Sunday, November 13, 2005

Thank you, Carol, for reminding me...

While busy living my life over the past several years,
I had, very unfortunately, forgotten how much I love and respect show biz legend Carol Channing.

I mean, I knew I still really admired her..

and I knew I had made a connection with her in my early years,
and I was very excited waiting in line with all the little old ladies to buy my tickets...
but somehow I was confused about why I was so excited to see her perform.

That is, until seeing her up close and personal this week.

I suppose, had kept Carol on one of my 246 back burners since I was a young lass,
nestled somewhere back there,
keeping warm in between Liza and Jane's Addiction
and Weight Watchers and learning to ski.

Lucky for me, she stopped in Thursday night on her way to California, to treat the small town folk of Paducah to a short yet highly impressive performance at the 4 Rivers Center.

Now I remember why I dig Carol so much.

Mark and I are still singing in her praises
(and the songs she made famous) today.
Front-burner style.

Carol is nothing short of is amazing.
She is an inspiration.
Most of all she LOVES what she does and it is wholly apparent to anyone that has the pleasure of being in her presence.

She's is an enchanting, platinum-blonde goofball,
dressed head to toe in red satin and sequins with enough shiny lipstick to ward off even the gloomiest of the glum hearted.

First and foremost, what's not to love about that?

Secondly, at 85 she can still shake a tail feather and kick up those legs.
More so even than a lot of 65 year olds I know.
And some 35 year olds, I'm surprised to say.

Can you imagine if Carol had chosen to work at a bank? Or at the dry cleaners?
Not only would we have been denied of such a wonderfully talentend performer,
but I would lay money on the table that she would not be prancing and dancing
and busting at the seams with jubilant life at her age.

Did you catch the part about her being 85 years old?

I am certain that Carol Channing holds the secret to living a full and meaningful life.

Yes, I am sure, that under that red stretchy bedazzled shirt,
under her well made Wacoal bra,
inside her excitable heart,
Carol has found her fountain of youth.

Now, I do realize plastic surgeons have helped make her quite glamorous on the outside.
But her face is not what is impressive to me.
There are beautiful people everywhere today.
Surface beauty is no longer so magical, in my opinion,
in these days of extreme makeovers and laser resurfacing.

Carol's particular magic lies under the skin.

She radiates life.

I imagined a sort of crackling, iridescent sonic wave flowing over the crowd,
while watching her perform.
A vibrating aura that energized tired souls all the way to the back row, with nostalgia and promise.
I sat, mesmerized, in my plushy seat and left feeling more in love with Carol than I was before.

You see, she is doing what she loves and this, my friends,
is the simple truth of the fountain of youth, joie de vivre, and in her own words, "curing cancer".

She said she never missed one performance out of over 5000 in the Hello Dolly days. Even when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years back, she found that the more she performed, the better she felt, and the healthier she became.
She basically beat cancer by dancing and singing and being in love with life.

If she had chosen any other career, she would have likely retired a number of years ago.
Chosen sensible gabardine over lycra and sparkles.
Instead, by doing what she loved, she was waking up every morning to a day full of opportunity.

Is it that simple?
Just do what you love?
And if so, why aren't more of us doing it?

I think maybe, as we get older our sense of magic and adventure
is replaced with big fat helpings of stinky mind-clouding reality and self doubt.

The simple magic that comes with imagining that we can be anything we want to be when we grow up,
starts to trickle away...
a little bit of magic washes away each time we make a decision
to do something simply because it is sensible
and responsible
and maybe even because it makes others feel more at ease.

Before we know it, we wake up to find out we are very far away from where we meant to be.

If this has, in fact, has taken place in your life,
the good news is it ain't over yet.

Better yet, the sooner you get started doing
what your heart knows you are supposed to be doing
the longer you will have to do it.

Because you just might live forever....
That is, if my calculations are correct,
using my newly developed Channing Theory, of course.

You should not take my word for it, however.
I have been known to be really off base, on occasion.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion I may be onto something....
and I know, for a fact, Carol is.


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