Friday, September 25, 2009

Trip, Stumble, and Fall ... and ...

In her book, High on Arrival, Mackenzie Phillips of the '80's sit-com, "One Day at a Time" revealed the shocker that she'd had a long-term incestuous relationshipe with her father, Mamas and Papas' rock legend John Phillips.

I saw her on bits from "Oprah" and "Today." One could make a rhyme of her remarks and appearance: diver, survivor, thriver. She had explored life's dark side with drugs, arrests, sex and apparent incest, unemployment, and divorce. Somehow, as much by the grace of God as by her own efforts, she had survived.

She seemed composed and even self-actualized. She acknowledged that she eventually became a consenter in the sex with her father. She appeared transparent in discussing her own flaws with drugs and boundless behavior. The interviews elicited her full awareness of the lack of parental support and guidance. Yet, she professed continued love for her family, especially her deceased father.

Mackenzie Phillips declared that she wants to help victims of incest to tell their stories and to grow past the pain, bitterness, and stunted self-image. I felt I saw a fully-functioning human being as she articulated her position. I saw one who thrives, full of love and devoid of naivete about the challenges confronting her.

I don't know if she ever received Emmy consideration for her performance in the TV series, but if she is anything less than the emergent person she appeared to me on these recent telecasts, she is long overdue an Academy award.

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