Sunday, October 10, 2021

An open letter to Bill Murray

Bill Murray (CAI 2021)

Dear Bill Murray,

I saw you in the latest Netflix thing and what occurred to me is, you're getting old. Like me, I'm getting old, I just started a little later. But I was struck by the realization that you will live your whole life and never know me. I never really thought about that before, that you might die never having known me at all. It's too bad, but it's the way of things. I think you would have gotten a kick out of me, if you knew me; that the way you would have seen me, and my work, would have brought a unique and important energy to whatever I do next. It might have made up for some of the things I don't know about you, that still hang heavy. I think the pride you would have felt to be part of me and my doings would be worth taking to the grave, despite your many other amazing life experiences. I think that knowing me as a person on Earth would make life feel more complete. And of course, just being known deeply by me is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it's already too late. Getting to know me takes many years and not insignificant effort, and even then, trust builds in shared doing. Do we have many years left? No. And they are already pretty spoken for with previous commitments and callings. I'm afraid we don't have time to build the bond of knowing deeply. That time passed without either of us noticing. You will always miss me, until your dying day, never knowing what you are missing. Meeting me now would do you no good - it might make matters worse, at this point. A meeting between a celebrity, a fan? It degrades what's possible. You might think what you see is me, and walk away mistaken that you know me. You might die thinking you'd met me, and I was nothing special. Better to die having never met me at all.

With warm regards,


(listen: Happy Rhodes, the Issue)

P.S. It occurs to me that this letter isn't to you, at all. It's to the whole world. Or myself.