Bill Murray is my spirit animal. If you know me, you’ve heard me say that once or twice. I’ve never known why exactly, but I’ve always been a huge fan, both of his performances and of the man himself.
Now I know. I received a number of wonderful books for Christmas, but this one was easily my favorite. I read it non-stop, and I was genuinely sad that it was over when I’d finished. I found it to be inspirational, funny, and strangely moving.
In reading The Tao of Bill Murray, I learned that the countless “Bill Murray Stories” (and yes, there are more of them than one can count. Google for them and you’ll see what I mean) are more than amusing anecdotes. Instead, they all spring from Murray’s heartfelt philosophical resolution to use his life to wake other people up to theirs. In a way, he’s a physical embodiment of the Trickster God motif we see in the stories of Loki, the coyote, and so many others. Those figures are in our collective psyche to fulfill the need to question, to laugh and love, to be mindful and present. If, by showing the kind of “the emperor has no clothes” irreverence that only real awareness and genuine love can inspire, we can make a difference in the world, we ought to do so. Life is better when we’re awake for it, and it’s beautiful when we awaken others and celebrate the moment.
I don’t believe in spirit animals, really. But I do believe in Bill Murray. I hope that I can follow his example in some small way.