Friday, August 10, 2007

Deep and Wide

The rain has gone and Summit County is once again the best place to be in summer. We hear that back home a heat wave is creating 100+ temps. Awwhhh.

We drove nearly two hours to Royal Gorge to see the world's highest suspension bridge. We weren't aware that it would cost over 20 dollars an adult to cross it. An "amusement" park of sorts surrounds the bridge. Overall, we weren't too impressed and even resentful of the strategically-placed gift shops we had to traverse through. Still, the site was interesting. The bridge sits about 1500 feet over the Arkansas River. I never found out why it was necessary to build or what lies on the other side. It seemed to end at another gift shop.

I enjoyed spying on this group of Mennonite (I think) women as they watched someone they knew ride the Rip-cord over the Gorge. The plain people fascinate me. How they reconcile themselves to the larger culture; how they protect their own--this fascinates me. I can't help staring, looking for cracks in their resolve. Are those Nike sneakers they're wearing? Is it okay that they eat a Big Mac?

Once, in Las Vegas, I saw a gaggle of them following their bearded man-leader through the buffet at a casino. Were they here to gamble? See Sodom up close? Would they turn to salt? Was that a cell phone hooked to her elastic waistband? And once, while having my latte at Starbucks in Kansas City, I looked up to see two young plain women carrying pink bling-bling handbags fashioned with sequined initials. Little concessions, little cracks. I worry for them. I want them to stay quaint and untainted. But they are women, so it's only a matter of time before they go bad like the rest of us. The day I see one in Pucci print I'll know the end in near.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Black headcoverings on all of the women? They are most likely Hutterites, esp. in the Dakotas.