Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O Captain My Captain

Robin Williams died yesterday.  While I did not know him personally, I find myself mourning the loss of him today.  Especially upon learning the fact that he took his own life.  So shocking to hear that a person who spread so much joy into the world was wrestling with such pain and sadness within.

I was one of those people for whom the film Dead Poets Society was an almost religious experience.  "Carpe Diem!" became my mantra, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the school and other locations where the movie was shot, and for a while in grad school I had the enormous cardboard movie theater display taking up a good deal of my apartment.

In that movie, Robin Williams as Mr. Keating, encourages his students, along with us the movie watchers, to seize the day, and make our lives extraordinary. Why? Because too soon our lives would be over and he didn't want any of us to regret not living up to our full potentials, and not making the very most out of every moment.  Now that teacher's life is over, and while it was definitely too soon, it is evident that he indeed "sucked the marrow out of life" even while dealing with his own inner demons. Thankfully for all of us, in doing so, he made the world a much much better place.

To celebrate the life of a brilliant genie, a hilarious alien, a compassionate psychiatrist, and an inspiring teacher, I'll be wearing my Carpe Diem shirt today, standing on a desk, and pondering the next way that I can consciously make my life extraordinary.  Thank you O Captain My Captain.