Saturday, 23 July 2011

Back to Black

Despite being sure she wouldn't release another album, or make it through her Saturn Return, I'm finding it quite difficult to breathe this morning after hearing the news that Amy Winehouse died.

Her talent was of tragic proportions - the kind it is very tough for humans to handle.  A little talent is a challenge; tremendous talent requires near perfect environments and support.

Two months into my Saturn Return, I was a passenger in a car that was rammed by a drunk driver in a van.  We were saved by being in a Volvo, and though we walked away, the damage was severe.  I could not walk for weeks, or sit, or lie down, had a concussion the size of Mt. Rushmore.  The same night as the accident, I lost the job I had just started, after waiting months for it, as one of the partners walked away from the deal.  I survived all of this as well as the other surprises awaiting me, but only by shifting the path I had intended to take in life by a very wide margin.

I have a friend who's about to enter his Saturn Return.  He is far too reckless, tempts the universe daily, and thinks he's basically too cool to be messed with.  I watch this, and know that advice is unwelcome and the clock is ticking toward great tests, wondering how he will meet them.  Amy, Kurt, Jimi, Janis, Jim, but it's not just famous people - think of your friends who didn't make it to 30.

I'm glad Amy Winehouse didn't end up like the crack ho who accosted us one night in a chip shop in Camden.  Exposing herself while ranting about this being her town, where she grew up.  Winehouse could easily have become completely non-functional and spiraled down endlessly for decades.

We will make a lot of her death - and less than we should of the scores killed in Norway.  This is our way - it does not make sense.

What was it about Amy Winehouse that we all connected so strongly to?  I'm not sure.  Her complete surrender and lack of control - something we are not allowed?  Her indulgence?  Her other-worldliness?  What I know is that I've lost something in me today.  I don't know what it is, but I know that it's gone.  Her music marked something for me, something in me, that had no marker before.  I am not sure I know how to reckon that place on my own.  It wrestled her to death.

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