“Carry Me on My Way” James Taylor
I was planning to do a show on internal wisdom. Then the news came that Robin Williams died. I was shocked as were most people who’d watched this incredible talent perform and who made us both laugh and cry. This morning on a news program, a Navy admiral recounted a meeting with Robin after a USO show, a meeting in which the admiral asked Robin what advice he’d give to his son about pursuing a career. Robin said, “Follow you heart because sometimes your mind is wrong.” For me, the essence of this statement is that wisdom resides in the body, in our feelings, spirit, psyche and sometimes in places too difficult to name. When we tap into personal wisdom life takes on a completely different dimension and direction. Robin Williams, artist extraordinaire, knew how to tap into that source. If you watched just one of his performances–improvising in ways that made you think he was receiving messages from god or alien beings–you know what I mean.
Robin Williams’ death was a suicide. Genius doesn’t provide immunity from mental illness. Oftentimes the mental illness fuels the talent. Robin was manic on stage. Synapses must have fired at the speed of a super computer. But Robin, a vulnerable human and not a computer, must have depleted whatever strength and serotonin his body was capable of producing. He sought out replenishment in alcohol and drugs, a deadly cocktail of self-medication. This became the tragedy to his gift, the dark side to the light he gave to us all.
RIP Robin Williams.
Please dear readers if you would like to have your say about the way Robin Williams touched your life, about internal wisdom, depression, alcohol and drugs, or anything else mentioned in my post please do so. Also, add the music you think is appropriate for the topic.
“The Last Carnival” Bruce Springsteen
“Tears of a Clown” Marc Cohn
“Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” Bob Dylan
And a clip from Mork and Mindy
Addendum: Tributes to Robin from James Taylor and others