What would it look like for him, he wondered, when he wrapped things up?

Why?

It was a question that crossed Robin’s mind more often these days, now that he had put in roughly 35 years as a professional entertainer and more than 60 as a human being.

What did he still get out of doing what he was doing, and why did he feel the compulsion to keep doing it? He had already enjoyed nearly all of the accomplishments that one could hope for in his field, tasted the richest successes, won most of the major awards. Every stage of his career had been an adventure into the unknown, an improvisation in its own right, but there was truly no road map for where he was now. Everything came to an end at some point; it was a reality he accepted and confronted so often in his work, even as he tried to out-race it. What would it look like for him, he wondered, when he wrapped things up and told the crowd good night for the last time? How could it be anything other than devastating?

~ Dave Itzkoff, from Inside the Final Days of Robin Williams (Vanity Fair, May 8, 2018)


Notes: Dave Itzkoff traces the last few months of Williams’s life in this Vanity Fair excerpt from his Biography on Robin Williams titled “Robin” published on May 15, 2018.  In the months that preceded his death, Williams faced daunting challenges, both professionally and personally.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Never forgotten … ‘Everything came to an end at some point; it was a reality he accepted and confronted so often in his work, even as he tried to out-race it. What would it look like for him, he wondered, when he wrapped things up and told the crowd good night for the last time? How could it be anything other than devastating?’

    Like

  2. i have recently been reading more about him, filling in some of the blanks, and it must have been devastatingly hard for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That poor man, I cannot imagine his suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still miss him. Must find this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been for him at times. So sad that the ones who are most gifted are also often the most tortured souls. Truly a terrible loss for us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So very sad to think of the struggle at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To me Robin Williams always was an exceptional person and I started very early (or rather, a long time back) collecting his films on DVD. To me this outstanding man was clearly ‘tortured’ within himself and the more I knew about him and saw of him, the more my heart felt heavy with a longing on his behalf for a ‘rest’, a portion of inner peace. I was shocked when he died but I wasn’t surprised. The sadness has abated a bit but he will never be forgotten. He gave so incredibly much to humanity and the loss is entirely ours. RIP (enfin!) dear giant of humour.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Christie says:

    “Every stage of his career had been an adventure into the unknown”…Life is an adventure into the unknown…and for many Robin Williams created a respite, joyfully impacting… along our respective and in some of our collective 20th and 21st century culture of journey he gifted us with his genius…./// and now after I wrote what I did, I read here what others wrote I then decided to read about his passing… I read one small article about his final days and that his body broke down over many months betraying him….”The actor’s symptoms began in November 2013, she said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America. They included (I chose to omit). By the following May, he was suffering from stiffness, slumping, a shuffling gait and “losing his ability in his voice,” she said. In what would be the final week of his life, doctors were planning to send him to a facility for neuro-cognitive testing. But in that period he was “disintegrating before my eyes,” she said” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/robin-williams-widow-says-actors-medical-afflictions-would-have-killed-him-in-three-hard-years-a6719986.html /// I am thankful that he still touches us through the legacy of his film work and other venues of recordings and photos….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am right her in the book now. I just read this line.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams and so many beaitiful creative artists, have left this world knowing how to speak to our souls and touch our hearts, but never found way to connect or heal their tortured souls.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Karen. And again, I find Mary Oliver captures it beautifully:

      The question of madness is always present. The actions of the narrator are often recognizably insane. But the definitions of madness and rationality have been thrown here into the wind; in Poe’s stories, such states are uncertainly bordered areas in which, suddenly, ghosts walk. “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence,” the narrator says in “Eleonora.”

      ~ Mary Oliver, from “The Bright Eyes of Eleonora: Poe’s Dream of Recapturing the Impossible” in Upstream: Selected Essays (Penguin Publishing Group. 2016)

      Liked by 2 people

  11. He always made me laugh, and still does. This much I know is true. The rest breaks my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ok, buddy. I ordered a Kindle. I’m tired if not finding the glorious books you quote. And I need all the help I can get to read. The electroshock scars seem to be winning, and I can’t have that.

    Liked by 1 person

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