Saturday, April 23, 2016

Prince: A Creative Genius from the Deepest Recesses who Gifted Us a Message

There is no question that Prince was a creative genius whose innate ability to master every facet of music from composing to playing to producing dictated both his life and his lifestyle. His obsession was so complete that it spilled over into fashion, food, religion, and the very limited close relationships he permitted into his tightly controlled and enormously private and complicated world. Prince is not the world's first creative genius - we have been blessed with many including Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Mozart, O'Keefe, Steve Jobs, Picasso, Neruda - just to name a few - who found it incredibly difficult to reconcile the lifestyle needed to stimulate their creativity with the expectations or demands of others. Prince shattered not only the music industry with his music that combined funk, pop, rock, and soul - often within the same song - but he also shattered the way the music industry worked by constantly seeking control of his distribution. However, like all creative geniuses, he lived in a complex world - one that required multiple personas. From his gender-bending, sex-fused performances to his dictatorial demands within his company to what appears to be a very soft, and deeply religious and sensitive, though possibly paranoid, soul as a person. And it is from those deepest recesses where the most authentic creative geniuses finally confront whatever it is that emboldens them to translate that experience or quality into a powerful, creative life change that propels them forward to a global stage. We might never know what triggered Prince Rogers Nelson to ascend to the highest echelons of creative genius, but it is clear that like those who went before him, it was the powerful combination of innate talent and life-consuming determination that teters on the verge of toxicity in order to reach the edge of the cliff. Prince defied musical categorization with a staggering library of work, but he also shattered race, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. My opinion is that, while most of the world views him rightly as an icon, he was also a deeply complex, hypersensitive, even fragile soul who spent his life reconciling his inherent talents and personality traits with a very public profession. In short, Prince's performances for us were really a view for us into his own quest to find himself. And therein lies what all creative geniuses know: it takes a bold, fearless person to confront the deepest, darkest, most terrifying recesses, because without doing so and then finding a path forward, we never really know what we might truly be. In memory of Prince, be bold, confront the recesses, and move forward on your journey.

St. Andrews from the Cathedral