Archive | Age Matters

Salutations and Solar Returns

Today is my solar return, though according to the Christian calendar my birthday is tomorrow. I share this day (technically January 19) with three women whom I consider geniuses, cultural alchemists, phoenixes who make art from their ashes so as not to waste an inch of this Earth’s precious resources. Sweet and sour Janis Joplin died young—she burned herself right up at age 27, talk about economical—but Dolly Parton and Cindy Sherman keep reinventing themselves with a pixie purity and a fulsome smarts that I only hope is my true legacy. Continue Reading →

All the Pretty Girls

I look at my best friends and don’t see the wrinkles or shadows that a stranger might see. I see the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed lovebugs I’ve adored for years–decades, in many cases. The people I’ve laughed with, cried with, fought with, launched mischief with on the dancefloor, in the sandbox, on each other’s couches and in each other’s kitchens. This is the unique value of lifelong peers. We see each other’s common denominators through all the trappings. We see each other’s souls. Last night I came home giddy from my first-ever tap class and a bevy of dearhearts immediately texted to kvell, regardless of their days’ exhaustion and frustration. This is how it is. We cheer each other’s triumphs and check in when times are tough. We don’t require each other to be happy but are so very glad when we we are. I love you, pretty people, and as we enter a terrifying new era, I’m grateful to have your arms to clutch.

Debbie and Carrie: Literary Grey Gardeners

2016 took far more than its fair share of entertainment icons, and we’re still reeling from the late-December twin deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Though the women’s dual departure was devastating, it was hardly shocking to anyone familiar with their powerful entwinement; the two Hollywood royals even lived on the same compound at the time of their deaths. In their wake, they leave an extraordinary body of work – not just on celluloid but in print. (Fisher’s The Princess Diarist, an account of her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” movie, was published only a week before she died.) Here’s a rundown of their three best tomes.

Unsinkable-Debbie Reynolds
Published in 2013, this memoir picks up where Reynolds’s first memoir, Debbie: My Life, leaves off. I’m a fan of that 1988 book; in it, she dishes hard about how ex-husband, crooner Eddie Fisher, famously left her with two young kids for Elizabeth Taylor after the death of Taylor’s husband Mike Todd, also Fisher’s best friend. (The two couples were so close that Carrie’s brother Todd is named after the late movie producer.) But Unsinkable is even juicier, and, given that it achieves the same breathless candor as its predecessor (which was co-written with David P. Columbia), I suspect Debbie merely relied on ghostwriters to organize her thoughts. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy