I thought about posting something here last week after hearing the news of Prince's passing, but at the time it seemed like too big of a task. It still feels tough, but I feel like I should post something, so here's a note I wrote on Facebook on Friday.
Yesterday I felt a kinship with a special community of people. It was one of those moments when Facebook was a blessing. From noon forward there was this focus on what we were all feeling, as it happened. We all felt it together.
I called my good friend Chuck immediately, because I knew he would be in the same headspace. When he answered I realized it my first time hearing his voice, even though we've been friends for years. We were on the phone when AP confirmed the news. Our chat didn’t last long, but it felt necessary to check in.
A few minutes later my longtime friend Jim called. Since the 80's Jim and I have seen Prince (the Jam of the Year tour stands out in my mind) and experienced our city's live music scene together. Like my brief chat with Chuck, it felt good to just say "hey - you doing alright?". The next call came from Leo, who said, "I'm coming home". I was actually doing OK, but it certainly was better to have Leo with me. As you might expect, he lit a purple candle. :) I finished the day with my bandmates, who turned out to be exactly what I needed.
The one person I didn't get to call yesterday was my brother. Jay and I rarely missed a local Prince show, and the release of a new Prince album was always an event that included hours of discussion. As Minneapolis kids, it was part of who we were. When we were in high school, it was Jay who made me listen to Controversy and the first Time LPs. Despite his absence, yesterday was an opportunity to revisit some pretty incredible memories that Jay and I created over the years, over decades, all because of this gentleman called Prince.
Today I’m actually more weepy than yesterday. I suspect that yesterday was spent on grief autopilot. It was comforting to witness the city coming together as they did, with the purple lighting of our bridges, and the amazing late night gathering outside First Avenue. Watching the outpouring of love from Prince’s hometown was a helpful distraction from the inevitable. Today is a new reality. Let’s not forget that we have each other today just as much as we did yesterday. We’re still in it together.
Much Love - J.
Much Love - J.