Debbie Reynolds Dies

The thing about life is it can always get worse.

We like to believe God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but do we even believe in God?

We believe there’s a master plan, that it all makes sense…

But it doesn’t.

This is what they don’t tell you growing up, after they say that anyone can become President. That life is an endless series of losses and the key is to keep putting one foot in front of another. Not so much to be optimistic, because bad stuff is gonna happen, but to try and jump from rock to rock, because although you might slip into the river and get wet every once in a while, even float downriver to a wholly different, unforeseen rock, even though some might never find another rock at all, they were right there next to you laughing and now they’re gone, when you do get to the next rock not only do you breathe a sigh of relief, you gain a sense of wonderment, you’ve got a whole new perspective.

And that’s what makes life worth living.

First of all, there’s touch. And sex. After all, we’re animals. Try and hug someone every day, not in a perfunctory way, but in a style more conscious, like life is hard but at least you have each other. My parents never touched me growing up, could be a fifties thing, I don’t know, and I struggle with flesh on flesh, but I do know when done right touch roots me, and you.

Second, there’s art. And let’s put nature in that same category. I was out in a miserable snowstorm the other day and I never felt so alive. Like it was just me, the trees and the sky. It’s when you’re most alone that you feel most at peace, assuming you can forgo the anxiety of being disconnected forever.

And in art there’s books and movies and music and painting and sculpture and when they’re done right, they make us feel so not alone, they reflect our humanity back upon us. And it’s hard to do this. Not only in terms of skill, but to let go of precepts and create via your inner tuning fork, what we feel inside. Too much of what is called “art” today is pandering pabulum. And we know the difference. It’s like “Pulp Fiction” versus the latest “Star Wars.” As in how did Tarantino come up with that? Kinda like “Sgt. Pepper”… What were they smoking, where were they at that the Beatles decided to cut a concept album with no singles. Can you imagine that today? Katy Perry or Taylor Swift? I’m gonna drop an album with no anchors, with no obvious radio tracks, because I believe it will resonate with my audience. Won’t be done. And when you fall down the rabbit hole of your favorite book… Mine this year was “The Nix,” which was heavily hyped but got on no best lists I’ve seen. Yet, from the protagonist playing World of Warcraft to navigating a world of protest and family…I not only went along for the ride, it illuminated part of my own life, woke up memories of the sixties, and proved that alienation is universal, so often I feel so alone but when I reveal what I feel others resonate. And speaking of being alone and resonating, my favorite album of the year was Emitt Rhodes’s “Rainbow Ends.” While all his contemporaries are getting plastic surgery to look younger than their audience, while studio trickery makes them sound like they’re twenty five, Mr. Rhodes appeared warts and all telling his truth, looking every bit his age, overweight with a somewhat ruined voice. If that’s not a beacon for truth…try listening to the lyrics, which reflect adult concepts, is anybody in the arts willing to be an adult? And to hear melodic changes in a world of beats is a revelation.

Third, there’s children. I ain’t got none, but their sense of amazement always tickles me. I don’t envy the youth, I was young once and I hated it, you recover from injuries so much faster but you’ve got no clue as to what is going on, you’re constantly going down blind alleys. But when I see a kid experience something for the first time, it makes me smile more than them.

Fourth… You never know how it’s going to turn out. Kinda like Trump getting elected. Everybody missed it. You want to live to see what happens. And it’s all not bad, but it’s all not good. But experiencing it is a thrill. And, if you can, get involved, because there’s great satisfaction in midwifing an event, being part of a team.

Yes, you see, there’s plenty to live for.

Meanwhile, you’re gonna get cancer. Or be in a car accident. So much bad stuff is gonna happen it might overwhelm you. Do you drive with a football helmet on? Do you refuse to navigate in bad weather? You can try and beat the odds, but chances are you’re gonna slip in the bathroom and break something. And never forget most car accidents happen close to home, where you drive most, so wear your seatbelt. I know, I know, we live in the land of the free. But please make an effort to preserve your health. Please stop smoking. Please eat sugar in moderation. Then again, the corporate industrial complex is doing its best to kill us. Whether it be the corn growers or Purdue Pharma with OxyContin…

The truth is all of us are going to die.

But believe me, you’d rather it be later than sooner.

I don’t know what happened with Princess Leia. She had a long history of drug abuse. Was she high on the plane, mixing too much stuff? Or was her time just up. It happens. But dead is dead, and she’s gone now, and leaves a daughter, siblings and…

Her mother.

She just couldn’t take it.

Of course that might not be true. I’m not a doctor, and the stunning thing is how little medical doctors do know (although more than you scoring at home, believing western medicine is crap, believing every alternative fairytale that comes down the pike, believe me, you’ll want to go to the hospital when you have a heart attack, but I get it, you feel powerless in today’s society and you want to believe you have control over something so… But please don’t be one of those selfish non-vaccinators. Because they put the rest of us at risk. And now I’ve managed to piss at least some of you off. But that’s life, it’s astounding we get along at all. We’re each uniquely different, with our own opinions. Feel free to express yours. But don’t force me to agree. And vice versa. Dismiss anything I have to say, it’s okay with me, I’m thrilled that you’re reading this at all.)

So, her daughter dies before her and…

That’s something you don’t want to have happen. You don’t want to outlive your children.

And Debbie Reynolds has a stroke and dies. Causing more heartache amongst her descendants.

Like I said. Life sucks.

But the comedians have it right. When bad things happen, even death, you’ve got to crack jokes. You’ve got to laugh at the human condition. You’ve got to keep your attitude, your mood, from bottoming out. Because you want to be here when it gets better.

2016 has been a horrible year. Too many of our heroes have died.

And we’re next, sorry to say. It’s coming sooner than you think. So while you’re still here…

Know that despite never getting rich, never marrying a famous actor, never winning the Nobel Prize, chances are you’re just as happy as those who did, maybe even more so. Money eases one’s pathway in life, especially compared to not having enough. But the world runs on people. Conversation. Intimacy. Touch.

So, I’m with you on this. Too much death. The holidays are supposed to be upbeat, but it’s been an endless downer.

And who knows what January 20th will bring.

But you’ve got a front row seat for the greatest movie ever made. It’s called life. And it’s participatory. And when you play, you risk losing. But to be in the game…

It’s kind of like baseball. The best are out two-thirds of the time.

But when you hit it over the fence, when you score the winning run…

It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

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