This past Friday I had the privilege of attending the Manifest Alumni Party hosted by my Alma Mater, Columbia College Chicago. The Manifest Urban Arts Festival is Columbia’s premier showcase of student work, featuring gallery exhibitions, live performances, fashion shows, readings and more. I met some amazing people at the alumni party, which was Brazilian themed at a great space called LOFT in the South Loop of Chicago. I really felt a sense of belonging at the party, especially when the dancing started. Everyone was so self expressed in their own way. People were dancing (and you knew who the dance majors were on the dance floor), or enjoying the vibe. It felt great to be a part of it, this melting pot of self expression – but that’s what happens when you put a room full of creative people together. I was looking at the Columbia College mission statement online, and one of the bullet points reads “to help students to find out who they are and to discover their own voices, respect their own individuality, and improve their self-esteem and self-confidence” – mission accomplished!
It seems like I’ve only been posting about dead musicians lately. It’s a bit depressing, I know – but I need to express myself. I wasn’t an exorbitant Prince fan. However, I highly respected him – what he stood for and his musical brilliance. Here’s an interesting quote I found on Facebook from one of his songs.
“While the helicopter circles us,
this theory’s getting deep, Think
they’re spraying chemicals over
the city while we sleep?
From now on I’m staying’ awake,
you can call me a dreamer too, wake up, wake up.
They say he died with complications of the flu. But maybe perhaps it was something else. I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories here, but I wanted to acknowledge it as food for thought. May he rest in peace.
I’ve been meaning to post about the documentary “Amy” about Amy Winehouse’s life and death. I liked her music and I thought her voice was pretty exceptional. It was recommended by a friend and Reiki Teacher (I’m sure she channeled the message for me to see it). I was completely enamored by her story. Here’s this typical London Jewish girl who had an amazing gift of music: hearing it, composing it and expressing it through her voice. I was never really a huge fan of Amy Winehouse and I actually joined in the ridicule of her drug induced fog. But after seeing the documentary I really felt bad about making fun of her drug abuse. I think it’s actually very sad and I admit that I felt like an insensitive asshole making light of it like the media did.
The media made it into a circus, selling magazines and internet advertisements. I believe that people who possess such great gifts like Amy can often be led astray if they do not have the spiritual foundation and environment that some artists and creative visionaries have. And sometimes the Light they have to share with the world is so strong that they can’t handle it, and it drives them crazy. I think that’s what happened to her. And no matter how much the media pitches her drug induced story that everyone ate up, the bottom line here is that we really don’t know what people are dealing with even if its glossed up, airbrushed and spoon fed to you online, on TV or the magazines. I had a whole new appreciation and compassion for Amy Winehouse after seeing this documentary and I highly recommend it. It even made me start listening to her music differently, not taking it for granted
Years ago I had the privilege of seeing David Bowie live in concert at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. It was standing room only by the stage where I was and I couldn’t get over the fact that I was standing so close to a legend. I remember thinking “I want to be just like him” (I was playing in a band at that time, so I was soaking in all the inspiration).
He was certainly not of this world – he was certainly the man who fell to earth. And now he’s on to the next plane. RIP David Bowie, it was nice to be in the same room with you experiencing your presence and music, and I’m so sad to see you go.
My heart goes out to those families who have lost their loved ones in the Paris attacks. I have seen the French flag color profiles and solidarity on the news and on Facebook. I have also seen the backlash of people speaking out against other unspeakable acts of terror in other parts of the world and why such a sudden focus on France when this happens regularly in the Middle East and Africa? Well I’d have to say that in this case I truly believe we are a global community and we either think of ourselves as one unified human race or separated by our beliefs, religion, etc. There is no middle ground and it is too crucial a time to be wishy washy. You cannot fight darkness with darkness. If we continue to be a beacon of Light for the world and stand up for the injustice I truly believe (I have to believe) that is worth fighting for and we can turn this world around. You can only eliminate darkness by turning on the Light.