I was having a pretty stellar end to my day yesterday. I finished up a charcoal drawing and was very stoked with how it came out. I had readied for shipping a new oil blend.
Then I caught up in places on Facebook after I said I wouldn’t. I know me well enough to know better. I really do. And yet …. so I put some movie on Netflix and settled in, determined to coast into someone else’s plot for a bit. I drifted to sleep about a half hour to 45 minutes in, awoke 30 minutes later and had missed a bunch of important things in the plot.
Bugger that. My mind drifted back to why I’d put the movie on in the first place. I noticed that once again a nap had cleared and focused a truth for me. None of this stuff matters. Who cares what I think? Who cares what anyone thinks? I realized, about 30 years late, that I don’t idolize celebrities. Or, whatever word belongs in here that causes people to feel really badly when an actor or musician, or other super famous person dies.
I have zero understanding of deep mourning for a famous person you didn’t know intimately in the flesh. I do not have a frame of reference for the sorrow for another that one has known only through their marketed self and products of their career.
I get a brief pang of sadness, a swig of sympathy for their beloveds, and a bit of wistfulness. Then I move on. And I mean move on to the next subject and have nearly forgotten already the death.
For my personal beloveds I mourn deeply. For famous folks, nope.
No intense mourning for: Elvis, Princess Diana, Robin Williams, Joe Cocker, Geta Garbo, Leonard Bernstein….. I could go on, but it would require more Googling because after the first three I was done. Stab of sadness, moved on – for all of them.
I also realized that whatever it is that makes this so, also makes me an outsider in my hometown sports network. Back when I was still following the local football team I would cheer and avidly watch the games, but if we lost I was over it when the game was over. I moved on. I stared oddly at those around me who stayed in a funk over a loss. “Why?”, I would ask. “They blew their job, but it is not *our* job”, I would say. People looked back at me just as oddly.
This disconnect with the public mourning means I have a grand lack of connection to other humans. It also means I should stay far away from tribute and mourning conversations, probably entirely, going forward. With the way this year is starting, I’m going to be spending little time reading Facebook. This is likely a good thing.
I have decided that in the grand scheme of my life, what matters is that I make more art and I make more oils.