Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Captain, My Captain...

Robin Williams is dead. Please say it isn't so. There is already enough pain in the world, I don't want one of my "pain-relievers" to be gone. 

Robin William's character, John Keating, in Dead Poet's Society introduced me to carpe diem, "seize the day." I was like one of Keating's students, naive, ignorant, future focused, selfish. William's character made me face reality, all we are is dust in the wind. Life is short. Life is precious. Stop worrying about tomorrow and live today. Be mindful and be in the moment. Life is about connection. I embraced carpe diem. My wife, Terri, morphed it into Carrpe Diem and it became my mantra, my tagline, my daily purpose, my tattoo!

For some reason, Don Mclean's American Pie keeps rolling around in my head. It's not the day the music died, but the day the laughter died

Mclean's song is complicated. It was written in turbulent times, about turbulent times and yet times are turbulent today. For me, Robin William's death underscores the macro torture in the world narrowed down to the micro torture within. I have to admit, I've had fleeting thoughts of, "is life worth living?" but not to the point of wanting to end my life. 

Robin William's death brings back a vivid memory of a co-worker, a friend, thirteen years ago, who also took her life. I was the last person with whom she spoke. It's one of my micro tortures I've relived many times, trying to figure out what I missed, what clues were there.  I am sure people close to Williams are going through the same agony. To them and a reminder to myself...

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge-
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts-
That hope always triumphs over experience-
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.
                                                                    Robert Fulghum

I'm going to watch some of Robin William's funniest material and bring the laughter back to life. I need to seize the day.