Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

I've said and written that too many times this year.

I am usually very neutral when a celebrity dies.  I didn't know them.  I may or may not have been a fan of their work.  I felt compassion for their families, and those close to them who were experiencing real loss.  I respected them for their work, their talent, and that they made many people happy through their artistry.  Alan Rickman.  Alan Thicke,  George Michael.  Florence Henderson.  Even Prince and Gene Wilder feel into this category.  I felt sadness at their passing, at the loss of their talent, and at their contributions to the world as artists, philanthropists, and human beings, but true personal mourning?  Not very much.

There were four, though.   There were four that hurt.  I certainly didn't know any of them, but their artistry seemed personal.

Leonard Cohen - for writing the best songs ever.

David Bowie - for having an unending, infinite domain of artistry, and the bravery to explore it all and share with us.

Christina Grimmie - energy, talent, beginning to live her dream.  Killed.  I know many musicians who put themselves at risk by playing sketchy venues and going in to the homes of strangers to perform house concerts.  Christina Grimmie is but a step or two away from the musicians I know.  Her death still hurts, and is tragic for our society and our world.  Still nowhere near the loss that her family and friends must feel.

Carrie Fisher.

I was 13 years old in 1977.  For my birthday  that August I got to see this new movie "Star Wars" in the closest movie theater to my house, 20 miles away.  Carrie Fisher was beautiful, and Princess Leia was strong and brave and good.  I *am* the Star Wars generation.  And I've lost part of it now.

But we remember.  We remember these artists every time we see them or hear their work.  I can relive, re-experience, and remember David, Leonard, Christina, and Carrie any time I want to.  Click, click, click, and there they are.  Sometimes that's good.  But sometimes, it's better when memories come from afar and travel distance and time before they arrive.

Leonard, David, Christina, Carrie.  Rest in Peace.