On the Upbeat, Positively Carolan

Blue Eyes …

I never liked blue eyes. That’s how it started. Early on. Way, way back. And I must have been no more than 10 years old when I realized I didn’t trust them either. Oh, sometimes I made an exception if the eyes were of the very darkest blue. But not the wan watery ones, those eyes that you could look straight through. To nothing. No depth, no feelings, not even secrets. Just pale, pallid blandness. Those were the eyes of my father and I wanted nothing to do with them.

In fact in all of my life I made just one foray into the blue-eyed realm. With a blond Swedish fellow I believed to be remarkable: handsome, clever, sexy. But at the time I was a mere teenager and he soon proved also to be devious if not deviant.

To me blue eyes became the symbol of the callous, the shallow, the very inadequacies of the world. No matter that I was born with a short round build, light complexion and golden hair, I had the requisite eyes. The color of belief, of reliability. And forever after my pattern was set. Females as friends, men as lovers. But always brown eyes, inevitably linked with ever darker pigment and ever deeper essence.

And then there was the music. I rebelled against the mundane, syncopation-less attributes of the pop tunes of what I saw as the blue-eyed community. It was always the drums that spoke to me, that drove me inward and downward into the soul and sensuality of humankind. Hand drumming summoned responses beyond control, reactions beyond belief.

I was my true self only in the presence of percussion, especially African/Caribbean/Brazlian rhythms, and with people of color. For a time I didn’t know what to do about it. But in the long run it became elementary.


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