Deborah Kerr: A Safe and Kind and Warm Corner

Deborah Kerr
By Phone

Oh, I wish I had known him better. I wish we had done all of the plays and films we promised each other we would do: We had decades of plans ahead of us.

He told me I had a glow about me, but I thought the same of him, and it was not merely the astounding amounts of alcohol that were being consumed around us: It was his kindness, and one day he said 'Oh why does it become so difficult in the endless rush to remain kind? Why is it so hard to find a safe and kind and warm corner?' That's how he spoke. That's how he wrote.

He was very dear at a very odd time, which I will not go into, but I must say that he stayed with me through the whole thing and was terribly dear.

I called him a few times to ask for help or advice or consolation when I had taken a part that I failed to understand or appreciate, or one that I regretted accepting the exact second rehearsals began. He always helped me greatly, said the right things, kept things in perspective. He had the gift of criticism that was delivered without any cruelty or bitterness. 

I always apologized for calling him: I have always believed that my needs pull people away from important tasks, busy lives. He said the sweetest thing: We are not diminished by demands and requests on our time; these are the things that expand us and bond us to those we love. In the need of others our own needs are met.

It is so hard to be kind and to be aware and to understand how remarkably fast the time flies by, burnt and finished.

Tennessee taught me about time.


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