Noilly Prattle: Not a bad way to live

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not a bad way to live

Reading some comments on my most recent posts I sense that I may have given the wrong impression, particularly in relation to the manner of Whitney Houston's death.

Let me be quite clear on one point: I am not advocating for slow suicide through drug and/or alcohol abuse. a burning pace like a white hot sun...
Being nearer the ending than the beginning of my own life (Alec Guiness in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai); surveying the canvas of my past 70 years it seems to me that we spend a good part of our lives wrestling with our inner demons—some successfully others not so. Many artists, not only wrestle with them but actively seek to express (and communicate) their struggle not only with their own inner demons, but the ones imposed on them by the societies they live in. This is why we are moved by music and art. These, dare I say, semi-divine beings live their lives at a burning pace like a white hot sun, such intensity perhaps too strong for mere mortals to withstand without the aid of relaxants and stimulants—think of that cup of coffee you have to have to get going in the morning, or that beer, or glass of wine or martini before dinner to relax in the evening.

So, these gifted people (Whitney, Elvis, Janice, Kurt, Michael [maybe Mozart?], the list is endless), their time in the limelight passing, killing the pain of declining popularity, perhaps ill health or abusive relationships, and what must, for them, be an incredible absence of adulation with the abuse of alcohol and drugs, chose consciously or unconsciously not to endure the unacceptability of obscurity; neither could they, unassisted, intentionally step through the exit door.

When I say “Not a bad way to go”, I am not saying that we should all drink and drug ourselves into oblivion. At 70 I am in good health, most of my demons banished, and, as long as I am able to do what I want to do, find life enjoyable and worth living, and I don't scoff at enhancements.

The immortals who will stay forever young in our memories shouldn't be mourned for the time nor the manner of their passing, but remembered for the gift of art and music they gave us.

That is what I meant by my “Not a bad way to go.” Not that they died young, but that they shared themselves and gave us so much in their short but intensely lived lives. That, I believe, is the greatest love of all, or the greatest gift of all.

Not a bad way to live, either.


Anonymous said...

I love your statement 'intensely lived life', my friend. That is something to strive for, indeed.- Ronnie

Noilly Prattle said...

Yoda said: do, or do not do, there is no try... something to think on while sitting on the john ;-P

Anonymous said...

oh dear - Ronnie

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I see, and let me clarify; it wouldn't be my choice of an end but, I guess I could think of worse ways to go. We will always have Whitney's songs and her amazing voice to remember her by but, her daughter is left without a mother and the cause was likely avoidable. That is what is sad to me. We lost a voice, she lost her comparison there. It is tragic that fame creates such havoc for some artists. Fame and fortune ain't all its cracked up to be if you ask me. In the words of my favorite, James Taylor, "Fortune and Fame's, such a curious game. Perfect strangers can call you by name..." - Michelle

Noilly Prattle said...

Couldn't put it better than James Taylor--yet many seek fame and fortune, perhaps only to find emptiness in it...and maybe lots of money. But there are artists who are dedicated to their art and not fame like the many we've seen and heard here in Prague. Talent no less than so-called stars in the opera and ballet world. It is a joy to see dedicated talented artists doing it because they love to do it.