When I was young I had this acting teacher who was a Buddhist. It was 1980 and I had never met a Buddhist.
I would visit her every week, and sit on her couch and tell her some musician I was in love with she’d give me Buddhist advice- and say,
There, there, darling you are on the path.
I didn’t know what that meant but every week she gave me tea and digestive cookies and she made me feel better.
My point is Marie sat there and offered me her wisdom.
Don’t you think in these difficult times we need people with more experience to offer wisdom to our youth?
Now, I can hear you thinking, “But I don’t have much wisdom.” If this is the truth for you, maybe can go to Arizona and play pickle ball. ( Hee. Hee)
But at this age I want to be more like her and offer the youth what she offered me.
Not that the youth will likely get it.
I know I didn’t appreciate how clever she was when I went to visit her.
See each week, when I would complain to Marie about the latest thing my crazy drummer boyfriend she kept telling me this story about a wildly attractive guy who kissed her.
But see she was British and she went to boarding school in Germany.
And at 17, she broke her leg and was in a hospital in that old school traction lying in bed for weeks.
And there was a debonair man who kept visiting people in the hospital. And as she lay in the bed, he flirted with her, coming back over the course of three days theories on his life.
Then he handed her a book he had written and kissed her hand.
Months later she was back in London where the city was being carpet- bombed and the horror of that kiss became clear.
And the book was called, Mein Kamph.
And the man was Hitler.
Yeah, that’s right!
Hitler kissed Marie’s hand.
I didn’t feel so bad. I only kissed drummer from Alice Cooper.
But here’s the point of my story!
I wrote a play about Marie and it was produced at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto back in the late 80’s and I didn’t include that story in the play.
Why? Because I didn’t even remember it until I turned 60.
And so this means if you are a young person, you will likely not remember the wise things I’m saying tonight, until you are the age I am when I said it.
Because you can’t hear my intelligence, because of my face, people have trapped me in an older woman role.
I did the same thing with my friend Marie, with my grandma’s.
I created the Sassy Grandma Brady: the need Nuthin salt of the earth Grandma Kimmett.
I didn’t see their history, that they had survived 2 world wars, the depression and had 18 kids between them.
They were constantly pregnant, with no agency over their own bodies.
They had no schooling past grade 8.
Because at that time they got pulled out to work the farm, so they wouldn’t starve to death.
(A lot like our kids who are walking out of school, protesting so they can save the planet!)
So after everything they have survived, our elders got reduced to an eye roll and an “Isn’t she cute, walking around, without breaking a hip?”
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