It is late night on a Saturday. I find myself driving home from work, listening to “Gymnopedies”, feeling very contemplative. There is some kind of mournful joy about this classical piece that always brings me some strange, bewildering kind of peace. It’s like my “Manya” …my security blanket when I was a little kid. I feel safe and comforted. Everything, is going to be ok.
Well. Since I moved to California, 17 months ago, I have been on this secret mission of uncovering the truth about who I really am. I thought I moved here for a whole different reason. I was wrong. I have been “forced” to discover what I am made of. What I have been running from. I went from a high profile kind of career to an almost invisible “worker” on what many people would call, the low totem pole of life. My “self” has been coming out “sideways” with a vengeance. It apparently is safe for me here in my beloved California to finally reach deep within and discover, my “buried treasure.” I have wanted to come back to my California…ever since I left…almost like a forlorn love affair, I have been carrying on with for years….a secret, wistful affair of the heart.
It’s really all I can do to work this simple, mostly physical kind of job. The rest of my life is putting a very scattered, tattered, yet beautiful puzzle together. Finding pieces on the ground…not knowing where they go…then, BOOM! It’s all of a sudden very painfully obvious where they belong. I have awakened from a dream of denial…. A sleeping beauty Diva of sorts….
I have been following Whitney Houston’s death, as if it were my own. I am driven and compelled and there is no use trying to fight it. Of course, it didn’t help matters (except to make it really eerie for me)….that she went to be with God, on my Birthday this year. The stages I have sung on had maybe 500 people at most and I remember the terrifying feelings…the burden, as Kevin Costner so elequently put it…the burden of trying to hold all the questions…”Will they like me? ” Will I remember the words?” “Will I be able to be myself in such a surrealistic experience?” I’m very small potatoes compared to the things she has experienced. And then to have such a golden voice, and feel that you lost it…..I cannot even imagine the angst and the fears, and so much more.
There were many things in my life when I was younger that took my attention away from developing my many talents that God so graciously gave me. I feel that I am at a very special time in my life now, in that, I am re discovering my buried treasure. The treasure that is me. The hopes and dreams that got buried inside because of my circumstances and the choices I made, many of which were to merely survive what just happened. Bury it and move on. That was my motto….and “Make sure you leave skid marks on the way out…”
I was in deep despair a few months ago, and a very close friend asked me…”Why am I the keeper of your secret?” Why aren’t you sharing this with the other people who love you? Well I am lucky enough….to have those people. “My people” will walk thru fire for me….but they need to know that I am in danger. It has always always been so hard for me….to ask for help when I am in trouble…when I don’t know where to turn or what just even happened. I am one of the lucky ones tho. I am learning how. Did Whitney know how? Did Michael? Did Janis? So so many more…..Is it really “easier” to become intimate with our drug of choice…than a human being? Sometimes it is. Sometimes just getting some moments of relief….a night….a week …a life time.
But there is nothing better than discovering buried treasure! You know when you were little and you found some wonderful thing in the sand while you were building your sand castles….well I think we are all diamonds in the rough. We are all “beauties”. There is not another “me ” on this earth right now, nor is there another you! Whitney was a true pure diamond. She knew it for some of her life. For some of her life, she did not. We all need to build each other up. “Acknowledgement is the hallmark of success” says Charlie Chaplin. Entertainers in my opinion, are one of the most giving kind of humans on earth. The show must go on no matter what….and there are always ….alot of “no matter whats”. People have “performed” under the most dire of circumstances, and it can ironically be a very lonely experience.
Whitney is now, as of today….a buried treasure. I will never know why it all went down the way it did for her. I will never know the agonies that her close family and loved ones must now endure with her being gone out of there lives, just like that! ….I know she sang like no one I have ever heard. I know that she loved deeply and she was loved deeply. I am left with much sadness that her “light” has travelled on. She died on the day I was born into this world. She has inspired me to find all the rest of the pieces of my puzzle so that the rest of my life will shine. It will no longer be clouded and shrouded over by past misdeeds of others….I don’t have to run anymore. I’m almost done with finding my own buried treasures: My hopes as a child, my dreams as an adolescent. My dreams right now.
Whitney knew it was never too late….she was beginning anew. She was getting ready to “Sparkle” once again. She had started to look at her buried treasures. I just wish the lights could have stayed on a little longer for her. We all must carry on the torch, by trying with all our might, to be true to who we are. Who we really are. The ceremony that her Mother prepared for her today was four hours of pure, deep, music and emotion and moving words of honor and grace and diamonds for Whitney Elizabeth Houston. I hope all of her demons are finally laid to rest, and I hope that we can all now have the courage to bring forth our own buried treasures, and leave the demons behind, where they belong.
Let’s “all shine on…like the moon, the stars, and the sun.” I will miss that “Golden Voice” and the big treasured ball of light that tried so vehemently to shine amidst the turbulent seas of self doubt.