There are many a photo that I love of Judy Garland. Lol, there’s so many to choose from, but…I didn’t know what it was about this one that just captivated me.
I could just as easily pick a picture of her on stage, her head thrown back with her arms spread out in front her, grasping for something that isn’t there so she wouldn’t fall completely, obviously belting out that voice of hers that seemed to be an entity of its own; desperatly trying to hold on to it. Clinging on for the ride.
I watched Me and My Shadows today, and I started crying. I just began to weep for this woman, whom I don’t really know. I’ve never met her, though I wish I could, seeing how she passed before I was born, nor will I ever get the chance. But the reason I keep coming back to this picture, I’ve realized is the same reason why I wept.
She’s sitting there with her children; Liza, Lorna and Joey. The camera, simply, apart of the decor. They could be talking about the weather. Liza could be informing her mother on her day, how school was, with the rest of them intently listening. Just, content with each other’s presence. Just, a family. A family like anyone elses.
I’ve heard of the demons she faced in the form of little pills in a perscribion bottle and the bouts of depression. But I won’t say she was a tortured soul, or that her life was a tragedy. That would be missing the point.
As Lorna Luft had explained so perfectly— Judy never saw herself as tragic. She never lost her optimism. That level of joy and carrying on, no matter what the obstacles, was something she made every audience feel and believe. It’s why people love her.
That’s certainly why I love her.
And If there’s anything I’ve learned from this woman, it’s that everyone’s show must go on. And it’s up to us to make it a good one.