Laurean D. Robinson, MA
What a beautiful reimagining of a classic novel! But in a way, it’s actually the most honest and transparent image of the dearly departed Prince Rogers Nelson – outerworldly royalty with talents that surpassed all but his vocal rival in Michael Jackson.
Prince played 11 instruments where he bended the musical genres of rock, soul, funk, pop and R&B, wrote songs for himself and others, composed film scores, directed his own films for mainstream consumption, won musical and thespian accolades almost effortlessly.
But yesterday’s news of his cause of death seems to eclispe all of those accomplishments. It seems like Prince has become a fragile and aging uncle of ours, suffering from chronic pain from years of electifiying on-stage performances.
Decades of age-defying leaps and splits in his signature high heels had paid a toll. Sadly, only a small network of friends knew about his private pain.
I think what makes his passing the most tragic to me is that he died alone.
With all of the amazing art he gave to the world that marked our pivotal stages in our lives, Prince maintained his anonymity in his private life. He quietly married and divorced. He rarely gave interviews nor had many public appearances. Prince seemed to conserve that personal connection for his art and concerts.
Is that really a terrible thing? Don’t artists like anyone else need their privacy? Who were we to assume what a celebrity like Prince needed?
And maybe we are intruding. Maybe we are superimposing our own desires on this outerworldly being who was never meant to be completely understood. Maybe this is coming from our own fear of being alone at the most vulnerable moment in our lives.
Either way, Prince’s death reminds us to treasure the ones we truly love of the fragilty of life. His song “Sometimes It Snows in April” from the Parade album sums it up best:
Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
And all good things, they say, never last