There goes one personal post – sorry in advance – but I can’t help thinking of Deborah today, being her birthday. And this is one birthday I like to celebrate in some way.
It feels a little weird to celebrate the birth of someone you have never met but she touched my life so deeply that I can’t help but be profoundly grateful that she was born. Grateful that she found her calling and her voice and fought every battle to get where she wanted. Grateful that she found the strength to go on when things were hard and she pulled herself through the sad times. Grateful that she proved herself and everyone else that she could do it. That she was good at it. That she belonged there. Because, we never met, but she was there for me when I needed her. Just there – on my screen.
She probably never knew of the effect she had on someone like me. She probably believed she was priviledged to be able to make a living out of what she loved doing. Priviledged to be allowed to express herself on stage. And she was, of course. She worked on the entertainement industry, but for someone like me, that was so much more than entertainment. I can’t say I loved her like a friend because friends imply interaction. I can’t say I admired her work, or the persona I imagined existed behind her skill because, even if I did, there is no affection in admiration and I did love her in some peculiar one-sided way.
I loved the fragility one could feel in her. That vulnerability she allowed us to see. And I loved how she was able to let that show without giving up her inner strength. I think what I find most beautiful of her performances is that you can tell that all that sensibility was there, unguarded, and that she was brave enough to let it show. Maybe that’s what I lovd about her – the fact that she seemed brave enough to open up that way when I was never able to.
So, yes, there is no shame is saying how much I loved her if only for what she allowed us to see in her. I don’t know if we would have been friends if we had ever met. I’m guessing I would have loved her just the same – quite probably a lot more. I think she would have thought I was a little crazy and she would have probably be sweet to me just because that’s the way she was. But yes, today I celebrate her birthday even though we never met and even though she is gone already because I have learned to appreciate what’s beautiful in my life and she will always be the one I will turn to when I am lost in ugliness.
She wanted to be remembered as a good actress but above all as a good human being. Well, I remember. And I am not alone. This site and all the people passing by it are proof that she is remembered for the talented actress that she was. And she’s been gone for a few years now and no one has yet came up with anything bad to say about her, so, yes, she is remembered just like she wished she was: Like a good human being.
Deborah was the woman I hoped I could grow up to be: Intelligent, sensitive, talented and feminine without all the artifice. I am still far far away from that ideal but, well, there was only one Deborah Kerr.