It is days like today that cause me to really look at my life from a different perspective. I've spent most of my work day feeling tired and uninspired. So I've managed to maintain some level of sanity by meandering around on the internet. I've even perhaps spent a little too much time in the forums here on A|N today. So in taking a break from reading everyone's posts on a myriad of subjects, I happened upon something I had bookmarked to revisit at a later date. Today must have been the later date I unwittingly saved the site for.
The site formerly belonged to one of my major influences in cognitive development, quantum mechanics, and neurolinguistic programming... Robert Anton Wilson.
I don't want to go on and on about the man, actually I just wanted to mention him because in reading a story there from his son... I realized something profound. I've been taking all this "life" stuff a bit too seriously lately. "Bob" in his lectures, videos, and books always kept a up a level of humor, no matter the gravity of the subject he was discussing. It was more than just a speaking technique he utilized, it was who he was. He was a jokester with a very advanced mind, and half the time you just "knew" he wasn't only pulling your leg... but his own as well. :)
A few years ago I was doing some computer work for Annie Dillard, who is a wonderful author and former professor. She has recently lost her ability to continue writing due to dementia. She still is sharp as a tack when I end up visiting though, and she always shocks and surprises with the way she can get at the heart of a topic. We were discussing authors one day, and she asked me who I had been reading. At the time I was into 3 or 4 books at the same time (a horrible habit, by the way). I was reading an Aleister Crowley biography, a book by Timothy Leary, and two books by R.A.W. She had me write down some of his titles, but I don't know that she ever took the time to find them. However, by the way I described him she may have thought him to be some sort of guru, or cultist. I was very much intrigued and enamored of Bob's work, and I made sure to give him glowing reviews to everyone who ever asked.
Reading that story today, about the man whom I derive so much of my world view from as he hid under the bridge to pretend he was a "troll" as his kids walked home from school, made me miss him all over again. His son even mentioned that his last words were "I am so happy"... I can only aspire to feel that satisfied as I retire this body one day. Although I never had any personal contact with him, I regularly thought about it. I suppose I was more or less scared I would appear foolish to him, but I should have taken that chance.
There are no more Robert Anton Wilson's in this world. That is a fact that makes me deeply saddened. Today though after having realized how much I miss that brilliant, funny man I feel that I should start being more of the person I am inside. I've gotten to a point to where I am too serious, because I'm more concerned with how I appear outwardly to others. This is a ridiculous way to behave... but what can I do, except change. :)
I hope you all have a great day, and if there is someone in this world who has touched your life... give them a call, drop them an email, or just let them know how they have helped to make your life better. You may never get a chance to do so again. :)