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A dance for Prince


it started with a song, “Kiss”, playing in my mind on auto repeat a few days ago.  Singing along and belting it out in the shower, the kitchen, the car, walking the dog.  I laughed & smiled. Memories of youth and flashes of Your brilliance filling me with energy and love.  So I sang, with my heart & soul and all my voice had to offer. I remembered the concert last year. The magic and mystery of it.  What a story that was!  Front row center hand plucked from the crowd.  I will never ever forget.

Still, the song lingered.

When a song won’t leave, I know it brings a message, though I never can predict just who or what that message is for.

A few days later, a student brings in a song by Vanity to my evening class. And we dance and dance and dance. Spinning, twirling, igniting the space with Joy. It is an Ode to her Artisty.  It is a Celebration.

But I think immediately of You.  This dance we create together, is a tribute to the one who nurtured so many others.

Me?  I am alone in my room dancing for Prince.

That night, a dream.  Deep, long, vivid, unforgettable.  I am at Paisley Park with You.  We are alone in this mansion of a home.  It’s a retreat.  An opportunity to create and be creative in the presence of Genius.  You are holed up in a basement cave… a studio.  I have a loft like room, far off from yours, sunlit and bright, to paint in.  Together we go on a creative binge.  Hardly seeing each other or speaking or eating. You work all night, never sleep.  I am swept up in your drive, your motivation, your blazing soul.  I paint with total concentration and freedom.

In small spaces we occasionally interact, meet.  In these in between moments, a bite to eat, something to drink and conversation.  Pieces of conversation that seem to express so much despite their brevity.  In one, you tell me of your love for God, your dedication to Jesus.  You express a disappointment in the assumptions from others that musicians are strung out, wasted.  You are clean. You want me to know this.  I say I already know.

Another conversation we talk about the choice to be “ordinary”, not to rise into fame but to choose instead to live a quiet life with no less of an impact on the world, only invisibly so.  You reach, and ask me more.  This ordinary life has escaped you and there is a longing for the comfort of privacy you have never really known.

 I offer to take you, with me, into the world of “ordinary”. Into places to drink tea, walk by the water, quietly reflect without being noticed.  And as I take your hand, we enter the world as two children. Siblings.  Innocent, free and unnoticed.  We skip and laugh through the streets. No one pays us any mind.  There is a freedom born here, alive here, that allows the soul comfort and joy.  You drink it in, this childlike place of innocence. To you, it is Divine Nectar.  To me, it is just regular life.

I see myself in a new light though your eyes.  This privilege of being here, out of the spotlight.  To appreciate the quiet places.

You invite me back to your studio and I witness, first hand, your process of creation. A magical journey of trust, faith, and total…. total surrender.  I am in Awe.

“You need a song”  you suddenly say to me.  A song? 

 “Yes, a song.  You need to Sing.”  To sing?  I can’t sing, I protest.

” Oh yes, you can. you must.”

And so you coax me on, urge me to jump in with abandon, and soon we are singing creating paintings I never dreamed possible with words and tones and a whole new language.

 And you are writing, writing a song for me.  It is my song.

There is more, so much more, many years of shared experience pass in the moment of the dream. Time shifting to make space for what is necessary.  In each one, I provide the sanctuary for you to feel safe and ordinary and you provide the space for me to reach new and unknown heights.  This sharing, this interchange, is deep and personal and life changing.

 We are soul brother & sister, connected through art and expression and life and the creative force that binds and inspires us ALL.

I cannot shake this dream when I wake. It was as though lifetimes passed in the hours of sleep.

That morning, I drive home from an early morning art gig.  I stop to pick up groceries and on my way out of the store, my eye is  caught by a large bouquet of Purple Wildflowers.  Something in me demands I buy them. So I do.  Even the cashier comments on their purpleness, their woodsy fragrance and their beauty.

Back in the car, driving home, I hear the news for the first time.  The wind is knocked out of me.  The tears run hot down my cheeks.

My dream, still on the cusp of my memory, still alive in my heart, remains frozen in time.

The purple flowers sit next to me in an empty passenger seat.

“I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray…”

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