Quiet Courage

Bill Hick’s would have been 51 years old today.

Though he’s been gone almost 20 years I still feel his presence. He seems to continue to walk the earth…we just can’t see him.

A friend of his used to say, ‘when Hicks showed up he was like a gunslinger blowing into town.’ Not that he displayed haughty bravado mind you, it was actually quite the opposite. It wasn’t anything he did necessarily, it was more his aura that could be felt in all corners of the room. He possessed great humility and what I like to describe as, quiet courage.

Because he was a hellion on stage the world assumed he was like that in general. So not true. He was one of the most gracious human beings I had ever met led by his manners at all times.

Another thing I remember about Bill was how brave he was. He truly was frightened of nothing. This is when I feel him the most, when I’m struggling over something I’m convinced I cannot do. Sure you can, I hear him say. You can do anything. They’re all just as scared of you as you are them. Strength suddenly rises in me like mercury inching up a  thermometer.

If I’m sad I can hear him then too. Cry it out darlin long and hard then get on with things because take it from me, life’s short.

I’ve been very pensive since the shooting in Connecticut on Friday where 27 people, 20 of them kids, were killed by a mentally ill 20 year-old boy. The fact that we are no longer safe on any given day is a very difficult thing for me to accept. I revel in my freedom never wanting to be looking over my shoulder, ever.

How will these families go on after such shocking loss? I truly can’t imagine but then I think, with quiet courage, that’s how.

We all have it lying dormant within us ready to stand at a second’s notice.

It’s what got Bill through his final illness and me his death. I still can’t fathom, when they told him he was going to die, how that must have been for him. He was on the cusp of such imminent success that was now going to be completely taken away. His first response was to keep on working as long as possible, concentrating on his music so he could leave as much of himself behind as he could.

They gave him 4 months…he lived 8…from sheer will.

What would he have to say about what’s troubling me today…

Pray for those kids Susannah then go out, for them… for me and enjoy the day. Living to the fullest is what you can do in memory of all of us.

Okay Bill, I will, and before I forget…

Happy Birthday.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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14 Responses to Quiet Courage

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Happy Birthday, Bill, wherever you’re hanging out in the cosmos these days!

    I haven’t been able to think of much else myself since Friday. But Bill is right, you just get on with things. The world has never been a safe place, and we survive and even thrive anyway. I got hurt a little a few weeks ago when I laid the bike down, but I’ve seen people hurt far worse just by slipping off the bottom rung of a ladder in their front yard. Point being, all kinds of crazy stuff happens in this world, you can’t let it keep you from living your life.

    I just wish I could have known Bill.


  2. gmg says:

    I just googled Bill HIcks because I didn’t know much about him. I’m so happy you have him inside of you. No one can ever take him away and he will always give you strength.


    • How nice of you to do that. I hope more people follow your lead. This will sound odd but I would have added a clip of him but I can’t, even after all this time, watch him. Gets me too upset. My friend Amy when I first wrote about him (Falling Star) well over a year ago was kind enough to do it for me. I’m an emotional girl, what can I say? Thanks for reading.


  3. Jed says:

    Lovely piece.


  4. S. says:

    Darling Susannah,
    Is this your Bill Hicks?
    “The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

    Damn I wish got a chance to talk to this guy, And look forward to reading more about him.


  5. S. says:

    I didn’t mean to make you cry. I’s so sorry. But I suppose if it was a good cry that is okay, I like good cries sometimes… They’re liberating.
    Revelations came out twenty years ago this year. I’m in awe of his ability to be comedic and poignant at the same time. It’s a type of social activism we don’t see much anymore.
    All my love,
    xo – S.


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