Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Memorandum.

A comedian died.
He lost the war in the battle for his life.
I've read some that have said he made a choice and that it was selfish.
I have read others that have stated that it is the nature of a disease.

The Death of this comedian has effected me.
In what way, you might ask... since I never knew him personally. I've merely enjoyed his work and his films.... It isn't like we played cards on the weekends or even so much as ever shared a cab.

Well,  I knew his fight. I know the solitude and the disconnect that occurs sometimes.The nature of depression. I know it as both an non-believer and as a man of faith.   There is something that he fought against, with a vigor that people struggle to define. The deep sorrow. He made millions laugh, and I am sure to some degree, that was all that he was known for to many.  I know that I have a God given talent for laughter and some have even described it as a near super power. They've said that I have the ability to effect the mood of an entire room. They would say that I could brighten the world on even the down-est moments. They also were upset when it worked the other way. They would be upset when I was in grief or sorrow, because others would not feel that contagious happiness that I could often share. I felt, disconnected.
Like some how I was no allowed to feel the things that people feel. Just as someone might see a prostitute as an object for the feeling or sensation that they could derive from her, I have often felt that way with humor. My intellect dismissed. My advice, disregarded. Why? Because they only wanted to see someone who made them laugh so therefore all that I had to offer was considered a joke.

This comedian, His war...  He could see the silent hand that pulls so many people under. He could stand n the balance between light and darkness and have the boldness to try and call people to laugh. Some saw that as entertainment. I saw it as combat. He fought hard. He fought well.  As one article put it, he helped thousands of people have a respite from how miserable this world can be. He gave them a break from the madness.

There are so many people that want to turn a blind eye to the madness. They would rather numb themselves to it than let it make them uncomfortable. From discomfort comes action and reaction. I myself struggle with the scope of awareness that I hold. To shut all things out makes me numb and paralyzed, which is part of what I damages people to start with. To embrace everything is to be so heartbroken that you can't even put on pants.

I often tell people that I see too much. That I've seen too much.
Most people know me as the man that shows up, when their wife walked out on them, when their mom died, When they've lost their job, when they're hurting and their suffering and they down in the mud.
I show up because being there is love. Showing up is a form of combat.
My heart gets heavy with the palpable darkness in life, and I fight to be something/ someone that I know the world needs. A faithful friend and brother.
It's Ironic that all this is coming from a guy with trust issues I suppose.

The other day I poured some of this out on the phone with my brother. He listened and he didn't try to suggest fixing anything. That was refreshing. There wasn't a list of things to try harder at, or to do more that would translate in my mind to having said that the suffering and despair I feel sometimes is a justified and deserving result of not being better in some way shape or form. Because in essence I was on the phone with him for at least forty five minutes  crying as I stated that I am at war, and I am fighting, and there is proverbial blood that pours from the wounds inside and though I am mighty and though I am strong, I am weak and somethings broken.

By listening to my heart, and my words  and demanding nothing.. his actions were soothing. His actions stated that I matter, and he requested nothing of me in recognition of that fact. I matter because I do. Not I'd matter if only, or I'd be better if.
I cried, on the phone, at work, in the office as I let myself feel some pains that I've held back.
I mentioned how hard this verse hits me:

"But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 1kings 19:4

I admit that there are times in my life that I have prayed that God would take me. There are days and times when I've been broken down and felt so overwhelmingly alone.
Many of these times, I confess, have been in crowded rooms... Some of them churches.
I read something today that resounded with truth.

"We won’t give you some cliche – but something to cling to — and that will mean our hands.
We won’t give you some platitudes — but some place for your pain — and that will mean our time.
We won’t give you some excuses — but we’ll be some example — and that will mean bending down and washing your wounds. Wounds that we don’t understand, wounds that keep festering, that don’t heal, that down right stink — wounds that can never make us turn away.

Because we are the Body of the Wounded Healer and we are the people who believe the impossible — that wounds can be openings to the beauty in us."

I hold strong to the belief that Light is stronger than darkness and Good will ultimately prevail over Evil.
I fight ugliness daily, within others and within my own self.
The death of this comedian threw me a little bit. He fought for 63 years, and then fell.
That is more than half of what I've got.

Solitude, By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
    Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
    But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
    Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
    But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
    Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
    But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
    Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
    But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
    For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
    Through the narrow aisles of pain.
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