Grace, Fire, and For All

I was planning on posting something else today. Then I saw the news and thought, with the sudden shock of the unexpected: Oh, no...Superman is dead. And though Christopher Reeve was "only" a man, his personal tragedy turned medical crusade is as admirable as anything the comic book hero ever did, and it feels to me as though a bright light of the world has gone out.

It would be a monumental task to find a cultural icon in the West that has shaped and impacted our ideals as much as Superman. In this hero lies grace and strength and power, balanced with an equal love for humanity. Superman is, in many ways, the ultimate expression of Fire and Air in balance. That balance requires an effort that can be nothing less than Herculean...and so easily marred by tragedy.

So it is fitting that a man such as Christopher Reeve, who also was born with both of those elements powerfully guiding him, should breathe life into this comic book hero, taking him out of art and making him a cultural presence with few peers. And when cruel misfortune struck him, Christopher Reeve took the icon that he played and used its lingering presence to fight for the advancement of the world, for himself and for others. The line between a fantasy character and a true super man smeared and blurred. The man was shown to be just as heroic as the character ever was.

But I will declare that this is the truth:

Christopher Reeve was not merely defined by Superman. Superman was equally defined by Christopher Reeve.

The pure idealism and strength Reeve brought to the fore seems to have seeped into my mind despite the fact that I never was a huge fan. I know that because: with the passing of this flame, the world seems a little colder today. For me, a sterling example of all that is truly best about those two elements of Air and Fire - and all the great, uplifting potential of having them stand together as one - has passed now into still silence.


Blogger VW said...

Chill bumps. I got chill bumps reading this because it is so true.

12:02 PM  
Blogger weng said...

his passing was traumatic since he is the epitome of strength, chivalry, and faith in goodworks that touched my idealistic childhood... my man of steel...

10:59 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Although I am sad that he's left us, I am awed by the lessons he's left us with.

4:38 AM  

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