Monday, November 17, 2008

Christopher Lloyd Visits What's Left of His Home

The BBC website has the "Good Morning America" clip showing Christopher Lloyd visiting what remains of his house:

BBC NEWS | Americas | Back to the Future star loses home:
"Christopher Lloyd, the Hollywood actor and star of the Back to the Future films, has lost his home to the wildfires which are sweeping parts of California. Mr Lloyd, who played the zany scientist 'Doc' in the Back to the Future trilogy, showed ABC's 'Good Morning America' programme around the ruins of his former home."
While you can see that video at a couple of different websites, I linked to the BBC because I like that they described Doc as "zany". All the other articles I've found kept calling Doc "crazy". Obviously, that's a personal pet peeve of mine. Doc was eccentric, he wasn't nuts.

Anyway, aside from how much it must suck to have "Good Morning America" tape you catching your first glimpse of the charred remains of everything you once owned, there were two things that really struck me about this video. First of all, despite the terrible circumstances, Christopher Lloyd looks GREAT for a 70 year old, doesn't he? Unbelievable.

Second was the following comment:
...memorabilia, which I kept delaying to go through to store. But, kinda don't have to worry about that now.
As I've mentioned before, I'm what Sam Gosling refers to as a "sentimental hoarder" in his book Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You.

I've got so much stuff from Japan in my little apartment, the most invaluable of which being my reams of journals and notes as well as hard drives full of pictures and data, including the first draft of my book. (And don't even get me started on all of the crap I've got boxed up at my parents house in Florida.)

As devastating as I'm sure it would be to lose all of that, I can't help but wonder if it might be pretty liberating as well.

The travel writer Pico Iyer - who I saw give an excellent lecture back in April - starts off his book The Global Soul as follows:
"Suddenly, the flames were curling seventy feet above my living room, whipped on by seventy-mile-per-hour winds that sent them ripping across the dry brush like maddened horses. I tried to call the fire department, but the phone was dead. I tried to turn the lights on, but the electricity was gone. I went upstairs again, to see that the flames, which minutes before had been a distant knife of orange cutting through a hillside, were now all around me, the view through the picture window a wall of flame."
After a few paragraphs describing his escape, he finishes the chapter with:
"I got taken to a friend's house, went across to an all-night supermarket to buy a toothbrush, and started my life anew."
It's tragic, but - and may everyone who lost their home in such a way forgive me for saying this - I'm almost envious.

I'm not saying I'd like a brushfire to rip through the U-District thereby freeing me from my junk and any self-imposed obligations. But, I am realizing that maybe it's time to reevaluate my relationship with my stuff and what I plan to do with it.

Or at least buy a really, really big firebox.

What do you think? If you lost your home tonight, how hard would it be for you to get back on your feet? Do you think it would be liberating? Devastating? What would you do next?

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