I was just writing a new post, an homage to Glenn, David and Prince when suddenly the screen blinked without warning. Every word, every sentiment, every notion of what I knew and felt immediately vanished. In that fraction of a fraction of an instant my idea and sense of existence went poof. How appropriate.
Gentlemen of creativity, of courage, of compelling complexity, of kindness and sexy kool, good night from ground control. Thank you for playing your parts the way that you did. Lord knows, you went above and beyond. And maybe that's why.... But, how could anyone have asked for more?
All we hoped for was that you would stick around so that we would never cease to dream of doves, rain's magic, tequila sunrises and space like we did back when. A short order for such giants of good or so we wanted to believe. Yes, earth's terrain changed when you arrived and again when you left. You showed us mountains and brought us to their peaks, above the clouds, over and over again. For this parting moment, however, how can we not feel dazed, lost in the shadows of a desert cavern? Who shall show us how to soar once more? Where shall we go to lean tomorrow? Will you somehow continue to muse and infuse us with tittlating tonics filled with notes, riffs, lyrics and intoxicating choruses? Or are we now simply left to bow and witness man's silent fate? No! As the atoms of your artistry continue to ripple up and down our arteries, your magic that served so much meaning will stir us, eternally. The fire of man's faith is what you fed. You not only rocked our feet and souls but our minds too, leaving us happier and stronger each and every time. Your visit demanded that our innate sense of freedom, the joy and peace that glows within, never dims.
Still, even as our stunned breaths plunge past our aching guts and buckling knees, we manage to light a sage smile for we all know that the greatest concert ever awaits us all!
Her name was Zita. We immediately befriended one another in 2009. Our meeting, in a medieval village in the south of France, was nowhere near a coincidence. A fiery light had been sent to me on one of the most difficult, weak moments of my burgeoning creative quest on the European continent.
Earlier that morning I decided to walk away from an artist residency program that I had worked and prayed so hard for. I shan't delve into the details here except merely to say that I needed more than my two giant blue suitcases to lean on that afternoon.
Under August's sun, beads of sweat slipped over my forehead and neck like the tender touch of a thoughtful geisha. Suddenly, the broken wings found lift as I quickly fell into Zita's zesty and occasionally zany aura. I found her cheery cheeks and yiddish giggle singing of compassion, contentment and eventually, endless accounts of Austria's golden art age. When I learned that she had studied painting with Austrian artist, poet and playwright Oskar Kokoschka, my moistened eyelids blinked twice. In that instant, those hapless and hopeless clouds, over only my head, flew far into the distance, far beyond the rich vermillion rust of the Estérel mountains. OK was one of the three legedary painters to lead Austria at the turn of the 20th century. Although I looked more toward the works of Egon Schiele, this common ground was sure and yet mysterious enough for me to stand straight on, enough to pump some lost breath back into my listless lungs and unfolding spiritual journey.
Reminiscing over tea and cookies was one of her favorite ways to pass time, along with reading, laughing and of course painting. At the age of 99, Zita left the azur sea and sky of the mediterranean for another setting surely more sumptuous. One where infinite canvases, colour and inspiration awaited her, along with her adored husband.
So happy that I came upon our photo this ev e.