God Bless the Clowns

 The world feels sadder today; Robin Williams is gone.  Growing up in Boulder Colorado it was impossible not to be a fan of Robin Williams.  “Mork and Mindy” still comes to mind when I walk down Pearl Street and remember the storefront where Mindy supposedly worked.  I bet the house used as the exterior shot for their fictional home still has a wrought iron fence around it to keep fans from prying loose souvenirs.


Reports of Robin William’s suicide, and ongoing battle with depression and addiction, tugs at the foundations of our secular society.  Aren’t we taught that fame and success will insulate us from the exigents of life?  But fame isn’t an antidote for anxiety, and success won’t neutralize the soul-pain of depression.   The sentiments from family, friends, and costars seems to be the hope that Robin has now found the peace he was looking for.  I hope he has.  But something rings hollow under the comforting words of the well wishers.  We don’t have to “hope” or “wish.”  We can “know” the hope that is an anchor of the soul.  Eternity isn’t a blind leap.  We haven’t been left in the dark.  There is a peace that passes understanding and a rock solid comfort that can hold us when we have to say goodbye to those we love.

Mork’s mission was to observe human behavior and reported back at the end of each episode to Orson, his long-suffering superior.  I wish Mork could make one more observation, now that he has ended his assignment on our planet.  I wonder how he might have framed his observations about the vain things we earthlings spend life to save?  I wonder what Mork’s response might be now that he knows another visited this planet, not to observe us but to redeem us?

God bless all clowns.
Give them a long good life,
Make bright their way—they’re a race apart!
Alchemists most, who turn their hearts’ pain,
Into a dazzling jest to lift the heart.
God bless all clowns.*


(*from Dick Van Dyke’s eulogy of Stan Laurel)