With the exception of my wedding and a few special New Year's Eve celebrations with Mrs P, I have spent the best parts of my life on stage. Acting is the only job I've ever really loved. It is often painful, always rewarding, and on rare occasions, positively mystical.
It occurred to me today that I've spent so many years playing characters who endured trials, I might turn to them to learn how to conduct myself during my own survival journey.
I also have a lot to be angry about. I've been mistreated by the insurance company, old employers, friends who disappeared when things got tough. I could spend - and to be honest, I have spent - lots of time blaming and fantasizing my own vengence on the people who may not have caused my cancer, but have certainly made it more difficult for me and the people I love. Such thoughts are tempting, and perversely gratifying, I must admit. But they will not help me to redeem my life back from the disease that is trying to lay claim to it. Like Prospero, I have not choice but to forgive the people who torment my nights.
I lack Bottom's purity of heart, but I know what it means to love what you do. In that, I am a lucky man. I know what it is to love the people around you without reservation. In that, I am a rich man. No matter how much depression and cancer may try to convince me otherwise, I know I have a reason to live. I need to live, because I am not finished loving yet.
In the dark days ahead, I will remember the lessons these teachers have given me. I gave my all to do right by them, and I know they will not abandon me in my hour of need. And when the Dark Angel has passed me over at last, I am determined to return to them. I am not finished learning yet, either.
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