A welcome to readers
As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime:
Thursday, April 11, 2013
ROGER EBERT SPEAKS ABOUT DEATH
As you must know by now, America's foremost movie critic, Roger Ebert, passed away last week. I had read a few of his reviews over the years but knew little/nothing about him as a man. As it turns out, I wish I had known him. As part of the commemoration of his life which I read somewhere on the Internet, I ran across this blog of his written four years go. At that point he was suffering with thyroid cancer and the treatments that subsequently removed part of his jaw. In the midst of his trials and tribulations and pain--never mind the embarrassment he must have felt with his appearance and inability to talk--he penned this essay for his blog.
As I read Ebert's words, I felt like I was reading my own mind--his thoughts and feelings so closely mirrored my own. This was a surprise because I had never really talked very much to anyone else about what I thought about my own death, probably because my ego is so invested in being alive forever (so to speak) that it (ego) was incapable of contemplating its own demise or non-existence.
Thinking about death for me is scary. What am I scared of, you ask. As Ebert suggests, it's the "approach path" more than the fact itself. His final remarks about kindness sum up a lot of what has been my conscious rationale for living. Add to "kindness" my desire to make people laugh, to do what I could to relieve pain and suffering in the world, and to help folks discover how to use their minds to grow intellectually, spiritually, and to cultivate their dreams. Maybe this is "what it all means!"
(For additional pleasure you might want to read Ebert's last blog: http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/a-leave-of-presence ) Also, you might find the "quiz" Ebert mentions in the last paragraph (see link) stimulating for your self-understanding as well. I did. I just received a copy of Ebert's book, Life Itself, which also bears mention. The chapters are relatively short, first person, and confessional. Bedtime reading for me.
GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT
by Roger Ebert