I've met a lot of people in my life who are really, really brilliant or over-the-top talented in some way or breathtakingly beautiful.
Some of them political or theological leaders. Others cross my life in other venues. Sometimes there's a tornado there. A rollercoaster ride.
My mother often quoted a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay that to me, always captures these people:
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
Liz Taylor (of course) was a public tornado. What a breathtakingly beautiful woman. In reading her obits today, I was struck by the number of losers she was attracted to and the hot water she got herself into. Like a moth to the flame.
I didn't realize that the Holy See released a message directed at her saying she was guilty of erotic vagrancy. (John XXII?) Can you imagine?
When actors and actresses who are a bridge to our parent's generation die, a little bit of something slips away. I don't even really have to feel particularly attracted to the personalities. I just remember growing up sitting on the beaches every Summer with my Mom and favorite Aunt reading the newspaper and commenting about the antics of all these characters -- much like we do now. A lot of that chatter planted seeds. I miss them, miss the chatter. In some ways I want to pick up the phone and talk about the death...and their memories.
Taylor was in the hospital for six weeks, according to the stories. I hope she prepared, found her way to Our Lord, to pardon and peace.
My Jesus Mercy.