Today one of my coworkers, who usually checks the news around noonish, blurted out, “Prince died!” I went on the internet immediately to verify. It was true.
Ironically, I had spent the morning searching for and finding the video of a coworker singing, “Purple Rain,” during karaoke at the company Christmas party in 2014 to show one of the interns. She had just received them when I walked back to her department to give them the news.
After the denial wore off and other coworkers took their turns singing parts of “Purple Rain,” and sharing random thoughts and memories of Prince, I couldn’t get the song, “Purple Rain,” out of my head – and it’s not even my favorite Prince song.
My 2nd favorite Prince song is largely unavailable – it’s “Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” from his 1995 release, The Gold Experience. The song is not only beautiful and inspiring, it shows Prince’s amazing range. I also have some of his recent funk and random jazz cuts in my collection. He also wrote songs that he didn’t sing himself, like Stevie Nick’s, “Stand Back.”
So much talent and creativity packed into one mind and life.
Super Bowl halftime show – AMAZING. Pouring rain, and when asked if he was going to perform in the rain, he said, “Can you make it rain more?”
My favorite song, though, is “When Doves Cry,” from his iconic Purple Rain album. I was a freshman in high school when it came out, and the lyrics, which I sang with all my heart and pain, resonated with me.
How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that’s so cold? (So cold)
Maybe I’m just too demanding
Maybe I’m just like my father too bold
Maybe you’re just like my mother
She’s never satisfied (She’s never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry
When I came home tonight, MTV had cleared all their normal programming to show Prince videos and the movie Purple Rain. I watched it in its entirety, which I haven’t done in years.
It’s odd, watching an iconic movie filled with such iconic music and persona when the force behind it all is no longer earthside. The performance seems fuller – as if the last breath of the soul finally made its way to the celluloid.
As I expressed in my post WHEN YOUR CHILDHOOD STARTS DYING, the grief is different, but it’s there in every note, video, and other expressions of sadness. Even now, as it appears that Prince’s death might (might) be drug related or suspicious, that doesn’t lessen his impact on people’s lives or my life through his art.
I believe there’s a fine line between creativity/genius and insanity or otherworldliness that is nearly impossible to walk and nearly impossible to understand or fathom. I think that line is what scares me the most when I find myself at my most creative and expressive. Artists like Prince (and many more) inspire me to walk that line regardless of the mystery and to trust the process because no matter what happens if we obey the muse, we bare our souls and may inspire, encourage, challenge, and change others around us.
As people around the world listen, watch, and remember Prince tonight, we will all remember that we have gathered together to get through this thing called life – and his genius was a big part of it.