Grey Gardens

Sunday, March 2, 2014
Every week I get a couple of movies from the rental shop, and I watch them while I do my ironing.

It makes ironing interesting at least, and worth sitting over a steaming, hot board in the middle of summer.

For many years I have been fascinated by the American Kennedy family. I've read biography after biography about them, and that has only served to increase my fascination with this complicated, mysterious, flawed, powerful family.

Somehow I stumbled upon the movie, Grey Gardens, a true story portraying the Aunt and first cousin of Jackie O. Big Edie and Little Edie (Bouvier) Beale. Mother and daughter. Their house. Their lives. The strange inter-dependent relationship they shared, the control of the mother over the daughter. It is a strange and sad tale, and interwoven with that is the decline of this beautiful East Hampton home and the filth that these two women eventually found themselves living among. Many have written about it and a documentary was made in the 1970's.

Having gone from opulence, parties, beautiful clothing, servants and popularity to an overgrown garden that penetrates the walls of the house, to animals roaming free, to piles of excrement and rubbish.

It almost became too sad for me to continue watching. I wanted to shout at Little Edie and tell her to go, go, go, and not look back. I think partly, my pain at watching this movie came too close on the heels for me of my own experiences with a christian cult, and my newly awakened understanding of narcissism. In Big Edie, I can see those same traits of power and control and influence over a life. I have seen this firsthand and I have friends who are in relationships like this. It is an evil thing. In many ways, one of the most evil things that a human being can wield over another.

Yes, I want to shout 'Run Little Edie. Run for your life!'


Mother of Pearl said...

I clicked through and read your story about the cult you were involved in. How heartbreaking to read! I am so sorry you had to go through all that. More than that, I am glad that you have made your way through that and come out on the other side. I pray God's grace will continue to grow in your life. I pray He will be faithful in giving you beauty for ashes.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Rachel said...

Thank you so much, Mother of Pearl for your love and sharing that Bible verse. I will keep that close to my heart.

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