Irony of Extraordinary Events Conjoined
As the pope lies in state, honored by the leaders of the entire world, now is the exact point in time, with the facts riveted in the front of our minds, to reflect on the fact that, at the holiest time of the year, two enormously important events took place which should impact upon the thinking of these leaders, and particularly the thinking of this nation.
1. Terri Schindler Schiavo died March 31, 2005
2. Karol Joseph Wojtyla died April 2, 2005
We have to hope (or pray depending on your belief system) that those who run this country, whoever they may be, will not allow the glaring irony to escape their notice.
If it makes its proper effect, it could change the course of world events. And these individuals, the lowliest and the highest, will have their places forever in history, in their own way.
Death was ordained for today
Now, at last, Pope John Paul can take his curtain call! Let us actors not forget that he was once an actor. And a playwrite. And continued as a poet. He remembered, and wrote the following when he was a parish priest, not far into his chosen career.
So many grew round me, through me,
from my self, as it were.
I became a channel, unleashing a force
called man.
Did not the others crowding in, distort
the man that I am?
Being each of them, always imperfect,
myself to myself too near,
he who survives in me, can he ever
look at himself without fear?

But not for him, the life of an actor, “melted into thin air, leaving not a rack behind.”
Shakespeare’s Cleopatra fantasized her hero in this way:
“His legs bestrid the ocean…..In his livery walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were as plates dropp’d from his pocket. Think you there might be such a man?”
There is and now was, and he wasn’t a dream.
And now, may his “life be rounded with a sleep. . . ”
There they were all night long, CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, giving him his obituary. His sense of humor is still with him. He cheated the media! Check the date!
I love this man. I do not share his religion, but I do share his philosophy, as I hope my site illustrates throughout.
And I find it interesting that his teachings illustrate over and over again that it is love that makes the world go round, and not violence in any form, nor revenge, nor the law. And as though to prove this thesis, the terrorists of that other religion, with a perfect bombing target in Rome, have done nothing to interfere with his example (touch wood, it’s not over yet, I know). We should remember how he treated the terrorist who tried to kill him in 1981. He visited him in prison, and forgave him, and afterwards befriended and took care of the would-be assassin’s family. Mehmet Ali Agca is now a changed man.
He lived an extraordinary life, his character sparked no doubt by the early deaths of his mother and role model father, and his brother and sister. He had intimate knowledge of what it was to be poor and rich, and drawing on his own early life experience, including confrontation with Nazi terror, was able to work every side of the street, and every level of society. And remember, he was once an actor, and we actors do that too, especially celebrities, we are able to walk freely in society at every level. It’s what we do with that ability that matters. (Celebrity websites for the glorification of their own careers? Is that all?)
I do not believe that John Paul should be elevated to sainthood in our time. That would put his example out of reach for all of us. It took Joan over five hundred years to inspire the modern woman with her sainthood – a slight case of overdoing it – but sainthood now would remove his influence in today’s world politics. We need to continue the example of the real man if he is to be an effective icon.