The world is in mourning at the news of Robin Williams death yesterday, taken apparently by his own hand.
The only good thing that may come of this is that hopefully, possibly, new awareness and attention will be brought to the phenomenon of depression as a whole. As someone who’s battled depression and alcoholism (though I often don’t discuss it here) myself, I can identify- honestly- more than I would like to. As Bukowski once wrote,
“I guess we often get the deep blues, both of us, and wonder what it all means- the people, the buildings, the day by day things, the waste of time, of ourselves”
The sad truth is that battling depression can be so overwhelmingly exhausting- so completely draining- that sometimes, it seems like it would be easier to just pull the plug. I’ve been there. A lot of us have been there.
Probably my favorite movie starring Robin Williams (which, let me tell you, is a hard call to make-) is the one titled What Dreams May Come. To put it nicely, the movie plot is heavy- man and wife are happy, have happy children. Children die. Man dies. Wife is left alone and sad. Commits suicide to end the sadness. Man must rescue his wife from hell. Without spoiling more, I’ll stop there.
It’s a beautifully shot movie, with movie little scenes depicting the small victories and moments in life that too often pass us by unnoticed. I have watched this movie over and over throughout the years just for the breathtaking, colorful scenes.
I prefer to remember Robin Williams in that light.
Also, as a sort of side note, I found one of my favorite poems of all time thanks to Robin Williams- when it was recited in the movie, Patch Adams. The minute I heard the poem in the film, I memorized a line of it and somehow found it later on the internet (these were pre-Google days were talking about here, folks.) Anyway, I memorized it, and in my deepest moments, even to this day, I recite this poem. See below.
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
My favorite Robin Williams Quotes
“After I quit drinking, I realized I am the same asshole I always was; I just have fewer dents in my car.”
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
“I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”
“The things we fear the most have already happened to us.”