Sunday, September 9, 2012

Words to live and die by.

This week, I've actually had TIME.

Time to myself, that is-- with everyone else out of the house, and my full-time work not yet begun, I've actually had moments where I have had the conscious thought, "What should I do?"

Well, time-vampire that it is, I inevitably wind up on Youtube.

I love Youtube.  You can type anything-- ANYTHING-- into that search engine, and learn something.

More often than not, I learn that some things simply should NOT be posted on Youtube, and the incredible capacity the human race has for stupidity.

But sometimes-- sometimes, there's a gem.

I have learned new knitting stitches from someone who calls herself "The Knit Witch".  I still won't face the Kitchener Stitch without her gentle guidance.

I've learned the art of re-upholstery.  I kid you not.  I decimated and re-covered a couch in my basement last year, after discovering that it was simply too heavy to lift, and too large to fit up the stairs so I could throw it out.

Following a small pipe explosion in my children's bathroom late one night, my eldest discovered me sitting in the tub (fully clothed), laptop in one hand and a large wrench in the other, trying to teach myself emergency plumbing.  Incidentally, that little escapade was slightly less successful than the re-uphostery, and I wound up having to call a plumber in the morning...  but, at least it gave me something to do all night.

The girlies and I have learned to weave bracelets, to cook amazing desserts, and to do hard math, amongst a million other things.

And then, there's "people" searches.

I love searching up great musicians, great actors, and great comedians.

Most of all, I love searching my childhood.

Today, I looked up one of my absolute favourite people; one of my heroes.

Jim Henson was the creator of The Muppets, and founding father of all the delightful insanity that surrounded them.  He was goofy, but no goof-- through his life's work, he brought to the world much love, uproarious laughter, and later, through the early years of Sesame Street, learning

I often wonder what the people on my list of The Great Ones of Children's Programming:  namely, Jim Henson, Bob Keeshan, Ernie Coombs and Fred Rogers, would think of "educational television" today.  As tragic as it was to loose these men, I am grateful that none of them lived to see what my students watch at home.  The dumbing-down of popular entertainment is one of this generation's great tragedies, in my opinion.

Jim Henson left us far too soon, at the age of only fifty-three, in 1990.  He waited to treat what turned out to be "galloping pneumonia" for three days, and by the time he reached hospital, the illness was far too advanced to be cured.

The gaping hole that he left in our world can still be felt...  I feel it, every time I hear a little green voice that isn't the "real" Kermit...  and, every time I hear the one that is.  Which is often, actually-- The Muppets are still my favourite, and I play old episodes and albums over and over.

They still make me laugh.

Yesterday, I found Jim Henson's memorial service on Youtube, and I watched every, single minute of it.  The best bit, of course, came from Jim. 

His last words, read by his friend and colleague Richard Hunt. 

They are words to live by, and to die by:

Jim did not cling to the past, he did not worry about the future,
that would work itself out.
And he did not live for the moment, instead he lived in the moment.
Because that’s all we really have.
It’s important that we all stop giving ourselves such a hard time.
We’ve got to remind ourselves and push ourselves to let go.
Not much we can do except to be and in being to become aware.
See what’s going around all the time and allow it to happen,
all the sadness, all the joy.
And that’s why Jim’s last words are most important.
Please watch out for each other he says
Love everyone.
Forgive everyone including yourself.
Forgive your anger, forgive your guilt, your shame, your sadness.
Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth and most especially your heart.
Let us all have mercy on each and every one of us.
And every day, we will open up like a cocoon
and turn into beautiful butterflies
and live this moment,
and the next, and the next, and the next …..
Someday, when it's my own turn to go, I hope my memorial service will sound a lot like this:


Nan Sheppard said...


Candygirlflies said...

Boop boo be-doo-boop!!

Xoxo CGF

Reverend Shawn said...

Earlier this summer, when I was feeling absolutely drag out lousy from the new meds my Dr was putting me on, I spend a sunny afternoon lying in bed with my ipad watching ALL of the Jim Henson Memorial clips on youtube - it helped lift my spirit, and gave me a much needed sense of hope!!

I heartily concur with the spirit conveyed in his memorial, and the importance of tapping it for mine when the time comes!!!

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