The Jaguar Lady
(The Sequel To Identity)
By Forrest Wayne Schultz
The surficial reason for my calling her the Jaguar Lady was that she was driving a Jaguar automobile and that she was arrayed from head to foot in Jaguar apparel: Jaguar cap, Jaguar dress, Jaguar coat, Jaguar earrings, Jaguar boots, and Jaguar purse. The profound reason was that her clothing was NOT a pose, but expressed who she was. It was because she WAS The Jaguar Lady that she wore the Jaguar apparel and drove the Jaguar car. I learned about the difference between "presence" and "pose" from my sister Eve, who is a woman's clothing designer.
Eve, who is still a teenager and thus is still living at home, had just finished making lunch for the two of us when I arrived there after I was finished at the heir's farmhouse. She was absolutely astounded when I told her about the Jaguar Lady. She was so excited she could hardly speak. It turns out that she has just begun a project of designing a line of women's clothing with a Jaguar motif -- and it is NOT going well!! She begged me to take her to see the Jaguar Lady at once. I can see why. Eve is not a Jaguar Lady but an aspiring Jaguar Lady. There is one respect, though, in which I believe she has already attained Jaguarhood -- she knows how to wrap me around her little finger, even though I am much older than she (almost 30) and am her legal guardian!! (Both of our parents recently died.)
We immediately got into the car and drove back to the farmhouse where I introduced her to the Jaguar Lady. They immediately "hit it off", so that it was not long before The Jaguar Lady went with Eve to the clothing design studio, which is right here in town, while I took the heir (who is now my client) on a tour of the farmland he now owns.
The testator had done no farming on the land because he believed that the Old Testament principle of letting the land lie fallow every seventh year is a "natural" principle (i.e. the land actually needs to have its land sabbath) rather than a "religious" principle, such as the animal sacrifices, which were discontinued in the New Testament. The previous owner and his ancestors had farmed the land every year, so that the land had accumulated a total of 32 years of land sabbaths owed to it by the time the testator bought it. He had owned it for 30 years, so that there were two years of land sabbaths remaining to be made up. I was surprised when the heir told me that he also believed in the land sabbath principle, although his own father and his ancestors, who had been farmers, did not believe in it. Therefore he would keep the land sabbath for at least the next two years after which he would decide what to do.
My law firm -- a one lawyer operation -- has been in our family for many generations, and I learned all I needed to know from law school plus what my father taught me before he died. One of the main parts of this training from my father was getting me thoroughly acquainted with our entire list of clients. He could tell me very little about the testator of this unusual will because he only ever met him once, when he signed the contract becoming his lawyer 30 years ago. All of the other contact my father had with the man was either by phone (rarely); or by mail or FAX (usually); or (more recently) by email. The man very rarely even came home to the farm. My father believed he was some kind of a secret agent. He handled almost all the man's financial transactions such as his taxes, his utility bills, and paying and supervising the "handyman-housekeeper" couple who came around periodically to keep the house, barn, and yard in shape. My father received a very high fee for doing this, so he really did not care that much what the man's occupation was, which was an unusual attitude in this rural community, where everybody knows about everybody!! Well, enough of that!
Eve came home late that evening absolutely enthralled with the Jaguar Lady. It turns out that the Jaguar Lady is a self-taught clothes designer -- all her Jaguar apparel she designed herself. When Eve's boss and mentor, the owner of the clothes designing shop, met The Jaguar Lady, she too was so astounded at seeing exactly what she wanted in the Jaguar apparel (it was far superior to what she could have done herself) that on the spot she signed a contract with her for an exorbitant amount of money. In return she gets exclusive rights to the Jaguar Lady's clothing designs. I know this because I was called in to draw up the legal papers for it.
I know little about the technicalities of clothing design but I do clearly understand the two principles behind The Jaguar Lady's clothes. First, she believes very firmly in what is now being called traditional American values, especially the high moral precepts involved. Secondly, she strongly believes that a highly moral life is a strong and exciting and dynamic and interesting life, not a boring, insipid life. She abhors evil not just because it is evil but also because it is banal. This she learned from two of her mentors: C. S. Lewis (who vividly depicted it in his wicked character in his novel Perelandra); and Hannah Arendt, who became well known among 20th century intellectuals for her phrase "the banality of evil". The Jaguar Lady also likes to talk about the etymology of the word virtue, whose actual meaning is "strength" and is thereby related to cognates such as virile; and how virtue contrasts with vice, whose meaning is weakness and is related to such terms as "vitiate", meaning to weaken.
The Jaguar is strong and beautiful and fast, thereby providing an apt symbol for the true meaning of virtue. The Jaguar Lady is very concerned about the sorry state of women's clothes among those who wish to be or claim to be virtuous women. Some of these women believe they should wear dowdy clothes. Others, overreacting against this, go in for "sexy" clothing, thinking that makes them exciting. Still others regard clothing with indifference and just wear what they feel like or what is in style. The Jaguar Lady wants her clothes to "make a statement" and the statement she wishes to make is that because she is virtuous, she is exciting and dynamic and strong and beautiful. She wishes to be attractive in THIS way (not in a "porno" way) and thereby attract others to the cause of virtue. And, like the Jaguar, she is a fighter. Her husband calls her a spiritual warrior. She assisted him greatly in the remarkable victories he won which are recounted in Identity. And she is now assisting many women in joining in the spiritual war, which is discussed in the New Testament. I am so grateful to her for this, especially for the influence she is having upon Eve, who is just about to graduate to the status of mature Jaguar Lady.
And the Jaguar Lady learns from her husband, who is a world-view scholar, who is now writing books and articles about how men and women should think and how they should live. He is showing in word what she is showing in clothing -- that the virtuous life is the thoughtful life, the strong life, the dynamic life, the exciting life, the beautiful life. And he learns from her much about human relationships.
And, Eve just told me that she is now at work designing (with the help of her husband) clothing for what she is calling The Lion Man!!
December 29, 2008