August 4th, 2008

Dirk Bogarde

 Life on planet Earth is tough and I'd like to think we get Brownie points for sticking the course. I was reading a selection of Dirk Bogarde's letters in the Telegraph yesterday- and came away thinking, "Yes, if I can manage my life like he did I'll be happy." He had integrity and courage. When his career went stale on him- as it did, twice- he didn't shrug his shoulders and go shuffling on for the sake of the paycheck- but stopped and changed course.  First he was a matinee idol, then a serious film actor, then a writer.  He succeeded in everything he tried- but that's not really the point. The point is that he never gave up trying. Or to put it another way, he didn't stop living until he was dead. It's not that he wasn't tempted. The death of his long-time companion after a three-year illness all but flattened him. But he got through his time of mourning,  put the booze away and went on being creative and useful. To my mind that makes him a kind of a saint.