Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The End Of Two Eras...

Anne Frank writing in her journal

My favorite picture of Anne Frank because her hair looks so cute!

Miep Gies in the Spring and Winter of her life

Two things of note have touched my heart in recent days. These two things are quite different from one another in most ways, but in at least one way they are connected.
The first event is the death at age 100 of Miep Gies, the woman who harbored Anne Frank and her family for two years in Germany to avoid their capture by the Nazis, and who saved Anne Frank's diary. I find it amazing when anyone lives to be 100 years old to begin with, but it is truly fascinating to think that someone who is a thread in the tapestry of our world's history from such an unbelievable time, and from such a memorable and impactful event, that seems larger than life, lived to be 100 years old and was still receiving large amounts of mail before her death. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I, as a girl, always felt a connection to Anne Frank and have also always been in awe of the many people who, like Miep Gies, risked their own lives to help people like Anne Frank during the Holocaust. Anne Frank touch the lives of so many people, especially girls and women, and taught us what it means to have strength, courage, and perseverance in life. She also taught us to see the beauty in life and maintain hope, even in the darkest of circumstances. By the example she set in her short life, she spread beauty and hope to those around her, and then to the world when her diaries were published. And without Miep Gies, none of us would have had the chance to experience the beauty, hope, courage, and strength of Anne Frank.
The other event that has been the end of an entirely different era for me, was the loss of "Bayou Shimmy" to a fire on January 1, 2010. Bayou Shimmy was the heart of the belly dance community in Baton Rouge. It was headed by Charlie "Shamsi" Pettus and Kaye Noura Buhler Skakri about 7 years ago. It was located next door to The Caterie, a local bar. It was a place where women (and a few men) of all ages, shapes, sizes, races, and personalities would gather to celebrate the art of middle eastern dance, and celebrate being women (and a few men). It has been a while since I was enrolled in a class there, but I always knew I could return any time. Well, that's what I get for relying on permanence. I know that many changes will come from this and that change can sometimes be painful. However, I also know that the women (and a few men) who were a part of Bayou Shimmy now share this connection and the seeds of that connection will now spread and grow.
So I suppose I feel as though these two VERY different events are connected to each other in my eyes because they revolve around the souls of strong, beautiful, and amazing women (and a few men) who have touched and inspired more people than they will probably ever know.

"Gypsy Hips" dance troupe of early Bayou Shimmy days. I'm the second one from the left.

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