Monday, August 11, 2014

A Robin Williams Cure

I just sat down to write for the day and saw on Twitter that Robin Williams died this morning.

Last Saturday (two days ago) all four of my children were suffering from one of those End of Summer colds and I declared it a movie marathon day--mainly so I could wipe their noses all in one location. I knew the only way a movie marathon day would work was if Christopher and I participated, so we all set up little spots in the den and watched a succession of Robin Williams movies on Netflix.

It was a really enjoyable day, actually. And I have decided to declare movie marathon day more often. We all shrieked and laughed together. We paused and asked questions. We spent hours together in one room and nobody fought and we all snuggled and it was delightful. In the end, we watched four movies and had one meal and everyone felt better that evening.

But during that time, I sat amazed at Robin Williams. Amazed that his work as an actor was so generous. He allowed himself to act wild and utterly mad for millions of people's entertainment. I imagined him doing take after take to shoot these scenes and I wondered how tiring and taxing that work would be. And his funny had layers. He was funny and manic, but sweet and empathetic.

I can see how this work could drain someone completely.

Two things I appreciate about Robin Williams: his work as the therapist Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting and this quote I think about all the time in my life--a brilliant idea that makes today's news all the more sad:

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.

RIP Robin Williams.