Merely Players

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances...  William Shakespeare, As You Like It


I know this is going to sound weird, but I can't stop thinking about L'Wren Scott. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, she was the woman who was, for the past 13 years, in a partnership with Mick Jagger, and she designed a line of clothing that could be called romantic and nostalgic. It's not that I'm obsessed with rock stars and their girlfriends, or even much interested in popular culture. In 2010, when I was married to Richard and we did those kinds of wild things, we spent the Christmas holiday on a very exclusive island where Mick owned a house and was vacationing with his family. The island was so small that there was only one beach and two restaurants, and it was a mellow, sweet place where no one cared who was or wasn't famous. One day the boys were tossing the football on the beach when a man came by and asked them to join their daily afternoon touch football pick-up game. So later that day we all piled into the Mini Moke and trundled over to play football at what turned out to be Tommy Hilfiger's house. And Tommy was right in the thick of it. No one cared; everyone was focused on winning the damn football game. My boys, then, didn't even know who Tommy Hifiger was. 

Mick and L'Wren and their huge, wild jumble of a family took up a lot of space on that tiny island, and so our paths crossed a bunch of times. And let me tell you, that woman was tall and very pale with incredibly long, black hair. She was like something from another planet. Just divine. And Mick, of course, is one of the smallest men you'll ever see. Together they looked like a comedy duo --a completely visually unlikely match-up. But, boy, was she something. Ethereal, like a gigantic ballerina whose stage was the entire world. I felt lucky and happy for Mick, that he was paired with such a fine specimen of womanly majesticness. 

If you pay any attention to Hollywood-y news, you know that L'Wren Scott hung herself last week, with a black scarf from a door handle in her apartment in New York City.

I just hate it. I hate all the media hype around her death and the speculation as to why someone who lived such a perfect-looking life would have chosen to end her own. Though our overlapping time on the island of Mustique gave me only the slightest whiff of who L'Wren Scott was, I feel the loss and I want everyone to leave her alone. I am the kind of person who can't walk past a hurting thing without hurting, so much of the pain of this hard world somehow makes its way back around to me, which probably doesn't bode well for a hospital chaplain, but, still, I choose to put myself in those places. I soak things in, which is what we were all doing on that dreamy island, with family and friends, spending time out of time, enjoying the simple act of being together. There, Mick and L'Wren weren't famous or even important. They were lovers, surrounded by their kids and grandkids and they were playing in the surf, eating dinner by candlelight and ringing in the new year together, just like the rest us.

L'Wren Scott's decision to end her life was, for certain, a tragedy. Every suicide is. But when someone famous, someone in the limelight, someone living the life we all think is perfect, kills themself, it gives us pause, and it should. It should. Because that morning when Ms. Scott was tying the scarf around her neck and lowering her enormous frame down to the door handle, she was as human as you and I are every day of our lives. She was a person, suffering and alone. And, too, I would wager that Mick Jagger is not, in these hours of grief, shielded from his pain by his immense fortune and popularity. I would imagine that a 70-year-old Mick Jagger is feeling the full weight of the loss of the woman he loved.

The sorrowful but potent lesson that the death of someone like L'Wren (and Philip Seymour Hoffman to drugs and Natasha Richardson to a ski accident and countless other 'celebrities") teaches us is that we are all in this thing called the human condition together; that life is quite fragile. That people always leave too soon. 

Maybe what we -- the living -- are meant to do is honor the fact that beautiful humans like L'Wren Scott were here at all by living each day. And I'm talking here about living: not being, not waiting for the right or better time. Blech! How dull! How embarrassing! Death, tragedy, suffering -- these are equal opportunity employers every single day of the year. I highly recommend that you commit yourself to whatever it is you love and do it with fervor. Damn the naysayers! Damn the children who keep asking what's for dinner! Damn it all! Live your fucking lives, people. Stop pretending that you have a bottomless well of time at your disposal. You don't.

For God's sake, if nothing else, live with some gusto for one simple reason: because you are alive.