Oh Captain, My Captain…


A quote from Dead Poets Society rings in my memory this week, in reaction to the passing of Robin Williams. It was the excerpt to be read at the beginning of every D.P.S. meeting:

I went to the woods because I
wanted to live deliberately…
I wanted to live deep and suck
out all the marrow of life!
To put to rout all that was not life…
And not, when I came to die, discover
that I had not lived…

Robin’s untimely death tears at my heart and soul as I remember my own battles with depression, past and present.

I think the saddest thing about this for me, is that when I was at my lowest, I would watch some of my favorite Robin Williams films to uplift me or to just forget my inner pain. The messages in his films were so inspiring to me.

It’s a sore reminder that even our heroes – the people we turn to for help – are suffering as well, and facing their own demons.

So many thoughts are running through my head since the news of Robin’s death. I think about my own demons. I think about a dear friend I lost this past year to suicide. I think about people close to me that suffer from Bipolar and/or depression, and my concerns rise… again.

When I was sixteen, I watched Dead Poets Society MANY times. The character Neil in the film was an inspiring one, much like Williams. He was filled with passion. The character inspired me SO much. When I saw the movie for the first time, it was on TV at home. I remember exactly where I was standing at the side of the living room couch while watching the scene when Neil began to descend down the stairs to his father’s den to shoot himself. I remember vividly because I felt I was watching myself. I knew that character. I knew what he was thinking and I knew what he was going to do.

And when I realized I was right, my stomach seized up on me. Queasiness hit. That film, to me, was all about the message to NOT give up and give in to those inner demons that tell you life is hopeless. Because when you give up and give in, the possibilities that are waiting for you just around the corner are GONE… And the legacy you had the chance to leave will never happen. Lives you had a chance to touch and change… gone.

Again, I tend to resort to a powerful Dead Poets Society quote:

…life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse…

That the powerful play GOES ON and you may contribute a verse…

What will your verse be?