Up in the middle of the night. I’m watching Robin William’s clips. I’ve been watching or listening to him since I was 12 or 13. I had his first vinyl record and as a proper adolescent would listen to it in secret and with glee. As a youth, I memorized his skits.
Currently, thanks to the wonders of the 21st Century, I’m in the dead of the night watching him on talk shows. I’m watching how he interacted with the hosts, how focused and silly he could be. I’m seeing how much joy he carried for their own jokes and how, on a dime, he could be honest, serious, heartfelt and wise.
Still trying to make sense of things a few days ago, I wrote a blog post about it and, like the tears on the news of his passing, the words just kept coming out and made quite a mess. That blog post ended up not making much sense so, like kleenex, I tossed it.
In that tangle of emotion and words, however, there was one idea that did make sense. So, I wrote another one. This one.
Did we lose a light in the world? Yes. Yes, we did. However to say that and just move on with your life is no way to honor his part in it. “Thanks for coming to the party and for the laughs, Mr. Williams. Take care. Have a safe drive. Mind the traffic on your way home…”
No. I don’t think that’s what his life was about, what he came here to do.
The only way to truly honor his gifts is to make a conscious effort to keep the damned torch burning. It’s about stopping and making a decision to carry intelligent foolishness, to not take this life so damned serious. Be funny to one another, carry joy. To represent not HIS style of humor and caring, but YOUR OWN. More importantly, it is about having the courage to share it with others. Passing it on and lifting someone else up with a laugh or a smile or a joke who may be having a harder time than you.
I suppose THAT’s the only sense I’ve been able to make of it. It’s my sense. It’s time to keep it burning, share it. I can’t believe I’m the only one having trouble sleeping and processing the past few days. Maybe this has helped, maybe not. Ultimately you’re going to have to find your own in all of it and maybe this will help.
God speed, Mr. Williams. Thank you for the laughs, the wisdom and the Light. We’ll do our best to take it from here.