Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: An honoring and a farewell to one of ours

Today, artists around the world can feel a shift in the incandescence that connects us. A “shift in the force,” if you will, at the expansive loss that is the departure of Amy Winehouse.

A woman whose brilliance crooned the deepest corners of souls refusing to take love and loss for granted. A lyricist whose craft confronted the troubling complexities of love, embraced the ridicule of desire, and forced us to bask in the limelight of our own tragedies.

Those of us who write, paint, dance, move, photograph, etch..  from those dark corners, those shamed and pained moments most people ignore or bring to light only in the darkest hours of the night, know tragedy is more than performance.  And yet, audiences applaud our performance of tragedy as if it were entirely fictionalized and ungrounded in the realities of our lives. Even as we seek to overcome the tragedies of our pasts, the suffering of our present, and the prophecy of tomorrow’s pain, performance is all you might care to notice.

So as you dismiss the tragic loss of Amy Winehouse as “unsurprising” or “inevitable,” think about the painting you pass by today, the song you hear but don’t listen to, the dancing body you are too busy to pay attention to. Stop to look, listen and feel. Artists are more than your servants of entertainment, we embody what you might be too afraid to recognize in yourself.

Let Amy Winehouse’s death weigh on you, be surprised, mourn and sit silently with the rest of us, as we honor and send love for the peaceful transition of one of ours.