Strength, beauty and wisdom come to us through weakness, flaws and mistakes.
Just as appreciation often comes from loss.
The ability to recognize one's gifts often comes from losing the gift of another. When one light dims, another is lit.
A little public service reminder as we are preparing to let go of 2016.
This was sent last night from a friend and it served a wonderful reminder that strikes hot.
Later last night we found out that yet another artist has been claimed by 2016. George Michael being the latest. The 1980's, or all those things that I seemed to love in that time has been dying. All of the artists who influenced so many, gone without any warning. Shocking. Not like any of us should ever have been afforded a warning. Life and death happen. But listening to Wham in the kitchen with my mom at 9-10 years old while dancing around to Wake Me Up is a happy memory for me. One that I cherish because our truest connections were fleeting and this one is solid in my memory.
So last night I relistened to 'Faith' for the first time since I was probably 14 and couldn't believe how sexualized that album was or that I was 12 when I began wearing out my first cassette copy of the album but still...memories that lead me from one place to another in my personal film of adolescents. Certain lines from a song brought me back to feelings I had long forgotten as George was one of the first entertainers I had heard sing about domestic abuse. His album along with others at the time, like Madonna, truly gave me strength hope and paved ways for me to live my life as I wanted without shame. Music has always been one of my biggest sources of inspiration and I dive into several genres from pop to metal, from folk to blues. I love a bit of almost everything.
And there are those saying 'Who cares about these celebrity death?' And there are those that judge when we mourn. Let them...it's none of anyone's business how you react to the loss of talent and sources of pleasure. Bullies are nasty so don't let them get to you. It's ok to be sad.
This year has been difficult for art and artists. Those that have influenced us, our guides, our mentors and magical muses, have been claimed in large numbers this year. I sat with John last night and we talked about life in a very different way than we ever have in the past. We talked about our past lovers, our heartbreaks and the hearts we'd broken. I wish all couples could do this without fear of judgement or jealousy. Funny how all of our memories are tied to music. I'm telling you that music holds keys to so many memories! I told him that in my life I had certain people I once looked up too greatly that I forget sometimes had such an influence over me. Losing them was never taken into consideration...definitely at 41...I thought we had at least 10 years of The White Duke alone! But loss came and Death needed to reap its toll.
It began, for me, at the end of July 2015 with the death of my father and just progressed through 2016. The death of all of my heroes. And this is not to be seen as something horribly paralyzing but instead quite freeing. Once you get passed the initial sting of it all and look from a more discerning view.
Heroes save you, inspire you, motivate you but repeating that first thing they do...they save you. We need to be reminded that we don't need to be saved and need to save ourselves, eh? That we're the ones doing the inspiring now and that we must motivate those unmotivated. Mostly, through this year and all of it's lessons there's been a real and true emphasis on we as individuals being our own heroes, taking up the torches we've been handed. It's our turn now.
The above meme comes in great timing as all things do in this life that I am forever grateful for. So I will continue to be strong by sharing and acknowledging my weaknesses and silly fandom swooning because I am human and I am not ashamed to say that I've had heroes and star loves from childhood in my life that have served me well. When they die, it's sad to see a strong light of inspiration fade out but it's our job to stoke the collective artistic embers that keep the fires burning.
We are beautiful creatures and our flaws make us spectacular but we shouldn't really be calling them flaws. It's our spice, our flavour, and the knots we work out on our journey, but flaws? They seem like rewarding gifts at the end of it all if we're really doing the work.
And that's where the wisdom comes in. Learning from our weaknesses and flaws and forgiving ourselves for being human. What silly creatures we are. Forgiving ourselves for being us. We're the only species on the planet that requires such nonsense of themselves.
Rest in peace all who've been taken, those who've walked out the earthly door, those who left their mark on this world so brightly and deeply that it stings to lose such a force.
That all being said...if 2016 takes Princess Leia I don't think I'll be so forgiving....I say...only half jokingly. Because really...Carrie Fisher was the first kickass princess ever!
Fandom rant over. Happy Monday. Go out and inspire! Pick up your torch. It's time!
Author: Cari-Lee Miller
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I am a seed burst forth from its shell. I have mingled and fought in the dirt. I am ready to kiss the Sun. *CLM
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.