by Lena Fields-Arnold
I was at work today when I heard the news of Carrie Fisher’s death.
I was sad.
I have officially reached the age when the icons of my childhood are dying.
Much too young.
Michael Jackson-my first love!
Prince-much respect for the sheer musical genius!
George Michaels-who could not love Careless Whisper. Seriously, there is something wrong with you if you don’t love this song.
But today it’s all about Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia and the leadership lessons I learned from both Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia.
Princess Leia was my first official SHERO. Sure before her there was Wonder Woman and Supergirl-but they were nothing compared to the bad-ass space princess that was Leia. See because Leia was real. She had a dysfunctional family, she started the movie with a really bad hair day, (what girl can’t relate to those two crazy buns on the side of her head,) she was emotionally insecure despite her bravery, bravado and beauty. She was relatable. Plus she had blasters, droids, handsome dudes in love with her, and she traveled through space!
Sure she may have come from family that had “The Force” but Leia was all grit! Her true power came from the courage she displayed in the face of cruelty. Leia came from a wealthy family and could have been content to live in comfort, but she chose to pursue the cause of justice and righteousness even to her own detriment. She made you believe a girl could do anything and she made it look good. I’m telling you George Lucas called it right when he created her character, but it took the acting prowess of a Carrie Fisher to pull it off. Think about it-I defy you to name one actress-living or dead who could have pulled off the role of Princess Leia other than Carrie Fisher. Maybe you can do it, but I can’t and frankly don’t wanna.
Real Leaders are willing to fight for truth, liberty, freedom, and justice!
With regard to the real life persona of Carrie Fisher, she was quirky, honest, transparent, and emotionally vulnerable, but like Leia-she also had grit.
I learned from her the importance of admitting and acknowledging your frailties. It took a series of hard knocks for her to learn this lesson and her past mistakes are probably what led to her untimely demise-nevertheless when she shared her stories we embraced them. We did so, not because we believe she made the best choices, but because she owned them. That is a lesson we can all take to heart. When you mess up-own it! Sure she could have blamed it all on the addictions she struggled with, but she didn’t. I like her for that. I would not want to have lived her life. There are times when she didn’t want to live her life. But she did it-and in doing so, she taught us the importance of having the courage to wake up one more day and try one more time. Just when she was finding herself again, and giving us a “New Hope” she is gone. I will miss her.
Real Leaders Embrace their Shame and in doing so-ERASE IT!
So-here’s the challenge.
I have started a Tanka in honor of Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia and I challenge any willing Carrie Fisher fan to add to the tanka so that together we can create a tanka train. If you write poetry you already know that a tanka is a type of Japanese poetry similar to a haiku. It consists of 5 lines in the following pattern.
Tankas use simile, metaphor and personification and are typically written about nature, seasons, love, sadness or other strong emotions.
I invite you to add to the train by writing your tanka in the comments. At the end of the week I will put them all together in one post as one poem. All writers will be credited for the final piece and their sections within the piece. I claim no ownership to those individual sections and the final piece will be available to anyone via the creative commons license-free to use and share.
All participants will be entered into a drawing to receive a free copy of Carrie Fishers book The Princess Diarist. By drawing I mean I will put every name on an index card, throw them in the air and the first card my dog steps on will be the winner. That’s about as fair as it gets around this house.
So I hope you will take the challenge, not just for the prize, but for the fun of remembering two cool characters-the fictional Princess Leia and the very real Carrie Fisher. Be sure to include a link to your blog.
The Princess Tanka-A Poem by Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia Fans
stinging news of bad tidings
Princess Leia lost
Carrie gone to walk with sky
star wars will not be the same