Tag Archives: Robin Williams

On being alive

My life, at the moment, is small. It’s taking place mostly inside the house and a little bit in the back yard. There are some walks with Bertie. Not much is happening. I feel a like a soldier who has returned from the war and is slightly baffled by the rituals of civilian life. Out in the back yard there’s a smooth rectangle of bare gravel. Steve’s building a new shed. Earlier this year Steve spent an evening doing the owner-builder course online and over the past couple of weeks various blokes in high-vis vests have come and gone. I spied on one of them, watching as he got his thermos out and the newspaper and had a nice morning tea in the sun. There has been a minor stress-out over whether the bobcat man’s truck was interfering with parents dropping off and picking up kids at the childcare centre over the back fence. Out in the bigger, wider world, there’s the ebola virus, the slaughter in Gaza, fleeing Yazidis, a second Malaysian Airlines plane going down with all souls. I’ve been taking a break from the bigger, wider world. It’s mainly just me and the house and yard. I’m alive, and noticing that it’s yellow flower season again (daffodils and wattle) and the vege garden is a wasteland of tall grass and weeds.

This morning I watched a Robin Williams clip about being alive. It was for Sesame Street back in the ’80s. How do you know you’re alive? You’re alive if you can answer yes to these three questions: Can you breathe? Can you eat? Can you grow? He tested the theory on his shoe and concluded that it was not alive.

To breathe, eat and grow. To be alive, unlike Robin Williams’ shoe. It’s small, it’s everywhere, and it’s amazing.

Here’s the clip:

On Saturday I’ll be getting out of the house and going to Kandos (a tiny town about an hour away) to do a short presentation as part of a craft forum. I’ll be taking my crocheted guts for a show-and-tell. And next Wednesday I’ll be going back into the doughnut for a post-treatment CT scan. I’ll report on these next week.