We all need solace. We all need to say farewell to many who have meant so much–personal friends, family, celebrated artists who help make our lives comprehensible. Yesterday, the announcement that Laurie Carlos, performer, director, teacher, world-class provocateur finally succumbed to illness and only a few days after the sudden passing of Monica Hand, a fine poet and artist. But also after the passing many friends’ parents, siblings. And it is three years since my Mother departed and nine since my brother’s eldest was lost to us on Christmas Day. Yes, we need solace. I go to church. I pray. I hope that I live as well as I can by Christ’s commandment to love others as one loves oneself. In this day, these times, that can almost seem impossible. But I try. And faith was something that George Michael seemed to struggle with–unlike Leonard Cohen and David Bowie and Prince, his was not the music that inspired me, but that song worked.
We are at a cosmic crossroads–the planet literally in danger from humans greed, stupidity and lassitude. Our nation will have what may be one of the worst Presidents in its history–making this globe less safe. Prayer and protest may help as part of resistance to policies that will make poor people poorer and endanger water, land and air. We shall see. In the meantime, I think of the artists I’ve known who have said farewell this and other years as returning to the stars from whence we came. As Joni Mitchell sang: “we are stardust/we are golden and we got to get back to the garden.”