dedicated to my friend Jim Maher
I cried my eyes out this morning as i was watching Whitney’s casket being carried out of the funeral mass at “I Will Always Love You.”
For me, a century has died with her, the20th century in which i was born, the century that formed me…
Growing up in Prague, i had a serious teen crash on my best friend’s Martha’s older brother – and he had a crash on Whitney; its there, at their place in a medieval building in the heart of the city that i saw Whitney for the first time as the brother in question was obsessively rewinding one of her videos.
Back then, i decided that being so perfectly beautiful and with a voice that shook the earth – she must be an angel. Fast forward two and a half decades, i still believe it. Maybe a fallen one, but still – an angel.
I must say that growing up in Prague is a serious thing. Experiencing Prague at any time is a consciousness-altering experience, but spending your formative years waiting for the dawn at Charles bridge, hanging around Cafe Slavia where artists meet (and where late Vaclav Havel met Olga, to whom he will write letters during the years in prison), listening to their conversations about city’s mysteries, absorbing it all like a sponge – the words, the colors, the odors… That shapes your eyes in a way that not a single life experience later on can divert them from seeing the reality through this magical prism, and for me personally – from hearing it to the tunes of Whitney’s songs.
Many years later, my first real love will ask me for what would turn out to be our last dance at her ‘I Will Always Love You’…
And we danced a lot in five years that we were together, and we laughed a lot and we traveled a lot -to many unusual and off-beaten-track places… until the wars divided our country, until tanks stood between us, until we were torn apart by forces we were too young to fight.
Recently, my friend Bonnie Cehovet told me that i should speak of love and of hurt… but i can not, i still can not look back.
I survived only because i disowned the past and my personal history together with it. It was impossible to go on living remembering the blood, the tears, the graves, columns of refuges, the burned villages left behind. Its impossible to internalize that pain and despair, its impossible to go on living while your soul is wounded and bleeding.
I turned my back to all that once was, i dismissed everything i was, because otherwise those memories would have buried me alive.
What i kept was boxes – and these couple of boxes moved with me as i moved around the world. I never opened them, but what was inside was the only prove that my life was not just a dream, dreamed by someone else than myself.
There were letters in those boxes, and photographs and diaries… and i haven’t opened them until yesterday, until i felt its the time to do so.
We spoke with Jim on what shall be done with all this things that we keep with a belief that by doing so we are in a way keeping our own selves, preventing our beings from falling apart.
I went through the letters, the photographs, the diaries… and i realized there wasn’t the need to hide them until now, nor there is a need to keep them any longer because they had been engraved inside me, they had been tattooed on my heart, they have been the very silken veil on my eyes through which i see the world…
For when the time comes for us to leave – we won’t be able to take anything with us – except that veil each of us has weaved from the remnants of memories of things that once were.
Rest in peace Whitney.
Copyright notice: The photograph is of the reading i did this morning with Osho Zen Tarot – First Publication Copyright© 1953, OSHO International Foundation. Copyright© – all revisions 1953-2012 OSHO International Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
- Whitney Houston’s journey ‘home’ ends with a private burial (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Kevin Costner remembers Whitney Houston; Kevin Costner speaks at funeral of Whitney Houston (sugarslam.com)