The Pagan Pulpit – Robin Williams – What We Stay Alive For

Happy Sun’s Day


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: “Blame Canada” by Robin Williams (South Park)

One of my favorite moments of Robin’s career and oddly enough a song I have been singing from time to time these days.  I play a lot of a PC game called The Long Dark.  it basically an apocalypse simulator where a freak magnetic storm destroys all electronics and your plane crashes in the Canada wilderness.  You task is simply to survive as long as possible. As I am trekking along trying to find the next resource to survive I find myself on occasion remembering this song and singing the verse of it.

Poem: “Slow Dying Flower (poem about Robin Williams)” by Shay Callow


He was the brightest star the world had ever seen,
but no star can burn bright forever, although that was unforeseen.
He was a man who brought joy to all those around him,
so that he never had to show them how his life was grim.
He made them laugh until their stomachs hurt,
even though inside he was full of despair, sadness and disconcert.
Like a clown, his smile was painted on,
only when he removed it did you see the wretchedness in his deep blue eyes; that’s when it dawned
that he was a slow dying flower,
fading petal by petal and losing power
until the day he’d been poisoned enough by this ghastly world,
and he died once and for all by his own hand – that’s when the truth of his life really unfurled.


Image may contain: sky, text, outdoor and nature

Song of Preparation: ‘Why Do We Read and Write Poetry’ by Robin Williams (scene from Dead Poets Society).

I figured the man who said the quote today should be the one to say it. plus he adds his own commentary which is nice. It is a great disappointment to me that Robin didn’t win the best actor award in a leading role. He should have with this performance.

Text: What We stay Alive For – Robin Williams

“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

Robin Williams – “Dead Poets Society”


“O captain, my captain!”  I can’t tell you how much the Dead Poets Society shaped my life.  I still difficulty watching it as it is very sad, but if has a theme it is what Robin’s character is trying to get across the entire movie – seize the day, live life, find something that makes life worth living. Write your verse and make it a good one.

I have long taken the message of this movie to heart and this quote reminds me of something I need to remember.  There are many things we do to sustain our lives but there also needs to be the things we live for otherwise life isn’t worth a damn. There are many things that are noble pursuits but if you can’t get up and have something to live for then you’re going to struggle.

In my life right now i have spent a lot of time setting goals and establishing the discipline I need to achieve them. But I can’t say the overall aim is simply to live.  To exist. There is something in life we must have a a passion for or the reason to live will run out and we will find ourselves much like Robin himself. With no reason to continue.

I  for all I am worth that no matter what life throws at me I remember that what I may be doing in life that is noble and good, I remember I need something to stay alive for.  So reason beyond life’s purpose being life itself.  To go from being alive to living life. May we all find that.

Closing Song: Friend like Me – Robin Williams from Aladdin 

I don’t know that I will ever be able to look at Aladdin the same way again or in particular the genie without thinking of Robin Williams.  This performance and animation are some of his best work. It is a pretty unforgettable song

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'People Will Quit On You! Truth Inside OfYou You gotta get up everyday and make sure you never quit on yourself.'

If I take any inspiration from Robin’s life it is to always make sure I get up and not give up on myself.  Something we all need to remember.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


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