I have a confession to make. And since we’re only two days past Valentine’s Day, I’ll present one of those, too.
The comedian I’ve always admired absolute tops is Carol Burnett—
her inventiveness, spontaneity, ability to laugh at herself to make others laugh have gained her lifelong achievement awards AND established her in our hearts. Her pratfalls, sense of timing, facial expressions perfectly conveying the emotions going on inside emotionally represent any of us.
Spoiler Alert—often in life, I’ve pictured myself getting by waving my hands, managing cute dance steps, belting out a song or Tarzan cry—and bringing down the house. MANY of our houses NEED to be brought down.
After reading her second memoir, Together Again, and loving and respecting what I read there, I tracked down her much earlier, more complete, raw, bootstrap-inspiring 1986 One More Time that she totally wrote herself. Wowser! Her writing is great, but her life tenacity and accomplishments revealed are incredible. Moral? Maybe the greater the challenges, the greater the jet propulsion when the runner commits himself/herself to the starter blocks determined to leave Point A and reach Point B or far-beyond, and breaking all known records along the way.
Though there’s little chance we’ll meet, I say hats off, Happy Valentine’s, endless respect, healing laughter, and enduring love.
In college psych when they administered vocational aptitude tests, mine came back pointing me toward forestry, education, or pastoral studies. I laughed, but my life combines all three—working my way through college and many summers for the U.S. and Canadian Forest Services, racking up years of college teachings in many venues and loving it, PLUS enjoying mission trips and similar opportunities in far-flung places and benefiting from amazing relationships.
But if I were not I, I’d be Carol Burnett, making them laugh, connecting interesting oddball humans by portraying their entertaining eccentric sides but revealing how those distinctive individual traits survivable and lovable. Well-done, brave soldier, warmest thanks, and Happy Valentine's!