Showing posts with label Artists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Artists. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pick Up That Axe. Life After Prince

The first time I heard 'Do me, Baby' I was too young to truly understand what it meant but I knew it was everything I wanted one day.  Sitting in the back of my mom's car listening to the local Dallas, TX R&B station I heard Prince for the first time and started to try and understand the concept of doing someone.  Because according to him it could be the most amazing thing anyone would ever do.  So of course I wanted to figure it out. I never asked my mother cause I didn't think she knew anything about it or else she would be on the radio singing about it. So I wanted and need more of this Prince fella.

This started a love affair with what he considered music which calls to my soul in ways most people can't understand and a few know all too well. Love is sometimes a taboo subject for young poor dark kids.  Mostly because all the love we see in media is usually not dark. Prince taught me what love could and should be. I became fascinated by his vision.  It wasn't till I was older that I truly understand what was the most engrossing thing about this artist. Prince taught me to accept me. No matter who I find that person to be.

When you grow up and you have a very keen understanding from the first time you become truly consciously aware of yourself that you are different life gets harder.  We have a culture obsessed to a painful degree with fitting in and staying in your lane whatever in the hell that means. And when people step outside of the bounds of where everyone thinks they belong they get shunned. It’s the functioning act of society.  Provide the human interactions that we need to feel whole or deprive them from those who buck the system.

When I first saw Prince I found him to be beautiful in a way that I had never seen a man achieve beauty. He was glorious, fashionable, wore heels and just glowed.  He showed attitude and sass he was everything any young girl would want to be.  But he was intensely male no matter what else he had going on. So he then became who any girl would want to be with. It was a perfect moment of the yin and yang energies of masculine and feminine existing in the same being. It was the first tangible understanding that the concepts of male and female are a myth.  A structure we put into place to maintain the status quo.  When you realize that is a lie you begin to question everything and then you begin to rebel.

Freedom looks beautiful and Prince embodied that in every way.  But it was beyond freedom.  His freedom was unique because its core was identity. It’s not till you get much older do you recognize what that beauty is.  Prince was a man that didn’t' challenge identity and gender roles to be controversial or as a gimmick. He challenged them because he refused to let them define who he was and how he expressed his art or lived his life. He lived as he needed to in order to bring clarity to his art to his life to his unique vision. He was an alchemist who took the elements around him, reshaped them and reformed them to become something we had never seen and realized in that instance we should have never lived without.

What he became for me was a catalyst to a crucial understanding for every human walking this earth.  Of all the things that can be bottled, copyrighted, co-opted, stolen, renamed, identity will always be yours. The unique aspects of your life and being that make you who you are is the only marketable skill any of us will ever really need.  The art is driven by the artist, not the other way around. Your art is not your vehicle to success, you are.  And how well you reveal yourself defines the success of your art.

I consider his death a wakeup call to the conformers and those on the fence.  The ones trying to fit in and emulate others to achieve fame and fortune. Greatness is only gained from great risk and there is no greater risk than true unfiltered exposure. The reason he was able to be prolific after decades of work is that he never had to figure out where to go.  The art was never in control, he was. The art didn't live in its own space to be pulled from and used. He was the art. People can remake his music, they can offer tribute they can mimic his style even take his name. But they will never capture the essence of what made him great.  That is a journey that each artist has to make for themselves.

If you take nothing else away from the death of an icon understand his beginnings. He was ridiculed criticized and maligned. But he never stopped his journey because it didn’t matter what you or anyone else thought. His work was never about impressing you.  His work was about expressing him. His story is a living breathing testament to faith beyond all else. To trusting the higher forces because they have entrusted you with this life and this time.  This place. Stop counting. He never counted. It doesn't matter when just do it. Like the man said, Do me, baby. Like you never have before. Which really means do you. Make the journey.  Find it, embrace it, put your foot in it. Pick it up. Pick up that pen, that paintbrush, that script, that microphone. Pick up that axe. 

And now my favorite Prince moment of doing him:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Those With Sight

Book one of the Life Goes On series Arc One The Artists Book One "Those With Sight" Shuttered Vision

“What are you doing here?”  She snapped.

