In a salute to Shirley MacLaine’s birthday — #82 and counting — a close look at the phenomenon called reincarnation seems in order. I could have gone with extraterrestrials, but, meh. They’re dull in comparison. Being reborn in a new and different ‘vessel‘ sounds very exotic. A chance at a fresh start with no baggage, no regrets, just a nice, clean slate.
It sounds like a gas, until you consider the various forms your next life could take. They aren’t all fabulous.
Old Shirl, an avowed weirdness expert, insists her past lives have included gigs as a medieval warrior, an orphan raised by elephants (that’s my favorite), a Japanese geisha, and a model for post-impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec. Her dog, believe it or not, is a supposed reincarnation of the jackal-headed Egyptian god, Anubis.
Sadly, we can’t all expect the same good fortune. We won’t be reborn as crowned heads and rainbows.
The majority, if karma can be trusted, will land much lower on the scale of possibilities. And, frankly, I’m unwilling to take the chance. If offered the opportunity to return as something else, I’ll politely refuse to roll those dice. There are too many unattractive variables. Gosh, I’m sorry, did I say unattractive? I meant horrifying. Completely off-putting.
I don’t like taking the bloom off the rose like that, but feel it’s my duty as a blogger to inform you. Reincarnation is a risky business, a flat-out crapshoot, actually. And I’m not eager to be recycled, thank you. That’s what reincarnation is, you know. An aggressive, galaxy-wide recycling program. Please, God, don’t let it be mandatory. Although if Recycling Man is part of things, well, I could be persuaded to do a rethink.
Fun SHirley Facts
We may know a little too much about Shirley MacLaine, but here’s more in case you’re interested:
¿ She was born on April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Va. Huh, a southern girl. I don’t see her as a Daughters of the Confederacy type.
¿ She was named after Shirley Temple. Another jarring revelation.
¿ In her high school days, she was a cheerleader. Rah!
¿ Barbra Streisand shares the same birthday and they celebrate together every year.
¿ She’s had a number of alien encounters, both in D.C. and at her ranch in New Mexico. She welcomes their visits.
¿ She saw Atlantis go down!
¿ Only three things are required to make her happy: fresh water, a good hat, and a really good pair of shoes. I recommend Converse All-Stars, the Chuck Taylors — versatile enough for those ever-changing terrains.
¿ She’s not a morning person.
¿ Her philosophy? ‘I haven’t planned a damn thing ever in my life.’ (Ditto, it just hasn’t worked out as well for me.)
¿ As eccentric and batty as she is, you’ve got to love the old girl’s crackpot style.