Many years ago, I saw the movie Valley of the Dolls which centered on the lives of three young women. Each had challenges thrown at them but I always strongly identified with the actress Barbara Parkins’ character. She played Anne; Patty Duke played Neely and Sharon Tate played Jennifer. At the end of the film, I remember Barbara Parkins walking down a sidewalk and simply moving on with her life.
That image has greatly encouraged me to continually move on. It may be with a tear-stained handkerchief in hand and several emotional scars, but advancement to the next level of existence is a necessity. One poet from the Memphis area named W. Herbert Brewster wrote a poem called, Be Proud of Your Wounds and Scars. I recall how one co-worker read it in a library setting. She read it with such animation and emphasis. She pounded her fist like a judge does an anvil as she repeated the chorus.
Though inner pains may slow our normal quick pace, we too can walk away from situations that continually bring us heaviness and gloom. We can salvage ourselves and look for the lessons. We can learn from the role we adversely played so that we will never have to repeat that pain again. It only holds us back when we don’t understand what we need to do to break the negative cycle and stretch out in a linear fashion.
Sometimes, as Barbara Parkins’ character realized in Jacqueline Susann’s book, Valley of the Dolls, we have to leave certain people behind. It could be a do or die situation. Either she had to leave it or it would have completely destroyed her. She chose life and I will always remember how she decided that a solo flight was better than no flight at all. Her other two friends were not as fortunate. One succumbed to death and the other was heavily addicted to pills and she was not likely to overcome the use of them.
Kenny Rogers sang these lyrics from The Gambler:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away.”
August 10, 2015