I saw Pacific Rim today.
When, several minutes into the film, its title finally appeared across the screen, I thought with delight, "Late title card!"
Then I thought of Ryan Davis.
For the past week, I've been unsure of just what the impact of this person I'd admired so much for so long on my life had been. And I think that was when it hit me. I take joy in certain things now that I didn't before, because he took joy in them, and because his joy in them was so unfettered, so pure, that I couldn't be exposed to it and not feel it, too. The dramatic audacity of a great late title card. The pleasure of pronouncing robot "row-bit." If you followed his work at all, I imagine you have your own things that you can't help but appreciate because he appreciated them and because that kind of joy, whether found in things great or absurd, is just contagious.
More importantly, Ryan really knew how to love people. If you've listened to the hilarious and painful and wonderful Bombcast in which his friends pay tribute to him, you know this. The people he loved, he loved profoundly and expressively and fearlessly. And though I think he would have gagged at Hallmark Card-like platitudes about living and loving this way, I also really believe that there are lessons to be taken from this, that most of us could stand to love more expressively and fearlessly.
And that's why, even though I hardly knew him as a person, the world feels emptier without him to me, and each time that I remember he's gone, I still find it hard to accept. I think that's why that goofy and sad and sweet Star Wars tribute works so damn well. So vibrant and effusive was his life force that it's almost as if we can still feel it around us, even in his absence.