David and I were honored to host a party for documentary filmmaker and writer Leslie Zemeckis’ latest book, Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr. The biography chronicles the life of a woman who was a famous stripteaser, rubbing elbows with many of Hollywood’s elite. Much of her life was full of adventure, romance, and fame, yet in her later years she became a recluse who’d lost her fortune and became addicted to heroin. Lili was a complicated and enigmatic woman, and Zemeckis captures her story beautifully.
One of the most interesting (and surprising!) lessons I took from the book is the notion of being present in all of my actions. I thought of my own meditation practice, and how I am learning to be present for every single moment – even for small tasks like getting out of a chair. That sort of dedicated attention carried over into my experience watching videos of Lili St. Cyr. Her art of being present is palpable, as is her grace, beauty, and charisma. Something as simple as Lili putting on or taking off a glamorous robe inspired a deeper connection to my own body, encouraging me to be present with each movement and empowered by my own beauty, inside and out.
The Goddess of Love Incarnate is a thorough and captivating account of a fascinating woman. Lili comes alive not only through Zemeckis’ words, but also the stunning photographs included in the book. Her story reminds us to live life wholly and in the moment, because a life well lived has both tragedy and fulfillment at its peak.