In my moments with self, I quite enjoy looking up a variety of interests on YouTube, quite randomly.
Earlier this week, I came across a 1995 BBC TV Face to Face interview which Jeremy Isaacs hosted with Paul Eddington, a much respected British actor famed for appearances on stage and screen, most popularly in “The Good Life”; “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime-Minister”
The film was shown on television on 30 October 1995 and Paul Eddington died on 4 November 1995.
I remembered seeing the programme for the first time in 1995 and I was deeply affected when I watched it, and again earlier this week, by the sight of Mr Eddington appearing in the interview clearly in the latter stages of skin cancer which was very clearly visible on his head,face and hands.
In the course of answering the many questions that Jeremy Isaacs put to him, Paul Eddington talks about having to “find the courage to appear as myself”
These words struck me because, in Mr Eddington’s case he was talking about having to work as an actor on stage without concealing his baldness and facial disfigurement caused by his tragic illness, in your case and mine we can emulate him by also “finding the courage to appear/to be ourselves”
It’s not easy, but our audience, whoever they may be, are usually kind as he discovered.
He also said in this remarkable interview, that he had rejected his Catholic upbringing for perfectly plausible reasons, to become a Quaker with whom he identified strongly in terms of their political and social teaching, in particular in relation to pacifism.
He said “finding the Quakers was like finding an oasis in a desert”
“Silence”, he said, “is at the centre of Quaker worship and that an hours silence is most refreshing”
I have found on my journey of self discovery, that silence for extended periods of time is absolutely crucial to the business of finding love for self, and then for others too, which is revealed by listening to our inner voice.
This moving interview ended with Jeremy Isaacs asking Paul Eddington how he would like to be remembered – he was days from death – he said “I would like to be remembered as one who did very little harm”
He said “it sounds quite soft, but to have achieved a life which has caused very little harm in a world where so many people do a great deal of harm is a worthy achievement”
My own life of fear, isolation and pain has caused harm both to myself and those close to me whom I love, but I feel so invigorated by the prospect of living in the present in a life that causes very little harm!
My next blog will be: I’ve started to Stroke Dogs