We Are Gathered Here Today To Get Through This Thing Called Life.
I just had a thought after seeing the headlines about Prince’s passing…
2016 is a Nine year. Nines denote the culmination of things. Massive change. Complete overhauls.
With the rapid succession of everyone we’ve lost this year — each musical icon a trademark unto themselves — I can’t help but think it’s because their mark has been made. They did everything they came to do and influenced the world in ways so huge, we’ve yet to really grasp them. And now, their cycles have come full circle.
Their missions, accomplished. Their legacies, chiseled in stone.
Time may not have a definable beginning and end, but life certainly does (in the physical sense), and 2016 has proven that.
One after another after another, from the very beginning of the year, as if the turning of the clock triggered some sort of signal, kicking off one of the most catastrophic ripple effects the artistic world has ever suffered.
Prince was considered a living work of art himself. He’s the only musician ever to be known by a symbol — the Love Symbol, no less. His music, his fashion, his performance — he poured every inch of his heart, body and soul into his every endeavor. He lived for himself.
He honored himself, and by honoring himself and his art, he honored us all. He showed us what authenticity looks like. He showed us his truth.
As did Lemmy. And Bowie. Three icons. Three incomparable men, living life on their own terms by respecting themselves and giving everything they had to the paths they knew they were meant to not only walk, but forge. They knew their gifts — understood them. Felt and sang and played and created with them, alongside of them.
They abided their essence instead of fighting it, and through that simple agreement, ruled the world as individuals, and together.
Maybe that’s the message here; maybe that’s what 2016 is trying to tell us.
It’s pushing these people front and center saying, “Look! Look what’s happened! Feel the grief you’re feeling, because it’s going to make you reflect. It’s going to make you remember why you loved this person so much; how their music made you feel; how this person’s very existence healed you in some way. Hold on to that feeling and use it to see what made these people so special. Do you see? Do you understand yet? We need more of them! And now that they’re gone, who’s going to rise up and honor them? Who could possibly fill their shoes?!”
Truth is, any one of us, if we lived as they lived — in our truth. This is the culminating message of 2016: we can no longer deny our truths. We can no longer deny ourselves. These icons are being stripped away because the rest of us are being called to step up. We’re needed; we know we are.
This world’s hurting, and people like Lemmy and Bowie and Prince helped soothe that hurt. They brought rock and passion and art; they excavated our souls. They brought us to life. And now, it’s our turn.
Speaking from a personal space of experience and from stories I’ve heard, 2015 leveled a lot of us. Most of us. But 2016’s been different, even in the midst of these losses.
A lot of us have made drastic changes since our lives imploded last year — changes that brought us to this exact moment in which I’m living in a state thousands of miles away from where I was this time last year, writing with a retrospective insight about where so many of us have been — and are being — pushed.
Pushed to ask questions and seek answers, or maybe it’s the other way around; maybe we’re being asked the question, “Will you do it? Will you follow your truth? Will you live the life you’ve been dying to live, for the benefit of yourself and all of those around you?”
Now, it’s up to us what that answer will be. It seems that if the answer is No, then 2016 will continue answering for us.
So, let’s answer for ourselves. We’re almost halfway through 2016, and this half has been rife with completion. On the other side of that lies renewal, another vibration of the number Nine…
Renewal. Rebirth. Regeneration. Revolution.
This is 2016’s battle cry. Let’s answer the call.
Jillian Kristina is changing. Her voice, her tone, her perspective — it’s all changing, and along with it, her word. After almost a decade as an entertainment journalist, Jillian has come to align with a different kind of expression. One that retains elements of the hundreds of lifetimes she’s lived in this one, including all the darkened days and illuminated nights and meandering paths and near-death cliff dives that have brought her here today. And for the first time, she’s exactly where she wants to be — a little more present than she was yesterday. It’s been a while since she published anything so vulnerable, but every time she pulls away from doing it, the void shows up again. So, she’s decided to fill it… and not stop. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.