Monday, November 30, 2015

Roger Ebert: Life Itself

"My blog became my voice, my outlet...
in a way I couldn't have dreamed of."
-Roger Ebert, Life Itself-

And Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic is of course my voice as your blog may be yours.

Ebert's first blog entry was April 2008. "Most people choose to write a blog I needed to," he noted. This blog is likely a bit of both for me.

I paid tribute to writer/critic Roger Ebert (1942-2013) when he passed here. Only recently did I take the opportunity to finally see Life Itself (2014), a film adaptation of his 2011 memoir that paints a beautiful portrait of various points in this man's wonderful journey.

As a young adult I would seek out Siskel and Ebert's elusive show. As an aspiring writer of pop culture myself I hung on every analytical and critical word shared between these two men, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, with each and every review. Honestly, I think if they compiled a DVD Box set of that series today from start to finish I would likely watch it and enjoy it and enjoy the evolution of these two very different critics.

If only people could argue and disagree as these two writers once did as a tormenting bloodsport. That discourse is either missing or has evolved from the balcony that sat these two giants graced into something much worse thanks to social media. In fact maybe these two obstinate critics represented the seeds of what the political discourse in America would become today. They were a sign of things to come and we loved it.

Life Itself reminded me how much I missed these two men and how they filled such a special part of my developing years.

Life Itself is also a reminder of our humanity. That we are thinkers. And we are writers. We are lovers of life itself. But we are flawed and that makes us beautiful.

Life Itself made me consider life itself too, our mortality. Like actor Tom Baker, Roger Ebert inevitably came to terms with such a reality and that is touched upon in the film.

I wonder if I too will one day accept my fate or fear it?

I remember in my thirties feeling an everso slight pain in my foot when I got up from bed one morning. I pulled the blankets back, swept my feet out onto the floor. I stood. I felt pain penetrate the invincibility of my youth.

I always remember that moment as the beginning. It seems every year of my life since there is some aching physical aspect of my gradual breakdown there to remind me of my mortality.

Do we get to the point where the culmination of these pains is so great we begin to accept the relief of passing into the loving arms of the after life?

I have this window in my home and there is always something beautiful to notice when I look out that window. The way the sun hits a tree. The moisture set against the light. The reflection of the moon. The falling rain. Leaves floating into the yard. There is always something to appreciate.

So until that day comes I will treasure this gift of life itself until my last breath and I'm grateful for every day of it just like Roger.


John Kenneth Muir said...

Beautiful thoughts, SFF. I loved reading this. Thank you!

SFF said...

You're welcome. And thank you John.