The first time I met via video chat with Jamie, one of my trainers in Tennessee, I was distracted by the poster of Dolly Parton to the left of his head in the video frame. “Are you a Dolly fan?” I asked with a laugh. “Fan” is the understatement of the year. Jamie is a devotee of the highest order of Dolly Parton. And, while we all laugh when we first realize the depths of his admiration for this Appalachian icon, at some level we totally understand it. She speaks to us all.
She is cool. She is funny. She is beautiful. Her unnatural appearance screams authenticity in a way we could all only dream of being. She is one of the few songwriters whose songs reach into my chest, grab my heart by the heartstrings and leave me a blubbering mess. Angels listen in envy of her angelic voice. She understands men, but she really, really understands women. She has written about my life, my hurts, my dreams and my deepest fears. Her songs Fancy, Coat of Many Colors and Jolene have been playing in the background of all my hardships. Dolly’s music has reminded me many times that even in my most difficult times I have the strength to walk through it with my head held high, boobs out and with no regrets.
Those iconic breasts, teeny tiny waistline and big, blonde hair at first glance are the male fantasy of the perfect woman. But you can’t listen to her music without understanding that she is a storyteller of the highest order, capturing the strength and power of the female spirit. She leans into male desire but jumps full-fledge boobs first into the essence of female energy. She unashamedly flaunts it, embraces it and uses it to our advantage.
A podcast called Dolly Parton’s America popped up in my podcast feed this morning. In our fractured culture today, she may be the one thing that unites us. Dolly is left, right and center. She courses with both feminine and masculine energy. She is a powerful business woman AND one of the best damn writers and storytellers I’ve ever heard.
If you love Dolly, this would be worth a listen. I learned a lot from the first visit this morning. I’d tell you what I learned, but I think it’s better if you hear it from her own beautiful mouth. Besides I need to go put on my stiffest bra so I can head out Dolly-style this morning – cuz I have to go to work.