To look at me you probably wouldn’t guess that I am a Prince fan. I would bet on appearances alone you would peg me for a country music fan, probably listening to Toby Keith or Alan Jackson. But no, this balding, middle-age man has no country stations programmed on his car radio but an abundance of Prince on his iPod.
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Prince was older than me and Purple Rain come out when I was still a frat boy, all be it at the tail end of my frat days, chasing or being chased by sorority girls who were ready to settle down and bring a nice boy home to Momma. Little did I know when I first heard the album at a Saturday night mixer that my days were numbered as an unattached, playing the field frat rat…yes when the woman of your dreams comes along the music changes, quickly.
Over Prince’s short but prolific life he was known for his obsessive need for privacy. For such a public personality who released 39 studio albums and played an untold number of live performances both planned and unexpected, we knew very little about him. Living in Minnesota, far away from the bright lights and tabloids, he appeared to go to great lengths to guard his privacy, as did the people within his inner circle. But all that changed on April 21st.
Death is the great equalizer. Why? Because we are all going to die. I can’t play the guitar like Prince, write a song with a catchy hook, hell I can’t even look as good as he did at 57 but I am going to die and that is the one thing all of us have in common. We are all going to die, ready or not, work finished or not, prepared or not.
I think about the indignity Prince would have felt laying naked on top of a cold stainless steel table as complete strangers performed the autopsy on his 5’ 2” frame. Whatever plans and efforts he made in the past to keep the public at bay, his life shielded from the public’s prying eyes ended with his death. We will learn more about Prince over the coming months and years. We have already been told of his countless and selfless acts of philanthropy, graciousness he did not want us know about. But we will also hear about his dirty laundry and more than likely see an ugly struggle over his estate and his music, the so-called “vault” of unreleased material. No amount of planning can prevent the human nature of greed or vengeance.
I live by the mantra “Everything happens for a reason”. I am so married to this thought you would think I had it tattooed on my ass. I firmly believe that the good and the great, the bad and the devastating that occurs in our life has a purpose. That purpose may be difficult to see or understand but there is a rhyme to the reason and it has nothing to do with control.
I guess the question we all need to ask ourselves is do we really control anything if we can’t control the beginning or the end? Do you have the answer? Better still, can you live a happy life knowing the answer? Let go, breathe slowly and enjoy the short ride.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran