Monday, January 18, 2016

It's About The Way They Make You Feel

And yet another...

I rarely comment on celeb happenings, even celeb deaths. Everyone hears about it already. I don't tend to see the need to plaster it all over everywhere when it's not personal to me. I do often share news of fallen, injured, or lost service members, because that doesn't tend to be widely known, and that is personal. Sad state of journalism, but there we are. With celebs, in general, I can feel for their loved ones and for those who loved them and move along without the need to talk about it.

Still, sometimes people you didn't actually know have much more effect on you than those you do know, have had contact with, maybe even grew up with. We all have social media friends we've never actually met who are far closer friends than some of our in-person friends. They don't matter less because we haven't technically met.

As an Eagles fan, I do mourn Glenn Frey's passing, as I did David Bowie, to less extent since I listened/listen to Eagles on purpose and Bowie only when I run across it on the radio. Music is art. Songwriters who touch your heart absolutely matter in your life. Who knows what kind of things they got you through, how much they lifted you when you were low, how much joy they brought simply by sharing their heart and soul through words and music. The same is true of all artists. They matter, whether or not we know them personally.

Art, when shared, is meant to make us feel. Artists are like those internet friends; we know them through their words, their shared images, their shared expression.

Back when I was working day care, one of the signs I most remember said, "Years from now, children won't remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel."

That's exactly right. It's about the way someone makes us feel.

I don't always personally understand someone's grief for a singer, etc. because that particular artist didn't touch me. However, I never put others down for doing so. Apparently, that artist mattered to them. Who am I to tell them they're wrong or silly or over-reacting?

Yes, I've had plenty of more personal grief and health scares to deal with, like everyone has, so I expect. One doesn't deflect the other, not unless you let your grief harden you. I don't imagine the loved ones you grieve would ever want to do such a thing to you as to make you hard due to their passing.

Feelings matter, even sad, miserable, lonely, awful feelings. They matter. That's why we write about them, paint them, sculpt them, act them. Decrying someone else's sadness is like telling someone with depression to just get over it, it's not a big deal, because you don't personally understand it. It's hard and unfeeling.

Be careful with that. People will remember if you make them feel that way.

So yes, I mourn Glenn Frey. I hold fond memories of the way I feel when I hear their music, when I sing with their lyrics. It matters.

Rest in peace, and with our unending thanks.


Cheryl Pierson said...

Well said, Loraine. I remember when I was a young teenager and Pete Duel committed suicide. I think I was about 13 or 14, but oh, that hit me so hard. I had the typical teenage crush on him, and truly mourned him. I just could not even believe it. Now that I'm older and realize that death happens to everyone, I still have to shake my head at myself--because when I heard that Glenn Frey died, I was just shocked. My husband and I turned and looked at each other--we saw it on the news--like, "Did I hear that right?"

I think that artists that have brought comfort, laughter, joy, -- any myriad of emotions into our lives with their writings, paintings, music, dance, performances--ARE a part of our lives--a part of us. I can barely remember a time in my life without the Eagles being a part of it.

There are some celebrities that evoke memories or feelings or nostalgia within us that is so deep it's hard to describe. I don't mean, "Oh, I remember the first time I heard that song..." although that's important, too--but collectively--ALL the times we listened to the Eagles (or any group), sang along with them, listened to their music in all kinds of situations--that means more than we can really voice, other than saying that old cliché--"the fabric of our lives"--which that sort of thing is--because it ties us to other people who also admire and enjoy their music.

Glenn Frey won't ever be forgotten--he left a wonderful legacy of songs, both from the writing side and the performance side of things.

Dawn Wilson said...

Beautiful post. I could never understand people who obsessed over singers and actors. Sure, I had the typical teenage crush, but I got over that. I still admired those people. I am grateful to them all for all of their contributions. For the bravery to share their talents with the world. It is sad so many succumb to violence or drug addiction. When I was able to hear, I knew what kind of power music had over a person. I see that now with my own teen daughter. It is perfectly fine to admire, even love, a singer for the work they have shared with all of us. (As long as it's not obsessive, of course!) Music moves the soul. To lose someone who gave us that beautiful gift can be a very sad experience because we won't hear anymore of their songs. I was soo sad when Michael Jackson died. It was a shock and I mourned that loss. I felt the same when other singers -- Whitney Houston, David Bowie, etc. -- also passed away. They have truly left behind beautiful gifts for all of us to enjoy and cherish forever.

LK Hunsaker said...

Cheryl, thank you. Yes, what a great legacy to leave behind for so many of us who hardly remember when he wasn't around. I read someone who said he was one of the biggest reasons we loved 70s music.

LK Hunsaker said...

Dawn, Michael Jackson's loss was very depressing to me, also. What a musical icon.

I think a true obsession with an artist/artists tends to indicate a gap in someone's personal life they're trying to fill. At least using the arts is usually a healthy way to do so, as long as it stays a healthy obsession. There is a line. I have my healthy semi-obsessions with artists, but it's because they bring so much joy to my life. I wouldn't chuck the family to run after them or anything, but I do love letting them speak to me when I need a different voice temporarily. I seriously dread when they leave us, but at least I'll still have what they leave behind.