I'm gonna need a minute. The world doesn't feel right.
We have gotten far too casual with the term iconic and legendary lately. We like someone this month or this year and we want to refer to them as though they've been a part of lives since we remember our lives being our lives. And it devalues those whose artistry helps us to meet ourselves and find the words we always meant to say but just couldn't find.
Prince Rogers Nelson really was an ICON. He really was LEGENDARY. In every sense of the words.
Even writing that in the past tense feels funny.
I never met the man, never got to see him in concert either, despite his last show being in Atlanta. Still he was and will be a part of the very fabric of my life. There are songs he wrote more than three decades ago I still know by heart, including the ad-libbed parts, and melodies that evoke memories and feelings that make me have to pause. True, there are parts of his incredibly deep catalog that were a little past where I wanted to go, but it just meant maybe I wasn't ready for it yet. Or maybe his talent was beyond my conception.
I don't remember the first time I heard Prince. I do remember having his very first album on cassette tape. The one where he played all the instruments on every song (or so legend has it). I liked Under the Cherry Moon as well as Purple Rain. I like way too many songs of his to have a favorite. So many of them spoke to me, sometimes when I wasn't even trying to listen.