Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Robin Williams - Our most favorite and talented clown!
A brilliant star has burned out and the world is the darker for it. Our favorite clown, Robin Williams, has apparently taken his own life, according to authorities. He made us laugh, giggle, cry, and howl. There was no other comedian, past or present, who could tickle our sides quite like Williams did.
His performances, because they were definitely great performances, in every movie he made, drew us in to look at the world in a different and unique way and inspired us to look closer for the true meaning and depth of life. He was not going to let us get away with the superficial meanderings on the road of life. He forced us to look at love, poetry, romance and laughter in new and creative ways. He made us aware and mindful of what truly was important in life and did it in such a comedic way, that by laughing at him we were able to laugh at ourselves.
Williams has been described by all as a comedic genius. And, that he was. His wit and cleverness hit like lightening and he could improvise on a flash of a moment with anyone he was around. His brain and thoughts were on overdrive and we could hardly hear fast enough to keep up with his wit.
We know also of his depressive disorder, and his his drug usage to fill the dark hollow vessel within him that he felt, but we knew nothing about.
The true definition of depression is that each one that suffers from it does so because they have been forced to face reality - sometimes a reality that is sad and painful but real. They have faced reality up close and personal in a way others have not. The rest of the world lives happily on in a bubble of illusion, never understanding the hurt and pain in the world, but only a pin prick burst of the bubble away from a reality they might not be able to handle either.
Who is to say, when faced with a brutal reality of life, and the pain of that deep hollow vessel, that the taking of one's life might be the course taken also?
True genius, really, is just a sword's edge or a hanging thread from depression and mental disorders. If Williams had not had the depressive disorder, would we have had the comedic genius that he was? Would we be able to have the genius without the depressive disorder?
In true genius and brilliance, are the highs and lows necessary for the genius to be revealed.
And, once revealed, wouldn't the genius be enough to satisfy Williams?
Robin Williams was a round peg everyone tried to push through a square hole as he was growing up. Fierce and quick comedic wit is what kept the round peg from being pounded into a square shape. Williams beat and won out over conformity with his comedic talent.
But, throughout his life and his brilliant career, the deep dark hollow vessel remained deep and empty inside. He put on the clown's face and never revealed to us his pain time after time. As he grew older and matured, he did stop to discuss his drug rehab experiences, always assuring us with a joke that he had conquered his demons.
By his sixth decade, Williams was exhausted from the cycle of depression, working through therapy and comedy to briefly conquer it, only to have it return, and the cycle continue. How much longer would this go on?
He put on his clown face and had us convinced he was fine - successful and strong. The mask hid the fear, the terror, the anxiety, and the panic of the deep empty vessel that always rang hollow and seemed to question his talent and confidence.
Robin Williams was exhausted. Sixty years of facing life's realities and trying to make fun of it all. He needed to finally rest from it all.
The song, "Be a clown, be a clown . . ." echoed through his ears as he pulled the belt strap around his neck, hanging himself, and finally feeling peace flood his body instead of pain.
Update: August 15, 2014. When someone takes their own life our first question is always "why?" Williams' wife has provided a clue as to why. She has announced Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. To a comic who used facial expressions and physical pratfalls as part of his comedy this must have been devastating to him. To know that he would slowly be turning to stone as Parkinson's disease slowly petrified his body was most likely more than he could bear. Anyone would be depressed with this diagnosis. His body eventually would become a hard, empty stone vessel. That would be a living death to a comedian. Hopefully, Williams is in a better place and finally at peace.
Copyright (c) 2014 Suzannah Wolf Walker