Friday, October 1, 2010

Meditation On Tony Curtis

The day Tony Curtis died, I heard Bob Mondello on NPR speak about him.  He talked about his talent, his struggle to be taken seriously despite his good looks (he was too spectacularly handsome for my taste), his abilities as a comic actor and a mimic, his many movies.  But, he said at the end, Tony Curtis never got the Oscar he craved.

I was driving to yoga down one of those Vermont roads that are so beautiful in this season you just want to die, when I heard this.  And it occurred to me that Tony Curtis, who was so famous that even I knew who he was, probably felt sad and frustrated during his life because he had never won an Oscar.  That he probably didn't think he was famous, or at least, not famous enough.

And in a pre-yoga moment of enlightenment I saw the futility of striving after fame, recognition, and admiration, because we humans are so made that the minute we get some, we want more.

Maybe it was the woods in their glory, maybe it was the wisps of cloud floating low among the trees as the road wound along the valley floor, but for once I felt--really felt instead of recognized or understood or intellectually grasped--the uselessness of wanting stuff.  And the importance of looking at the trees and the clouds and saying, "This is enough."

Then I said what my friend Indigo calls a "prayer equivalent" for Tony.

12 comments :

  1. Funny you should be meditating on Tony Curtis..Now if that isn't the best title for a book, I don't know what is...Today the Biography channell had him as their celebrity of the day. I can't say that I was ever a Tony Curtis fan either of his physical presence or his acting. I think his acting was uneven and his looks, although I gather were the stuff of dreams, left me cold. However, I hope he came to terms with the lack of an Oscar before he died. I agree that fame can't hold a candle to a fall day in New England. Peace.

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  2. I love the sense of peace in your drive through the woods.

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  3. I usually feel peaceful on my way FROM yoga, but this time I felt it on my way TO.

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  4. I absolutely love this—the topic, how you've capture this moment.

    (And I'll try not to feel that I've gotten the recognition I finally deserve with the blog mention!)

    What a beautiful morning THIS is.

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  5. I even had to do a bit of HTML to underline your link!

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  6. I was a Tony Curtis fan in my youth. I remember seeing him in "The Outsider" on the late late show once when I was babysitting and fell in love for a while. Possibly my first TV crush.

    I forgot about him for years until I saw him in a televised parade and thought:

    1. Tony Curtis is still alive?
    2. That's Tony Curtis?

    I didn't know that about him and his Oscar craving.

    Happy for you and your revelation about stuff.

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  7. When he was 80 he posed naked (with two strategically placed Yorkies) for Vanity Fair....

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  8. Oh dear! Only two yorkies? If I were crazy enough to even consider doing something like that at age 80, I would want at least five Newfoundlands. That ought to cover just about everything except my eyes.

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  9. Alas, only two. He could have used more, though his hair was still good.

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