Monday, October 11, 2004

Superman dead

The story of Christopher Reeve has always unnerved me. Here was a man whose onscreen role was that of the world's strongest human, an invulnerable creature from another planet with "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men." (I just pulled that phrase out of some musty recess in my mind that contains everythings from 1950s and 60s TV. In those days, George Reeves - that name again! - was The Man of Steel. He eventually committed suicide because he was typecast in the role, or so went the story.)

Then Chris Reeve fell off a horse and never walked again. He couldn't breathe without help; he couldn't turn his head or move a muscle; he couldn't eat or even pee by himself. I'm sure he thought about suicide every day of his life since 1995. Yet instead he suffered, publicly and achingly, for the sake of his child and his wife and for future unnamed others he could possibly help on account of his fame. The Passion of Christopher Reeve took 10 years to complete.

Handsome, wealthy, decent, kind, and totally destroyed, in an absurd accident. I felt nothing but relief for him this morning when I heard the news.

Requiem aeternum dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

(And how unfair life on your earth is, BTW, Domine. If you don't mind my saying so.)

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