On Bill Murray and the practice of acrophobia
how many remarkable fools does it take to change a lightbulb?
Every few years Bill comes back to me.
Typically, an article shows up in my feed talking about the odd ball antics of Bill Murray. I bite and start reading articles. One becomes another then yet another. I become bewitched by Bill and go on an all out Bill Murray Blitz.
Every Bill Blitz begins with reading articles about Bill. Next, I move on to re watching old SNL clips, interviews and appearances on late night television. Longer, full on campaigns, feature a barrage of movies from every era of Bill. No Bill Blitz is complete however without a viewing of Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is a classic 90’s movie and my personal favourite Bill Blockbuster.
No single movie is more important in the understanding of the human condition than Groundhog Day. In our lives we constantly are repeating ourselves. Unlike in the film, we don’t play the same day over and over again. Time marches on. We merely play out similar games and behaviours as though they were jazz.
We play our ‘standards’ with some variation and improvisations but the structures stay the same.
We repeat until we change.
We need multiple repetitions to learn things.
And whatever we’re dealing with, the difficulties of life? They keep coming back in some way shape or form.
I was once so terrified of heights that I would freeze when I faced them.
I got over that fear through repetition.
I haven’t been up high in twenty years.
I’m a bit out of practice.
Comfort at heights is one of those things that requires repetition and practice.
Well it’s Groundhog Day again.
I’m facing my fear of heights. (again)
It’s for the Behind the Scenes, the tee vee show I’m hosting. I have a lightbulb to change.
I’m not just changing any lightbulb
I’m climbing to the top of the MacDonald bridge here in Dartmouth. After climbing a ladder that’s a hundred and fifty feet tall, I’ll be over three hundred and fifty feet above the water. Once there, I change a lightbulb.
Merely writing those numbers, has me experiencing waves of dread, of terror. My guts sink. My arms get heavy. I feel a little like a bike with a tire that has a slow leak. I can keep going, but the bounce is a bit hollow.
A bit of fear is healthy. It’s a reminder to get ready and to make sure there’s lots of air in the tires for the trip.
Most importantly, I’ve practiced being afraid of heights. I’m good at it. In fact, I’m so good at being afraid of heights that I can still function really high up while a an angry badger in my chest is screaming. I know how to face, experience and move through my fear of heights. Once I get going, I’ll be fine.
Do you find yourself dealing with shit that you thought should have disappeared years ago?
How do you live in your own personal Groundhog Day?
What if these are games we play and these traps we fall into were merely practice?
What if you could get better at being bad?
unbillmiliar, those unfamiliar with all things Bill.