Hello 2017. Come on in. May I get you a hot beverage? I don’t know you very well yet, but I’m hoping that my friends and family like you better than 2016, which sucked, according to most assessments.
I trust you had a wonderful holiday. We laid low and hit the road for day-trips to exotic desinations, such as Paris…Ontario. As Derek’s and my seventh wedding anniversary arrived, we were delighted to note that we still enjoy each other’s company most of all.
The world lost a lot of seemingly healthy, far-too-young celebrities in the past twelve months. But Debbie Downer is here to tell you, I think we’ve only just begun.
When the original Star Wars hit movie screens in 1977, I was as agog as any other movie-goer about its amazing, now quaint, special effects. Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia leapt off the screen and into our hearts. But when I think of her, I think about 11 years later: When Harry Met Sally, with the (now late) Bruno Kirby, and the ugly wagon-wheel coffee table.
As you know, Carrie Fisher was just 60 and her Mom, Debbie Reynolds died a day later. George Michael certainly ought not to have died at just 53, and Alan Thicke seemed too young and active at 59 to have succumbed to an aortic tear. But I’m afraid we’re going to have to get used to it. People we’re familiar with are getting older and we simply know of more people.
Evidence: members of the Rolling Stones range in age from 69-73. Mary Tyler Moore is 80. So are Alan Alda, Burt Reynolds and Willie Nelson. Clint Eastwood, Bob Newhart and Roger Moore are well into their ninth decades. Kirk Douglas is 100. And I have it on good authority that Betty White is a spry 203.The people who revolutionized popular culture are getting on and the world is now a small town where everybody knows everybody or has at least heard of them. A lot of famous people damaged their bodies with drugs in their younger years. Some are risk-takers. And some just succumb to the natural order of things. It’s the reality of the time-stamp on this thing called life.
One of the great philosophers of our time, comedian Louis ck, had some wise stuff to say about the “tragic year” and further, about feeling separate from “other” people. This appeared in his latest email to fans and as a realist, it spoke to me. It’s about time and about people getting along as we all spin on this big blue marble together:
“Also please remember that the turning over of one year to another is a mental construct that bears no more weight than the things that keep us apart and in competitive categories as human beings. Time is not moving. You’re not losing or gaining ground. You’re not separate from “them” anymore than you’re separate from your own umbrella. It’s now, we’re us and this is here. If you’re in pain, this too shall pass. If you’re in luxury, this too shall pass. Ask an old lady how she’s doing. The internet is not real. Draw a picture on a napkin.”