Last night, I found that I still had this candle from my favorite candle shop in Columbus, Ohio — so it’s at least 5 years old. Lighting it made me smile and breathe deeply with appreciation for all that has happened in my life since I bought it — which filled me with gratefulness.
Both arrested & released reporters in #Ferguson were helped out tonight by strangers on Twitter.
So grateful for this, something I never could have imagined five years ago when blogging from my couch in Columbus.
Go see Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert’s loves — writing, movies, his wife and family and friends, and life itself. It’s a loving documentary made by a filmmaker, Steve James, who clearly felt strongly about his subject.
Although the movie tracks much of Ebert’s life, it is framed around and is ultimately about the last months of that life.
For me, the key moment in the film comes when Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert, describes the point when she accepted that his death had arrived. It is a powerful moment that speaks to the life that they led, as individuals and as a couple.
I remember, very clearly, the moment when I learned of Ebert’s death. I did not accept it. I was not ready.
I remember exactly where I was when I learned that he had died. I remember who I texted and that I left the office and stopped on that early April afternoon to sit in Dupont Circle. Staring blankly at the fountain that usually gives me such comfort, I was at a loss.
I didn’t know Ebert; he was a voice on a screen, words on a page, and, at that point, tweets in my stream. Why was I so upset by this news?
It was a lot of things. But I think what struck me most that day was that he was a sober journalist — and that, now, I would never get to meet him or talk with him.
When Ebert died, more than 15 months ago, I had been sober for a little while. Unlike he and Chaz, though, I was still learning about acceptance and how it could bring me peace. Hell, I still am learning.
Sitting in that theater tonight and watching Chaz — who also mentions her own sobriety in the film — talk about the calm feeling that washed over her when she accepted the death of her husband, I, too, felt that calm.
Seeing Life Itself helped give me a better understanding of Roger Ebert’s life. It also helped me to understand why I was so upset by his death. Most importantly, though, it helped remind me why acceptance helps make life, and all the ups and downs that come with it, easier.