So there I am watching an interview with the ineffable star of the classic musical ‘Gigi.’ Leslie Caron is years older, but no less glorious to behold as she recalls the Lerner & Lowe hit of the Fifties. Comparing her finely sculpted facial lines with the flawless beauty that once graced our screens, it makes you think how so many of your cinematic, television, sports and academic icons have aged with the years.
The very same years which have aged you…your parents…your friends…your children and grandchildren. It’s one of the laws of life, right? We all thicken with time. If lucky, we may even grow with time. Either way, none of us is what we were; and what we were may be nothing like we are.
So there it is. One of life’s little mysteries. Mystery, because although we are witness to it every day, each of us still seems surprised by it. “Could that little kid in the picture really be me…?” “Did I actually look like that at my wedding…?” “I swear to God, I don’t remember ever wearing my hair like that…!”
Some of us can’t wait for what tomorrow brings. Others can’t let go of what yesterday brought. Either way we have this remarkable capacity for ignoring the wages of age. For missing the subtle alterations that take place in our eyes, our hands, our words, our values, our habits. Because these alterations occur by inches, too often we miss the miles we have traveled from what we once were to what we have somehow become.
Few of us are quite what we hoped to be. Even fewer of us are what we think we are. And probably none of us is seen by others the way we see ourselves. While it may be true that the truth shall make us free, sometimes the classic Jack Nicholson line is even more true: “You can’t handle the truth…!”
Well… when it comes to the eternal Leslie Caron, I must take exception.
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