Tuesday, August 12, 2014
THE DAY THE MAN WHO MADE US ALL LAUGH MADE US ALL CRY
Though it’s not easy these days, I try to keep this blog positive, inspiring, and hopeful.
Unfortunately, not all news is good news. Sometimes it is painfully sad. Such was the case yesterday when we all learned that Robin Williams, an icon among icons, was gone—intentionally self-induced. The old adage that “bad news travels fast,” has never been truer in our age of social media.
Looking from afar, or sometimes even from up close, one never really knows what demons lurk in the minds of others, especially the super-talented, super-successful, super-wealthy, seemingly super-upbeat special people. Most wear their masks all too well. They go from off to “the show must go on” in a flash.
We look upon such folks with admiration and envy wishing to be them or to enjoy equal fame and fortune. Most of us don’t ever achieve that, and perhaps that is a blessing after all. There is something to be said for living a small and anonymous life, especially since that is stressful enough these days. Many who have achieved fame and fortune, and who have lived our very fantasies, are often dealing with nightmares hidden from view. In making such people our super-heroes, we view them from a distorted prism that only sees the light and never sees the dark that lurks quietly but powerfully beneath the surface.
It is well known that many comedians, comedy writers, and superstars of all types use their medium to cover and convert their sadness and pain. Their very artistic talents may strongly spring from transforming their personal angst into publically lauded and applauded assets. Apparently, such was the case for one of the funniest and zaniest people of all times.
I am reminded of the 1997 lyrics of another icon whose dark clouds have been following him for fifty years or so. Bob Dylan sang:
I was born here and I will die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there
Emotional trauma from earlier years can spawn addictions that can last for all of our years. Over time they wear people down—body, mind, spirit, and soul. All the tumult, torture, and turbulence ultimately take their toll and ultimately take a life. One could argue that people really aren’t built to withstand such intense levels of stress, tension, and always being “on stage!”
Though he leaves behind a richly colored tapestry that forms his legacy, all who knew him personally as well as those who admired him from afar will sorely miss Mr. Williams—entertainer extraordinaire. One can’t help but feel that Robin robbed himself, his family, friends, and his fans of all that was left behind on the table of his yet unlived life.
Perhaps the lesson he leaves us all with is that we need to keep seeking peace within ourselves while we are still here. Hopefully and prayerfully he has finally found his peace; the man who gave us so much rightfully deserves that.
Bye For Now,