He smiled at the little beauty, she felt him as soon as he showed up this time.  She was getting better and better at it. He loved her dress.  It looked like it was patched together like a quilt. All those lovely loud and soft colors that did wonders for her dark skin. It fit her like a glove. She was shorter than him by five or six inches.  She wasn’t a very slender woman. Not fat by any means but she wasn’t one of those super slender super model skinny numbers he had gotten used to in Hollywood.  She had full breasts a slim waist, ample hips and thighs.  He was willing to bet the backside was as well thought out as the front. Her blue black hair fell in soft wavy curls to her shoulders thick and full. Those amazing gray eyes were on him.  She was furious.
“Mad at me for the stolen kiss?” he teased her.
“No I was mad at you for interrupting me with my father.”
“Your father, so you were talking to somebody.  Here I thought you were nuts.”
“You’re in my dream, I’m not the one that’s nuts.”
He laughed at the matter of fact way she said it. “How is that possible huh?  I can be in your dream but you can’t be in mine? I think you have that wrong.”
She just stared at him confused.  He tried to imagine her near him again.  It worked all of two seconds and then she stopped and stared at him.
“Stop that. If you want me to come over there, ask don’t demand.”
It was something about the way she said it made him ask instead. “Would you, if I asked?”
“Why don’t you find out?”
Seemed simple enough. “Will you stand closer to me?”
“How much closer, be specific.”
His hands itched, his mouth watered. “Close enough to touch.”
He watched spellbound as she shifted her hips stepping lightly and smoothly walking over to him.  The motion of her hips was distracting him.  She flowed like water, well set music.  He felt himself respond to her.
“Will you listen to what I have to say to you?” she asked.
“Why do women always need to talk, we have nothing to talk about.” He placed his hand on her face cupping her cheek, it felt like the smoothest silk. “Touching, that’s what we need to do.”
She cupped his hand in hers as she looked him in the eye. “Why are you here?”
He stared at her oddly as the question vibrated in his head like an echo.  Her eyes expanded and started to glow a bit.  He saw a part of her, like a shadow or illusion of her shift away from her and fly into him. He could feel her in his head starting to tear around.  His childhood flashed briefly in his mind and was passed on to his first sexual experience.  He was in his bedroom when he was 17, Janet Tully taking him into her hand for the first time.  He has his first realization about Hollywood as two skinny blondes with fake tits offer him cocaine on their exposed breasts.  The strips of his mind peeling away as he started to lose control of his motorfunctionality lying in the middle of his gameroom.

“No.” Colan sat straight up in bed naked sweating, breathing hard.  
He dropped his head into his hands, the dream vivid in his mind.  The feelings of helplessness and vulnerability were stark in his person. He threw himself back down on the bed with a thud, then gave a disgusted look at his sheet tenting over his erect penis.
“Well good to know you still work in moments of crisis.” He muttered.
He couldn’t blame it, she was gorgeous, that creature he had dreamed about constantly for months now.   Really it was the dreams before that had eventually led to her. It had started sometime after his nervous breakdown.  He would be sleeping and have the most horrific nightmares.  He was in hell and all around him were roaming beasts and fire breathing creatures.  And always some new lamb for the slaughter would drop from the sky and be unmercifully eaten.  He had tried to defeat the beasts and they would come back stronger, more evolved.  After months of these dreams he had resorted to trying to escape.  One night he had gotten to the top where people were dropped in and he had heard singing.
He closed his eyes and recalled the dream.  She had been singing Amazing Grace.  Simple lovely and it had actually sounded like salvation.  He had waited till she finished and then pulled himself up and he had been in that odd field.  She hadn’t seen him.  Just continued about her way.  She would lay in that field humming to herself.  She would do such odd things there as if she was somewhere else seeing something else.  It was like this odd form of pantomime. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago she had sensed him and now they actually spoke to each other.

He got out of bed to start his day.  It was such a silly foolish thing, his dream woman.  Everything about her was completely different from what he usually looked for in a woman.  She was a dark skinned brunette he usually went for pale blondes.  She didn’t mince words, his women where usually cunningly coy.  She stood up to him, he hadn’t had a women tell him no in a little over a decade.  The oddest part of the whole thing was that every once in awhile he had to work very hard to convince himself that what happened in his dreams wasn’t real.  That she wasn’t real.  He had done all kinds of research on it.  Dreams were just an extension of repressed desires.  Really he wanted something different from what he was and where he was and she represented it.
He stood in the shower letting the hot water fall over him.  He dropped his head and felt it running through his hair down his neck and shoulders. She was an interesting creation he had to admit. She was black from what he could tell, but those eyes and her hair, the black women back home had never looked like that, not women of any of the races he had grown up around.   There were things that were still considered taboo in Oklahoma, especially in the country.  Dating someone not of your same color was one of them.
Honestly he hadn’t ever really thought about it.  His mother hadn’t raised him to care.  But the people surrounding you always ingrained it in your make-up.  White privilege is what it was called by people who studied it.  This whole dichotomy of entitlement and empowerment. He knew about the theories, those with power and all that. He also knew that they were one hundred percent true.  This had been part and parcel to his breakdown.
All his life he had told himself that he wasn’t a racist.  That deep down inside he wanted equal rights for all people.  But the world was the way that it was and nothing could change that.  Such a scapegoat that was created with that one thought.  Colan knew better, he made movies, he created and recreated the world everyday, every week every hour as a new person was exposed to what he was directly responsible for creating.  
The world is not the way that it was because it just was, it was the way the people in power created it to be.  Through all open forms of media, radio, television and film Americans are being told what to do, how to do it and most importantly who to do it too.  It wasn’t too long until books and magazines converted and now you even had to second guess what you read in the newspaper.  Then the internet came along and changed the face of the game.  There was information out there for those willing to look for it about the true face of things in the media and the world.

