The world has lost another bright soul today and is certainly the lesser for it. Like so many others, I awoke this morning to the shocking news that Alan Rickman had passed away and I cried. I’ve dearly loved him ever since I first saw Sense and Sensibility. That film awoke a life-long interest in Jane Austen and made me an Anglophile, especially of the Reagency period. Although I’ve seen Mr. Rickman in a variety of roles, he will always be first and foremost my Colonel Brandon. He was a rare actor, who took obvious delight in crafting his roles. Acting was not a job, it was a calling for him and he excelled at it. In his hands, the most simple of roles could be raised to breathtaking complexity and brilliance. His movies have been so much a part of our lives that it’s hard to believe he is gone and we will not see his face or hear his voice again.
One of my most loved roles of his was as the voice of Absolem the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed that character immensely; especially in finding traces of Mr. Rickman’s face in weathered blue caterpillar’s. A scene from that movie kept playing itself in my mind today. It’s when Absolem travels to visit Alice and encourages her to embrace her destiny and slay the Jabberwocky, even though it’s great danger to herself. During their conversation Absolem is weaving his cocoon and slowly disappears into it. Alice asks him if he’s going to die. Absolem chuckles gently and says “transform”. At the end of the movie we see a great blue butterfly fly to Alice’s shoulder and she says “Hello Absolem”. That scene of death and new life has been a comfort today. This evening as I left knit group, I noticed that the moon was in its crescent moon stage and appearing much like the Cheshire Cat’s smile. Given that the sequel to Alice in Wonderland will be Alan Rickman’s last film, it seemed a special goodbye for such a remarkable man.
Goodbye Mr. Rickman and thank you for making the world a more beautiful place by your time with us. I will love and miss you…. always.
Blessings to you,