Sunday, January 6, 2013

Please don't go. We'll eat you up. We love you so.



Above is Christopher Nieman's beautiful illustration of Maurice Sendak's heartwarming and deeply moving NPR interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross.  It's hard not to be inspired listening to Sendak talking about the beauty he sees in the world:
SENDAK: Yes. I'm not unhappy about becoming old. I'm not unhappy about what must be. It makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me and life is emptied. I don't believe in an afterlife, but I still fully expect to see my brother again. And it's like a dream life. But, you know, there's something I'm finding out as I'm aging that I am in love with the world. 
And I look right now, as we speak together, out my window in my studio and I see my trees and my beautiful, beautiful maples that are hundreds of years old, they're beautiful. And you see I can see how beautiful they are. I can take time to see how beautiful they are. It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music.

It's also hard not to cry as he further describes the grief and isolation he feels as he grows older:
SENDAK: I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more. And I'm in a very soft mood, as you can gather...

GROSS: Mm-hmm.

SENDAK: ...because new people have died.

GROSS: Yeah.

SENDAK: They were not that old. And so it's what I dread more than anything is the isolation.

Ever the children's author though, Sendak leaves us with the moral of this story:
SENDAK: I wish you all good things. Live your life, live your life, live your life.

by: Eric Widera (@ewidera)

Note: the full interview can be heard here.


3 comments:

Brian McMichael, M.D. said...

Your title is my favorite line out of all of his books, having read them over, and over, and over to my son when he was small. I heard this and was touched. Even at my just-half-century I now have an inking of his love of the world.
Thank, Eric!

Eric Widera said...

Thanks Brian. It's my favorite line too, and I though very fitting for the topic of the interview.

mbevmdphd said...

The wise people in our world teach us so much, don't they? This interview was really beautiful, and I think displays the wisdom that real older people (not the made-up, TV kind) can offer. On a lighter note, I have to recommend the Alt-J song, "Breezeblocks," inspired by Sendak.