Colan realized that he had gotten lost in his thoughts but like a well trained automaton had dressed himself, drank his morning health shake and was firmly seated behind the wheel of his jaguar.

Coming June 2015

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prologue of Shuttered Vision from the Series Life Goes On


 She was surrounded by flowers.  They ranged in fragrance and hue.  Some were lilac, some daisies, lavender, roses, orchids, hyacinths.  It was the colors that captured one's attention.  Unlike any she'd ever seen.  They were vivid, vibrant shades of sun orange, amethyst purple, sapphire blue, ruby red with amazing emerald greens.  Some shown in multiple colors like red and green for bloodstones. Dark carnelian red, smoky iridescent quartz. She stared into her sky; it always looked like sunset with vivid blues and purples mixing with reds and oranges. Cloudy enough to make a lovely image, but never so cloudy that it seemed gloomy.

She inhaled deeply as she lay in the field of flowers understanding the message she was being given as the scent of white sage floated laced with the fragrance of the flowers. Eyes closed she pushed deeper into herself.  From her field she could determine all she needed to know.  She needed to find who was calling her, had been calling her for months now. But always lingered the thought, this one is a stranger and doesn't want to be found. She felt the pressure of a hand. It was larger than hers, firm and rough.  The breath on the back of her neck was steady and calm.  He lay right behind her, right under her, right beside her.  In this place he was practically a part of her.

She tried to turn around to face him, but was stopped. The sensation was odd for her, these things were always under her control.  No one got to make choices for her here yet here he was stopping her. She pressed harder and was met with more force. Abruptly she turned and the world pitched to black.  She was falling through her field.  The flower base being ripped away as her nose was assaulted by burning flesh.  Her eyes flew open and she saw the petals smoldering beside her as they all fell.  She looked down to see herself falling towards pits of lava, banked flaming mounds of earth and oceans of burning water sizzling away, salting the air with it's demise. Creatures colored with flame and smelt snapped their jaws at her ready to devour her.  Flame winged imps and demons swarmed above them taunting them with the kill they couldn't have whipping them into a frenzy.  Sea leviathans with several heads and tails swam freely in the burning oceans eating all that crossed their path. Stubby, stumpy moss covered beasts resembling jackals roamed the flaming mounds unheaded.  There was peril at every stop.

She threw her hands in front of her face to shield what was coming her way.  Then suddenly she stopped falling.  An arm secured her at the waist as strong arms pulled her around and she pressed her now tearstained cheeks to his neck.

"Who are you and why have you brought me here?" she asked.

"I'm sorry. You were never meant to be here. I like your field," a deep masculine voice replied.

"What hell are you from?"

"The worst kind, the one of my own making."

She vaguely noticed that they were moving upward.  And within moments she was as she was before on her back in her field his presence there but not intrusive.

"How did you get here?" she asked him knowing that if she tried to face him again she would be dumped into his hell.

"I don't know. I've been trying to figure it out.  But I'm selfish enough to not mind if it doesn't bother you."

"You need my help."

"I have all the help from you I need.  Right here in your field."

"It's more than that.  You don't understand what I am, what I do.  No one shows up here that I don't already know."

"I should go --"

"No wait --"

"See ya next time Flower girl."

 Fiona awoke from a dead sleep with the stranger's voice still clear in her head. She clutched her head and doubled over in her bed for a moment.  She straightened and with a deep sigh reached for her journal and started cataloging the points of her dream so that she could analyze it when morning came.  She lay back on her headrest when she was done shaken.  Who was that man haunting her dreams?  He had been there for months now.  And over the course of time his presence had gotten stronger as he felt more comfortable with her. 

At first it had been just a brief but untimely intrusion.  She hadn’t even really noticed anyone was there.  Almost like an itch that was easily scratched.  She had determined it was nothing and it became so.  A brief irritation she had swiftly evicted.  But somehow he had found other ways in and had made her sanctuary his safe haven. 

Fiona lay back down and sighed willing herself to go back to sleep.  Maybe by the light of a new day she would be able to make sense of this chaos.