Monthly Archives: February 2012

IceBox Slim – The Valentine’s Day Manifesto

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I think there is an icebox where my heart used to be.

A year ago, I was in a fairy tale. I was set to release my first novel, and in love with my first love after a seven year break. I could not believe my life. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t in a dream. It was as if the gods of Love, reconciliation, and karma had brought my life full circle. People were telling me they could sense a change in me, how I seemed more at peace.

As the buying public gave my novel a resounding “sit your ass down!!” and the “love” of my life kissed me off with all the detachment and mixed messages of a Deadbeat Daddy, I sit in the corporate offices that drove me to become an artist. The office beaucracy is a far cry from my simple bohemian artist life. Not used to using the standard PC scrolly mouse in favor of the MacBook 1 click, I checked a box on a spreadsheet I shouldn’t have. One of the managers tore into me for making such a huge mistake, and my mother is upset with me for being upset with myself for not achieving my personal goals to my satisfaction.

So there lies my poor heart. Once a boiling cauldron, now an icy igloo. I’ve been taught the lesson not to trust ANYONE so many times I’d RATHER spend my personal time alone. The worst betrayals are always the most intimate. The risks I couldn’t seem to be complete without taking have crashed and burned my once open heart and fiery spirit. So I can’t control if the book buying public will buy my book, nor can i control who wants to be in or out my life, or who chooses to judge me by impossible standards.

I dotted away the last trace of tears from my eyes, careful not smudge my MACnificient eyes. I’ll think about how Prince Charming is romancing another woman, be alone with my thoughts, and later be alone with some personal merriment. Perhaps I’ve spread so much of myself that I forgot to leave some left for me? It’s quite a peculiar thing to feel your heart do the reverse Grinch, instead of growing two sizes bigger, my heart is shrinking. Good riddance. It hurts way too much when you care so much.

The GREATEST Love of All

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There is no shortage of commentary about how talented, yet flawed Whitney Elizabeth Houston was. Every new story echoes Whitney’s greatness, and somehow points out her substance addiction- perhaps an attempt to dim the light of her brilliant radiance. Rumors, lies, and half truths swirled around her in life, and inevitably follow her in death. Despite all of the back handed compliments and condemnations of Whitney, her essence and life should permeate us all into a greater understanding of self.

 

Whitney was gifted. It was an absolute no brainer that the tall and gorgeous Whitney Houston was unlike anyone who had ever graced our radios & TV screens. No one was as naturally beautiful with the soprano pipes Whitney had, even as a teenager. In another world, Whitney who famously mentored and mothered up and coming musicians, would have been a vision in Versace couture teaching Tyra Banks to man up against Naomi Campbell and showing her how to work her awkwardness. Whitney told the modeling world no, & Arista’s CEO Clive Davis yes and singlehandedly transformed the face of popular music. As Madonna pushed her sexuality and Janet flirted between sassy and political consciousness, Whitney simply exuded the type of glamor usually reserved for Fairy godmothers and princesses from Disney movies. Whitney’s vocals had the soul of old ladies in the front row of Grandma’s church, matched with the power and control of a seasoned opera chanteuse. Somewhere between jaw dropping amazing and striking beauty was the woman, who’s gifts were perhaps so effortless she may have not known the true value of them herself.

the FIRST Black Woman to Make the Cover of SEVENTEEN Magazine was... That's right Whitney

 

Clive Davis knew the value. Whitney’s songs made him a very rich man, Her catalog, loaded with hit records solidified Davis’ legacy as a  great eye for female powerhouse talents like Janis Joplin, Phylis Hyman, and Whitney’s Auntie Re Re, (we mortals would call her The Queen of Soul) With Whitney Houston more than most contemporary artists the technique and polish of her vocals turned great songs into modern day classic standard, after modern day classic standard. No one could sing a song like Whitney Houston.  She is the bar, bar none.  All anyone would have to do is Wiki her and go to her Vevo channel to see for themselves. Whitney who was too proud to use Auto Tune and sing over recorded vocals during performances in later career, and the press never seemed to let Whitney live it down. She came from a different era of authenticity. She always wanted to come from an authentic place and connect with her audience, so even when Whitney shouldn’t have sang, she sang. But to remember Whitney Houston in that way is like remembering Michael Jordan as a Washington Wizard. Is Elvis not the King of Rock n Roll?  Whitney just has a 20 plus year career of creating pop and American music history while being the definition by every future and current diva is measured to, while never portraying the image of sexpot to do so.

 

No one is perfect, and no one understands what motivates another to do what they do. We can’t even understand our own actions at times.  Also to whom much is given, much is tested. No one can imagine Whitney’s tests, I am just thankful that I was around to witness her gifts. There are so many lessons we could learn from Whitney’s life. I think above all things she’d wish for us to LOVE- ourselves.  She’d tell us to cherish that which makes us who we individually are. When I’m at moments of confusion in my life, after praying and thinking, I will think about Whitney Houston, and what my Fairy Godmother would think is best. My tribute to her will not just be support of her music, it will appear in the decisions that lead the direction of my life.  She will be my reminder despite being a giving person, being a talented person, being a beautiful person, never to lose myself in any of those things. Whitney will remind me to hold on to myself before any of the attributes that make me who I am. She will remind me, in the end no matter how many people good or bad pop into our lives, we are on our own.  Whitney Elizabeth Houston will be with me to remind me of personal greatness, and a personal commitment to always show love, especially to myself.