2016

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 2016

2016

Dear 2016,

It’s been a year.

When you took away some of my dearest heroes, you bruised my heart. But you also gave me a chance to reflect on just how many of my memories and life experiences have been tied up in evocative lyrics, guitar riffs, and the sex appeal of performative rock and roll.

David Bowie was one of my first crushes. In Labyrinth, I secretly wanted Sarah to be stuck forever with the Goblin King so at least she might be able to explore some of the feelings that I felt stirring in me whenever I saw him dance that magic dance. Bowie felt simultaneously dangerous and safe; his boundary-pushing nudged me to the edges of my Catholic-school comfort zone, but he also seemed like a really good guy.

My friend Michelle gave me the Wham! tape for my birthday. I listened to it incessantly, and when I had to leave for school I would tuck it into my bag just so I could hold it on the bus. George Michael’s voice provided the soundtrack to the evolution of my ego development. There was this one particular moment I was wandering around our expansive back yard, listening to Make It Big on my knock-off Walkman, when it was as if a light switch had been flicked on in my brain. I was jolted awake, and felt myself for the first time as this distinctive being. I was 8, thinking “who is thinking when I’m thinking about myself thinking?”, and I wondered if other people thought about these kinds of things as well. Then “Credit Card Baby” came on, and I probably danced around a bit.

And then there was Prince. He was my guy. Some of my memories are so tightly wrapped up in Purple Rain, it’s as if the magnetized ribbons of my worn-out cassette hold parts of me together. I once held a funeral for a dead bird under the willow trees in the rear yard of the school. None of my friends seemed to know what to say as we buried it beneath a pile of dirt and twigs, so I began: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today….” My parents have a recording of me as a young girl singing into a hand-held recorder, and I have to say, I provided them with one of the best damn renditions of Little Red Corvette you could imagine. I thought the song was about the car that Barbie drove. I was broken to lose Prince, but I’d only be telling half the story if I didn’t admit that this year also provided me with my one and only chance to see him perform live. I have been to many, many (many) concerts in my life, and that was the best I’d ever seen. He was that good. (Note: if I ever sit you down and play you the song The Beautiful Ones and you don’t appear to be listening intently enough, it might just be my deal-breaker.)

The monumental loss of icons aside, this was also the year when I ushered in a new decade. I spent the last minutes of my life as a 30-something walking around the marina in Reykjavik alone in the golden solstice midnight light. In a wool sweater and rubber boots, I felt a glowing, knowing feeling inside. This year is going to be it, I thought. It was the moment I began to have faith in myself. It was time to turn and face the strange.

And so this year also saw the dissolution of my marriage. While I could add it to 2016’s “steaming pile of disasters” list, it doesn’t quite fit there. Some things don’t end with a bang but wither over a very long period of time. It took courage to look directly at the mess of unravelled things that had accumulated in our hearts and home. It took strength to call it what it was, and a kind of serenity to allow it to unfold as it needed to. We managed to do all of this in a way that was both conscious and kind. It was an ending that respected the beginning, which I think is a remarkable thing.

This has been a year of significant losses and seismic shifts, yet I still feel what I felt the night I turned 40. There is so much possibility here. There are good people with good hearts that continue to remind me of this. There is renewal, self-love, quietude, growth, and the giving and receiving of love and friendship. And no matter how dark or lonely the days there is always music, art, movement, and words.

2016, you were a heavy-duty experience (after Trump and Cohen and Fisher you should see what people on Facebook are saying about you), and still I remain hopeful. You took away some pretty influential people in my life and set in motion a complete change in my life’s direction, but you weren’t all bad. Loss is hard; change is hard. But everything that leaves makes space. I believe in good things filling spaces.

 

 

 

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.