Deborah Kerr: Radical Kindness

Photo by Yul Brynner

Phone Interview
From the forthcoming Artistic Suicide

The disappearance of time is the most startling thing. I don't mean simply that there is suddenly so much less of it: I became aware that the very texture of time had changed. In the early years of my life--first as a dancer, then as an actress--I was very much aware of people surrounding me and helping me and caring about my development. Time moves forward and suddenly people have these heavy careers to hoist about, and they slip away. Not all of them, of course, but many of them. The demands are so great. But this is a very sad and inevitable fact of life, I think: People move away, drift off. It is not at all personal--they are merely raising their families and tending to their lives--but it feels very personal. It's a loss. And now that we're all old and there is suddenly so much time at hand and facing us, we reconnect. We call and we write and we hobble toward each other at benefits and funerals. And it all comes back. Love and gratitude and memories. I have been so lucky. I think we have to find a way to alter time, however. Not in a mystical sense, but a very real sense: Let's just say to hell with what I think I have to do right now, or what a manager tells me to do, and run over and spend some time with the people who held out a hand and pulled you up. Radical kindness. Rebellious generosity. I like that idea. 

©2013 by James Grissom


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