I wrote on my Facebook page yesterday: Prince? I can’t even.
I still can’t. At 57? Too soon. Much too soon. As I write this, the hashtag #PrinceGoneTooSoon is trending on Twitter. So many of us are grieving and celebrating. Grieving another creative genius lost and celebrating his life and legacy.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to celebrate this thing called life.
Yesterday I heard the news and called my cousin, who was born the same year I was, and he answered by singing “Purple Rain.” He knew why I was calling. I didn’t even need to say it.
When I was a kid I saw Purple Rain in the theaters with my friends and I was inspired. It was weird and cool and wonderful. He put himself, his creative spirit out there. It was what I wanted to do, and this I learned then, that no matter who is trying to keep you down or tell you you are worthless, you can find inspiration and press on. You can find your way.
I found mine. You can do, too, if you’re in that same place. Trust me on this.
Why should you wait any longer?
Take a chance.
It could only make you stronger.
It’s your time.
I dug Prince’s whole vibe: the lyrics, the music, the individuality, the outfits, the hair… all of it. A couple of months ago we were watching TV and I paused it just to show my husband this picture that Prince had put on twitter:
The smoky eye, the perfect eyeliner, the hair, the stare, the pout… this was his passport photo, ya’ll! I loved it. My husband and I talked about him then, and last night at dinner we talked about his lyrics and life.
I feel like I’m looking for my soul
Like a poor man looking for gold
And now, of course, his lyrics and meaning behind them seem even more profound, and some might say, a little prophetic, a little spooky.
But sometimes sometimes life ain’t always the way… Sometimes it snows in April.
A song about loss. Is it a coincidence that he died on a snowy day in April? And this:
And if the elevator tries to break you down, go crazy, punch a higher floor!
He died on an elevator.
It seemed in his songs he could show us his dreams, describe them to us so we could see them, too.
Dream if you can a courtyard… an ocean of violets in bloom… where animals strike curious poses…
His songs were like paintings, so rich in color and image. I told my husband last night that I hoped he passed through from this world to the next without issue. One breath here, the next… there. He could step from a bath of purple rain and see the after world and God and the son he lost and everything sweet and good.
Losing Prince has seemed to hit a lot of people hard. I feel as if losing him dims our creativity here for a bit. We are left wondering what next. I tweeted out:
— Cherie Burbach (@brrbach) April 21, 2016
I’d like to think that people like David Bowie and Prince are jamming while others like my friends Lori and Steve are sitting in the front row enjoying the concert.