Robin Williams ended his life nine days ago and I can’t get over it.
In the past few days CarolAnn and I have watched five or six of his movies we had never seen before, the ones that weren’t big box office smashes, the ones the critics sniffed at with condescension. We’ve discovered that we love his chiseled face, his body language and the way he spewed lines with deadly comedic or dramatic accuracy.
But mostly, we just love his simple, vulnerable honesty.
There are a lot of extremely gifted actors who can portray reality but Robin wore his soul on the outside for all to see instead of guarding himself as the rest of us do.
After all the talk of alcoholism, drug addiction, clinical depression and the early stages of Parkinson’s, as we struggle to understand how a man overflowing with enough joy to share with the entire world and yet be so tortured as to take his own life — I have finally reached a conclusion:
I don’t and can’t and will therefore never get it.
Maybe Robin’s gifts so isolated him from normal folks that the rest of us drove him mad with boredom and loneliness.
Or, maybe the cacophony of circus noise inside his unfiltered creative genius finally led him to throw the off switch just so he could get some rest.
Maybe a lot of things.
I don’t spend much time on questions that have no answers for me but I think I owe Robin Williams the gratitude and respect of not assuming he is to be pitied.
Enough of the “tortured soul” stuff.
I choose to think Robin was simply finished. He knocked off early and went home.
His work should never again be picked at with clinical tweezers by the superficial arts of critics and their students.
Academics, as Robin showed us time and again, are merely sign posts to self discovery. And unless we are instinctively inspired by a higher source, as he apparently was — we need to follow our curiosity, just dive in and live.