16 September 2011

A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn

I've always enjoyed Goldie Hawn's films. I haven't seen them all, yet.

I'm no star-gazer but I love reading biographies and memoirs.

Goldie has a personal depth that is engaging and lovely. She expresses herself well and with insight. We are told of flaws as well as things that are self-flattering. 

On page 321 she says this in a diary entry from 1982: "Oh cursed are the enlightened, for the only protection from knowledge and experience is more knowledge and experience."

When Goldie was a little girl and was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up would reply simply, "Happy". Happiness remains her goal in life. Happiness for herself and for the people she surrounds herself with.

She met her current husband, Kurt Russell, when they both starred in the film "Swing Shift".  They are not married but live as man and wife. She expresses that the ritual and ceremony of a wedding is a lovely experience and one that many people should rightly go through. She compares her relationship with Kurt to her relationship with her children and the fact that a piece of paper is not required in order for her to treat them the way she feels a parent should treat a child. Good point. Many of us who are married do not remain mindful of why we married in the first place; we begin to take for granted the one we most love. I do believe that it was important for my husband and me to make a vow to our God in relation to our marriage. I respect her right to do otherwise and like the way she supports her answer.

She says "I wake up every day with the intention to be loving and happy and the best I can be. I try to make each day a new day without carrying over the baggage from the previous day. I try to remind myself each morning why I am in love. And when there are differences, I try to put myself in the other person's shoes, so I can feel what they're feeling, not just what I'm feeling. I try to look with four eyes instead of just my two." Married or not, that is how we should all behave.

She is an unusual woman, and in one way we are extremely similar. Goldie allows herself to look at things from the male perspective. On top of that she feels a sensitivity for men and what their world holds for them. She respects them. In one section of the book she mentions men's vulnerability with regard to sexual passion and how they are affected in ways that are greatly different from the way women are affected. She warns against changing a mate to suit you; neither will end up being happy. 

Goldie is very down to earth. She is a free spirit who does not seem to be chained down by her possessions. She works with Operation Smile to bring in donations for children in desperate need of facial surgery. 

Goldie loves being a mom to her three children and Kurt's son. She has this poignant bit to say about motherhood:

"Even in the real world, a mother can be all-powerful, and she is the one person who can make her family flourish. She dotes lovingly on her daughter, and identifies with her in a way she can't with her son. All her juices are flowing; she feels alive~she feels the vitality in her and in her girl child. She is present and relevant and omniscient. Such is the bond between a mother and daughter."

"But when that daughter grows up and begins to lead her own life, a mother can feel bereft. The daughter moves into her own shadowy underworld, just as Persephone (of Greek mythology) did, only in the real world it is secrets and boys and sexual discovery. A mother may be left behind, thinking, But I'm not done yet. I still have something to say but you're not listening. I still have something to give but you're not receptive to it. And so I have no one to nourish anymore. What do I do for the rest of my life?"

I have not yet read a parenting book that tells us such a thing in quite this way; preparing us for the sense of loss that will come from completing a job well~the job of parenting and releasing your children to their own worlds. I am on the cusp of beginning to go through this. Our children are: 16, 15, 10, 9 and 5 years old. I am watching my husband's sister as she just became the proud owner of an empty nest. I am watching to see how things work for her and her husband. I have taken child-raising cues from her and continue to observe and listen to her wisdom.

Goldie also speaks of death; the deaths of her parents. Being a daughter and a mother at the same time puts a woman in the middle of the circle of life. It can be a challenging place to be. Her "mother refused to say "I'm going to die." This is an issue I have with my own mother. We all succumb eventually though. She says "Know that you are going to die, then back up and live each day with that truth in mind. Wake up each morning happy to be alive."

Goldie is still searching with regard to the meaning of life. I give her credit for continuing to search. I am happy to say that I have found my meaning; a full life in Christ. I am greatly blessed and hope to be a blessing to others. 

Goldie has led an interesting life and tells her story well.

If you like Goldie, I think you'll like her book.

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