I can not list all their names, I can only look up into the pale morning sky and know there are extra stars out there somewhere - bright stars, broken lights, all the famous people who have passed on this year, and the quiet everyday people about whom no one knew to write a headline. I was talking about it with a younger person today, about how this year brought so much grief to our culture, and I said maybe it's because the people of my generation and the one before were so bloody awesome, they did so many awesome things, they had courage and beauty and wild voices that they were willing to share with us all.
Or maybe it's because the 70s and 80s were years of magic ... goblin kings and purple rain and rabbit prophets and fabulous star princesses and sad minstrels who had turned their hearts to thorns ... and we grieve now to see its loss so starkly. We are not only mourning people, but a way of being in the world. A poetic, cock-eyed, deep-down, gloriously honest way. We look ahead to walls and fear, betrayal from our leaders, and an agony of disconnection that is widespread amongst our youth. It feels like a winter, and the leafy, sumptuous magic shrivelled away.
But winter is the richest time of all. The magic is not gone, it is only in the dirt and the dark, reseeding itself to grow again with new tenderness and even greater strength than before. If we water it.
So when you have wept your tears, and made your plans incase war comes, and watched all the old movies again, please write those poems you aren't sure are good enough. Dance down the supermarket aisles. Put on a black turtleneck jumper and sigh loudly in public. Be crazy and glorious and honest and so very, very brave. (I know, sometimes just walking to the stores can feel brave. That's enough!) Let's all be minstrels and prophets and determined princesses. Let's keep believing in magic. The younger generations coming forth will see cruelty and deception all around them, a poisoned world, a promise of wars. Let's not be silent for them, like some empty garden waiting to be plundered for oil. Let's sing them all the mad, heart-rending poem-songs, teach them about roots of lavish enchantment, and show them the stars.
art by amy sol