Purple Tears

I remember where I was the first time I heard Prince’s music. Sitting on the front porch of my grandmother’s house in the very early 80’s listening to “Controversy” and “Little Red Corvette” as I played Barbie dolls with my cousin, who was a bully.

Two years later, when Purple Rain was released, I had no place to live at twelve. My parents, married and divorced before I learned to talk, didn’t want me around. The only person who did want me, my granny, passed away when I was eight years old. I had been living on the streets with occasional showers and meals at various relative’s homes. That same bully of a cousin, being bored that day, told me that Purple Rain was playing at the new theater on Van Ness in San Francisco. It was made out of glass, completely see-through, and I had been dying for a reason to get in there! She offered to pay for me as long as I went with her. Her rare generosity was my ticket out of another boring day of walking the streets of San Francisco wondering where my next meal was coming from. I was as shocked as I was relieved to have something to do.

Although she paid for the first viewing, we stayed for every single viewing that day and night – until closing, and every day thereafter until Purple Rain was replaced. I know every word, every scene, every song better than I know my own life! Sad? Maybe. Life changing? Unequivocally! Not only did I have a place to go every day for a while, but I also learned what a bully really was. Yes, my cousin was one, but she had the problem, not me. She treated me the way Morris Day, Jerome, and the person who portrayed Prince’s father treated Prince. I learned that bullies are in pain too. I learned that I might have been unwanted, but that I could want and that I could love myself, that someday I could be loved too—even if I did bad things. I learned to appreciate the art that is music and poetry, something that I had latched onto very early in my life… anything to get me out of the ugly life I was born into.

A legend has died too early; to me it seems the way of geniuses. God has claimed another angel. It seemed idiotic to cry for a man I didn’t know, meeting him and Jerome only briefly after a concert in San Francisco in the late 80’s. Then I realized that my tears weren’t for a stranger.  Not really.

My tears were for a man who encouraged me through his music, his lyrics and his life. His music and artistry inspired me to move forward when I least wanted to go on with my crazy life. Like me, he was often misunderstood and judged, had a sad and intense upbringing., He also felt unwanted, unloved, and rejected, not just by his parents but by many who knew him—and others who definitely didn’t.

But still he put himself through the judgement, the misunderstandings, and the discriminations of others. Still he thrived and moved forward, not caring what others thought of him. And look where he went in life! He is a hero to me. He touched the lives of many, and his music touched even more. Prince’s music didn’t discriminate, sharing his brilliance with everyone from Sheila E. and Chaka Khan, to The Bangles, to Kenny Rogers, to Sinead O’Connor. His music was heard and appreciated worldwide.

Prince believed in himself, a self-taught, self-made man. And I left that theatre with hope. I left that theatre with a desire to live another day and not bow out in the coward’s way.

So I would like to thank Prince because without Purple Rain and without his music, I wouldn’t be here today.

 

RIP

My purple tears for

Prince Rogers Nelson

A Day In The Head Of My Daughter

My daughter is an amazing artist, and when I say artist, I mean-  of every type! She is an awe-inspiring photographer, a writer of music and poetry, and a creative artist of clothes and make-up. This young woman of only twenty-two years old is impressive, and I’m very proud of her. My daughter is a serious debater, and always has to have the last word, but in a good way. Not the obnoxious, know it all, type of way (smiles). She should be the one doing this blogging because she never runs out of things to talk and parlay about.

The other day she gave me some of her work, a couple poems that I felt were very thought provoking and she allowed me to share them. Whether you agree or disagree, I really hope you enjoy them as much as I did. She and I had a big ole debate afterwards, it was awesome!

HELL

There was no pearly gate. The only reason I knew I was in a cave was because I had just passed the entrance. The rock wall rose behind me with no ceiling in sight.

I knew this was it, this was what religion talked about, what man feared…I had just entered the gate to hell.

I felt the presence of the cave as if it was a living, breathing creature. The stench of rotten flesh overwhelmed me.

Then, there was the voice, it came from inside – and all around.

“Welcome!”

“Who are you?” I asked trying to keep my composure.

“You know,” the thing answered.

I did know…

“You are the devil,” I stuttered, quickly losing my composure. “Why me? I’ve lived as good as I could.”

The silence took over the space as my words died out. It seemed like an hour went by before a response finally came.

“What did you expect?”

“I don’t know…I never believed in any of this,” I uttered “Why am I here?”

Silence.

I continued. “They say the greatest trick you ever pulled was convincing the world you don’t exist.”

“No. The greatest trick I ever pulled was convincing the world there is an alternative.”

“There is no God?” I shivered.

The cave trembled with words: “I AM GOD!”

Now, I have to explain why we had such an awesome debate. Not simply because it’s obviously thought provoking, but I’m a Christian and she is a Buddhist. We respect each other’s views, and because of that we can have some really amazing debates and smile all the way through. Where others can become easily offended. Although I read somewhere when I blog that I’m not supposed to speak on religion and politics, this is my daughter’s unedited and in my eyes, beautiful piece of work, and I hope you guys like it…or not. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on it. Remember it is an unedited first draft.

I was going to do both of her poems today, but I think I will save the other short horror poem for next week. Maybe she will give me a couple more by then, and maybe you guys will have some constructive feedback for her.

Have a great day!!