12 Days of Gratitude – Honourable Mentions

13 days

I have the great fortune to be surrounded by love and support from a variety of sources. But with that boon comes the curse of trying to select only 12 people for whom I am grateful.

And I failed…because I now present you with the handful of souls who didn’t make the original list but who I cannot NOT thank and honour. You all mean the world to me.

Mike & Lee

Mike & Lee: Truly devoted friends who ask nothing and offer everything.

Victoria

Victoria: Always quick with a supportive smile, heart-warming giggle and welcoming spirit.

Marlies

Marlies family: Collective chaos and maniacal wit with as many facets as faces. (not all members shown here)

Asmara

Asmara: A glowing spirit who befriends all.

Mike & Nana

Mike: The buddy for when you need to bury a body, no questions asked. Devoted friend, father, husband.

agah

Agah: Debate master and brother-man from another motherland, all packaged with devotion and dedication

12 Days of Gratitude – Lisa

Lisa Serrao

If you want to see the face of love, then you merely have to see my friend Lisa (the one who doesn’t need Rogaine).

A high-energy spitfire who gives of her time and her heart without a second thought, Lisa somehow manages to care for everyone she knows while still having a blast herself. And for her compact size, she has a laugh that fills a room and your soul.

To watch the glimmer in her eyes and feel the warmth of her smile is to know you are in the presence of a great spirit.

 

(Part Five of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

12 Days of Gratitude – Piper

Piper

This is my spirit guide and friend Piper, the bracing rush of fresh air that makes the world turn with her vivacity.

No one’s pushover, Piper eagerly embraces everything and everyone the world has to offer and gives a thousand-fold what she receives. You cannot help but smile in the presence of this beauty who warms your cheeks with laughter, your heart with joy and your soul with love.

She is a whirlwind that will make everything else in your life seem dull.

P.S. You can follow Piper on her life journey on her blog: Pipe’s Adventures/Living for Happiness

(Part Three of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

Bringing joy to others

I’m not a celeb-stalker generally, but I was killing time with my camera downtown when I stumbled across a crowd awaiting the arrival of movie stars (no one knew who) for the Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF.

I managed to grab a couple of shots of Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons (check out my Twitter feed), but I specifically loved this photo. If you can bring this type of joy to people in your life or to those completely peripheral to it, you have done well.

After premiering his movie, Dev Patel came back out to embrace his fans.

After premiering his movie, Dev Patel came back out to embrace his fans.

Anger after Robin William’s passing

robin_williams_01

A couple of days have passed since Robin William’s death and although I still cannot accept the truth of it, I have somewhat resigned myself to that truth.

Shortly after the event, as I watched the public response, I found myself getting upset. The following post, written the night of his passing, explains those feelings. If you read on, please read all of the post as I don’t want to hear anyone’s comments unless they have read all that I have to say below. 

 

I’m angry. I’m angry at all of the people who want to turn my grief into some sort of life lesson.

The death of Robin Williams from depression isn’t a parable, it’s not a morality play, it doesn’t serve a purpose; so stop throwing literature and comments about depression and the availability of help at me.

This is a man who made millions laugh. A man who struggled throughout his life with demons and who worked with and around those demons to make beautiful art. A man who had loved ones and raised children.

A man who touched my heart and mind and soul. A man who taught me that it was okay to misbehave, to act out. That to be frenetic could also be to be focused. That you can love and be livid with the world and its people at the same time.

And now that man is gone, and I want to mourn. I want to wallow in my memories of the joy and tears that he brought to my life. I want to remember the man.

I don’t want to rationalize his passing. I don’t want to find meaning in his death. I don’t want to learn a lesson.

I want to grieve, to storm, to wail, to laugh, to love.

But I am not the only one in mourning.

I know the people who post information about depression and mental health, who list hotlines and web sites, are doing that as part of their grieving process. They are doing what they have to do to process Robin’s death.

They are doing what is right for them as I am doing what is right for me. Pain is a self-centred thing.

Perhaps in a day…or two…or ten, I will be able to see their side a little better, but for now, I just want to hurt…and remember…and smile.

In the meantime, forgive me if I snarl.

It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad world

Go to YouTube and search for Sid Caesar.

Right now. Don’t wait.

I’ll still be here when you get back.

Comedy lost another titan today with the passing of Sid Caesar at the age of 91.

A man who defined television sketch comedy as we know it today.

A man who trained and/or gave voice to some of the greatest comedic minds of the 20th century, including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mel Tolkein, Danny Simon, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon and Woody Allen through shows like Caesar’s Hour and Your Show of Shows.

A physical giant, Caesar was capable of playing the brutish husband or the nebbish boyfriend. He brought laughs and tears. And he was the first to let his co-stars shine. Stars like Imogene Coca, Nanette Fabray, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner.

I am confident that all of these people would have influenced my life in one way or another without the likes of Sid Caesar, but he formed the nexus around which my comedic galaxy spun.

Thank you, Sid. Know that you were loved.

 

Related posts:

My Favorite Life

My Creative Journey

Jonathan Winters