Christopher Hitchens died today. Or yesterday, maybe. I don’t know.
I woke up in the middle of the night/morning from an exam-weary slumber, to see a message on my phone that Hitchens had died. I still haven’t read the countless tributes and memoriams that have popped up in the last handful of hours, as I just now finished with an 8:00 exam. It marked the conclusion of my next-to-last semester of undergraduate studies, so I was already in a bit of a retrospective mood before I heard this news. I suppose this was far from unexpected, but it still feels like a shock.
I’ve written before on exactly how much Hitch influenced me to become involved in the secular movement. I’ve also written about how much it meant for me to get to see him and speak to him again, just two months ago in Houston. It is hard to believe that the larger than life man, who stood on stage just 69 days ago awing a packed audience, is now gone. This morning, I looked at his signature in one of my books, signed those few weeks ago in. It seemed surreal to see the impact of his hand in a world he has departed, but it got me to thinking about Hitch’s fingerprint on this movement. It is absolutely everywhere. Even everything I’ve done, as minuscule as it has been, can be traced right back to the influence of Hitch.
Of course, this leads me to wonder what my fingerprint will be on this tiny corner of the world; this remote southern campus that I have called home. I’m moving into my final few months with AAA, and I can only hope I have had spread a fraction of the passion to my fellows here that Hitchens helped to stir in me. If I ultimately only inspire a homeopathy-worthy droplet of passion in comparison to Hitch, I’ll be gleefully satisfied with my efforts.
On another note: for those that weren’t in Texas or otherwise didn’t hear about it, here is the story of Hitch’s reading list. It is quite heart-warming, and seems very appropriate in remembering the best of Hitch. http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/mason-crumpacker-and-the-hitchens-reading-list/
Moving on will be difficult from a loss of a man like Hitch, but I am confident that there will be people to step up. But tonight I’ll be ordering a Johnny Walker Black. Hope you’ll all do the same.
Here’s to you, Hitch; and to moving forward.