Sunday, November 16, 2014

Robin Williams and Us

Remember the 1991 movie, Hook, where Robin Williams starred as Peter Banning and became "The Pan"?  It's a movie one of my brothers and I have been quoting for over 20 years... "You're afraid you're going to get sucked out!"  Anyway, the family and I finished watching it again tonight.  It's the first Robin Williams movie I've seen since he died.  And, I'm sad.  I'm sad that he's gone from the world. 

As I was watching it, I noticed all of the people he acted and interacted with in the movie.  He was their husband, father, nephew, rival, and leader.  Of course, he wasn't these things to them in real life.  But, he was real and they were real, and their lives really did slam magnificently into each other, at least as long as the movie was being filmed. 

I think about how sad I am, and how I didn't even know him.  So, what about all of the kids he worked with in that movie who are probably 30 somethings now?  How do they feel, and how did they feel when they heard he took his life?  He must have seemed larger-than-life to them.  What is the personal impact of thinking someone is larger-than-life, and then having them opt out?!  I think about all of the movies he's filmed, and all of the lives he's touched during the filming, and can't imagine how many people that must be.  And those are just the people he's worked with.  It doesn't even include the people he loved, and spent time with, and supported.  

How about my life?  Your life?  Not that much different, really.  Smaller scale?  Maybe.  Cameras? Probably not.  Impact?  Definitely.  We're filming a movie a day, or writing a page a day if you prefer... 

The Holy Spirit with the pen of His power writes a living Gospel, but a Gospel that cannot be read until it has left the press of this life, and has been published on the day of eternity.  Oh! great history! grand book written by the Holy Spirit in this present time - It is still in the press.  There is never a day when the type is not arranged, when the ink is not applied, or the pages are not primed. 
Abandonment to Divine Providence, Jean Pierre de Caussade

Robin Williams was a comedic genius.  There will never be another one like him.  He was exceptional and unrepeatable.  And the thing is, that his unrepeatability is the thing we all have in common!  He may have been more distinctive and more well-known, but he is no less likely to be duplicated than anyone else.  It is impossible for any of us to be duplicated.  There are other funny people who make the world laugh, but they are not Robin Williams, and they never will be.  After we go, there may be some who are like us, in body, soul, or spirit.  But, they will never be us.    

As my mother once carefully printed on a bookmark for me, with my name cut out and glued at the top...

You are the
Presentation of the
Face of GOD
To the people
Of your time  
St. John Paul II
Dear God of peoples little and well-known,
Thank you for great movies and the talent you give to those who make them come alive.  Thank you for the gift of laughter and all who bring it.  Please comfort all who are left behind when someone they love takes their own life, and have mercy on those who do the taking.  Eternal rest grant unto Robin Williams, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace.  Amen.

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