April 2 ,2011
What is a Life?
I’ve now spent this rainy Sunday morning while internet is working perusing film clips of Elizabeth Taylor from National Velvet to Butterfield 8, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe
Elizabeth Taylor’s death, as it trickled through the news sieve (mostly things I read are through facebook, when there is good internet and when there is time away from my relationship teaching in the world’s most gorgeous living studio)…has stayed on my mind for several days- through a yoga, music, dance-athon at the Bali Wonka village of Desa Seni, a touch in Ubud at the BaliSpirit Festival, the colossal tragic earthquake in Japan- shifting the earth’s access, Grandma Lois turning 90 and…I’ve fallen in Love…
The last thing, the most EPL People thing, I could write in a Bali blog. To fall in Love in Bali is the last thing I want to do, being a blond yoga teacher from LA, from the Siddha yoga lineage of teachings, in a life quest for awakening…(see Eople People Blog to make sense of this)
Horrible cliché’s and mock versions of myself zip through my head in a Temple Grandin picture parade math problem for cow Slaughtering improvement like montage.
Looking through Elizabeth Taylor’s life through the years, her loves her losses, her diamonds, her Oscars- I am again wondering, from one of the greats, “the greats”, what is a life?
When my grandma Lois turned 90 March 26th. My mother asked each of Grandma Lois’ grandchildren (5) and children (3) to create a compilation of materials celebrating the peak of the last 9 t decades. My Uncle made a TimeLife mock cover with pictures through the decades, My aunt, a list of foods, menu items and their recipes, and my mother, of course candies through the eras, My brother-in -law music (3 CDs), my cousin, film clips, and me- writers.
Needless to say, as I perused the post war writers, depression era writers, through the beats to the Ginsberg word salad “HOWL”- I’ve been mentally tripping through decades of subconscious mind spilling out through word symbols, carving images of time cells captured in the imagination, wondering what Grandma Lois- farm girl from Maryland marries Swiss ex-pat linguist expert for the Government. Moves a family from Frankfurt to Niece to Beirut and back to Cheverly Maryland. What touched her, what did she read.
Elizabeth Taylor, Somehow that lead me to AFI’s list of of the 50 greatest Film Star Actress. - has me thinking about this- really stirring- some rumination that looks something like this…
From Carole Lombard to Katherine Hepburn the question of beauty and timelessness sparked by phrases about Elizabeth Taylor’s preternatural violet eyes and porcelain skin have me pondering a life which is gifted the world’s biggest diamond in the world, to the world that takes Jean Harlow at 26 of kidney failure- have me thinking about this-
What is a Life?
Part of me is so resistant to making life choices, and I look at the writers, the actors the ages when most of these greats I’m reading about created their greatest contribution before my age.
I am at the tail end of 39.
The facts and milestones of these peoples lives, the starlets greatest performances were all before the ages of 40, I realize to create, to keep creating , and to take big risks is the point.
To fall in love.
To fall in love, to do something unprecedented, to go BALLS OUT BIG creates a compelling life, no matter how short the ride.
As I pour through accomplishments- poems and pages through 100 years of Americana- combing through decades for Grandma Lois’ 90th to what is GREAT, memorable, worthy, groundbreaking- I remember this.
I remember the loves they wrote for. I see the things about them that broke through boundaries of humanity. From Elizabeth Taylor’s sexuality, scandalous even when she was in National Velvet, to Ginsberg’s bawdy, raunchy truthful sexual HOWL in 1959- no one, not one of them makes a dent from holding back. No makes the safe choice. The ride begs us to be Katherine Hepburn and wear pants, or TS Elliot and tell it like it is, to get married 8 times, twice to same man, or, as my Grandmother, and persevere through 9 decades of change and innovation, and transmutation.
And have a family that celebrates it with you.