by Glenn Fairman 8/11/14
They say that in order to make them laugh, you need to know how to make them cry. Robin Williams was of this mold. While he charmed and delighted with his frenetic style of comedic mayhem, his best roles were sad, contemplative, and serious. His roles in: Awakenings, The Fisher King, and Dead Poets Society, among a host of other gems, revealed a reservoir of pathos and tragedy that he could reach down and summon at will. They say that those who make us laugh — those who are “always on,” are overcompensating for something needy and broken within. I suppose this was true with Williams. I know he had his demons and he wrestled with them for decades – as do many of us. Those who have this capacity for the manic “up” must always suffer the corresponding “down” that cannot be averted. One cannot defy this natural law of the personality – which must eventually, like all things in life, return to equilibrium.
Only those who have wavered on the edge of the volcano know how blackened life appears through the lens of depression. There is a seeming futility in moving ahead and the fiery blade of emotional anguish consumes your thoughts relentlessly. Anyone who says that the wealthy and famous have no cause to succumb to such despair does not even begin to comprehend the intricacies of the soul. If there is release from such torment in death, I hope he has found it. Be thou at peace, sir.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca.
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