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Carol: A Real Love Story? | LGBTPost

Carol: A Real Love Story?

If nothing else, Carol, the latest lesbian themed movie, gets you thinking. In fact the lesbians I’ve talked to about Carol have very mixed responses. I loved it, cried at various points and had flashbacks of my own coming out experiences that I haven’t thought about in years. It is not your typical lesbian love story. It lacks some of the passion and hot sex that makes many coming out movies compelling. But, when you encounter a magnetic attraction to someone that will rip your life to shreds, the unfolding of the love story may at first seem understated and unclear. When you are married to a man and your lesbian catalyst appears, anything can happen.

The movie is a wonderful period piece, taking place in the early 1950s. The word lesbian or homosexual was never mentioned. It was a time when you had to find your way to authenticity on your own. There were no legal or societal supports to help you. My coming out occurred in the late 1970s. Many of the fears and realities Carol faced were the same. One of the difficult realizations I made was that most of the lesbian community was as clueless as my straight friends regarding how or why a person would realize her sexuality later in life.

Carol’s character seemed predatory. The relationship between Carol and Therese was not clearly developed. Their power difference was uncomfortable. The movie didn’t show why or demonstrate that they were really in love. All of these comments offer reasons some women didn’t like the film. Perhaps I would agree if I hadn’t had very similar feelings to those of Carol and her young lover. And so, I thought about my own experience, how the relationship with my partner of 31 years began; ours was an electrifying instantaneous attraction. I wrote a poem that inspired by the story of Carol.

Eyes Lock

A proud peacock parading
jeweled hands, elegant fur.
Advancing, posing.

Her cool eyes lock on the shop girl,
unadorned, meeting her unflinching stare.
And time stops. Possibilities unfurl.

Your eyes find hers,
focused on you. She is the stranger
imprinted in your memory

who moved on stage like a man,
no doubt a woman. Untamed
hair — red — hot coals burning.

When does love happen?
When eyes lock
and imagination flows?

Running from restless lives
to forbidden love
longings unmet.

Age and life’s bounties fuel Carol’s grandiosity.
The girl watches in awe
and desire for more.

When does love happen?
When hands first rest
gently on a shoulder?

Carol teaches tender touch,
eyes gazing, desire sated,
contentment matched.

You take her to the sea.
She’s younger, less worldly,
a master of female passion.

You absorb her self-assured prowess.
She’s captured by the mystery
of a woman of two worlds.

Children sleep soundly.
Waves lapping, a powerful grip
holds your body, your heart,

ripping open.
Is love responsible
for lustful sex?

Carol’s choice:
her cherished child or
a genuine life.

The women return
to their cages, lost again in facades.
When does love happen?

When one sacrifices?
Memories of your first lover
couldn’t wait, had to leave.

Your choice:
an intact family or
a love that is true.

What kind of love makes a person leave?
What kind makes her return?
Does love have new meaning each time eyes lock?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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