The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman at 46 has been on my mind since I heard the news this last Sunday. I, of course, didn't know this man. But he has spent many hours entertaining me. I don't remember the first time I noticed him. Perhaps that is because he could completely disappear into a role.
I can understand. I understand completely. Sometimes, all you want is to quiet your brain.
I have found anecdotal evidence to support a theory I have: The smarter the person,the more powerful the brain, the more gifted the individual, the more likely that person will seek things to quiet themselves. And I think the x-factor--the thing that cannot be measured by IQ points--is the level of a person's creativity.
I can't tell you why this happens. But I can tell you that I completely understand the need to feel still. My brain is constantly spinning. I find that I can focus better when I am feeding myself with constant information. I have always done so. I did homework best in front of the TV. I will work with an audiobook playing in my ear. As I am writing this, I am listening to the Rachel Maddow podcast.
So, yes, I understand why Phillip Seymour Hoffman was taking heroin. I am willing to bet that he wasn't chasing the high. He was seeking the quiet.
Please understand, I am not claiming to be either a genius or a creative talent. All I am trying to communicate is that I too seek to be still.
So yes, I get it. So does Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Robin Williams. I don't think it was a coincidence that Heath Ledger, Jim Morrison, and Chris Farley died of a drug overdose. And I hope they found the peace that I think they were seeking.
There are as many reasons people gravitate to Derby as there are skaters. I know that I didn't find Derby as much as I was dragged to it by Sara, who knew-before I did-that I needed it. But right now, I am so, so thankful for being able to check out for a few hours each week.