer dancing, & beach going. The Autumn came, & we just drifted apart. He wanted to become part of the Young Rotarians, or somesuch. I was never keen on politics, & was not a 'joiner'. His thoughts were turning to different things, & so were mine.
The infatuation for his body had worn off. And I was, after all destined to marry a man with skin tone the same as mine.
I look at my SIL, with her lovely bronze skin, & my nephews, who have the same beautiful skin as Adonis, though from a different mix, & I remember how I saw -& still do- perfection in that skin tone.
And when I was young & naive, I used to think we should all be blended together in a big melting pot, so we all became a coffee coloured mixture.
I hope the story behind the headlines does not disappoint too much.
Leonard Cohen, Suzanne