This morning, I woke early. 4:32am, exactly. My new canine companion needed relief, which was fine enough. But after the walk, I stumbled past the computer only to learn that my dear hero, Mr. Christopher Hitchens, had died, failing at last from his battle with esophageal cancer.
In the words of Andrew Sullivan, I “blubbered for a bit, staring at the screen.”
Hitchens, or Hitch, might seem like an unlikely hero for a yoga/meditation teacher. No doubt, he made many mocking and derisory statements about all things religious, New Agey and allegedly spiritual. To describe him as irreverent would be a gross, gross understatement.
Hitch lampooned sacred cows from Mother Theresa to the Dalai Lama. And even though I might not always have agreed with his views (ahem, Iraq), I always felt inspired by his incandescent passion for thought, beauty, literature, science and P.G. Wodehouse.
To read or listen to Hitch is to assault the very roots of all your convictions and complacently assumed beliefs. If you can stand the drubbing, you might find yourself curiously scrutinizing a slumbering world of half-baked truths and pithy palliatives.
I am forever indebted for that heat and passion.
Originally published on December 16, 2011