We’re all feeling a little lost right now, aren’t we?
But Cher is never lost.
Last night I was thinking about all the travel I’m not going to get to do this year, and about all the travel that I loved doing last year. One trip, in particular, stood out for me: a family trip to the American Southwest that started in Sedona went up through the Grand Canyon and ended for us to fly out of Las Vegas.
There’s always lots to do in Las Vegas, and our kids had never been, so we decided to give them the ultimate Vegas show experience: Cher. I mean, does it get any more Vegas — ahem, the PG-Version — than Cher in Residency on a big stage in Las Vegas? I think not.
And she was everything you’d imagine: giant wigs, sequined and skin-baring costumes, sky-high heels. She’s in her seventies and could dance me under the table. (Actually, that’s not fair to Cher; I have the coordination of your clunkiest desk chair and a dancing bear could dance me under the table, but you get the picture.)
But, her perfection didn’t stand out for me. It was her imperfection.
Just in case you think that having approximately 1,343,672,358 at-bats makes you perfect on stage, take heart in knowing that even Cher messes up.
And when she does, what does she do? She looks for a roadmap to remind her of where she is going. She remembers the highs and lows. She finds her place in the story.
Here’s how it went down. At one point in the show, she pauses the music and tells this long and rambling and hilarious story that has lots of agony and ecstasy moments. Clearly, the story got away from her and she suddenly stopped mid-yarn, stared blankly at the crowd.
“Wait, I think I forgot a part of the story… Let’s see, I’m over here (points down at stage left where she is standing) and ok, so I gotta go over there (points to stage right and then walks across the stage silently) and this is the bad place so I gotta tell you the bad part of the story.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right, so Jack Nicholson tried to kick me out of ‘Witches of Eastwick’ because he said I was too old and not sexy… and now I gotta go back over there (points to stage left) because that’s a good place and I can tell you the good part of the story (and silently walks over to stage left) that I’ve won an Academy Award.”
And then she curtsies and owns the uproarious applause, as one does after slaying a ten-minute shaggy dog of a story wearing a five-pound wig and six-inch heels, and precious little in between.
That’s how we survive COVID. We use a roadmap of where we need to be, we swim in both the highs and the lows of our journeys, and at any given point where we feel lost, we simply remind ourselves of who we are and our place in our stories.
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