a warm and welcome place to share words and thoughts

Posts tagged ‘celebrities’

Remembering Elliott

Those souls who have left this earth for heaven, or whatever we believe is beyond are missed and remembered by those close to them. But there are those souls who leave us that were able to affect a great number of people by their time on earth, and Elliott Smith is one of them. He touched us with his music; words creatively brought together that often spoke of heartache, of sadness, of anger and even hope in the midst of despair, paired with achingly beautiful melodies that often betrayed the mood of the words. He was able to get us to listen to the sad reality of life that it is sometimes, in the guise of musical notes that danced with joy. In doing this he created a following of listeners who empathized with him and felt that Elliott understood the pain in their own lives.

During his many live shows, Elliott brought himself even closer to his followers, as they hung onto every word and every note he played in utter admiration and devotion; all eyes and ears completely focused on the lone man  playing his sweet and precious music. Elliott had a gracious way of making his audience feel so involved in every show, so appreciated; never putting himself up on a pedestal. Song requests were shouted out, or oftentimes Elliott would ask what the audience wanted to hear. He would tell little stories that fed the camaraderie he had with his fans, and they felt as if they knew him intimately.

Despite all the drama and despair that was his lifetime – dealing with depression, addictions, and a sadly violent death – Elliott Smith gave all he could to the career he chose as a musician. He crafted his music with a perfectionist’s touch, and toured extensively to bring that music to all who wanted to hear him play. He showed us the qualities he possessed of hard work, integrity, generosity, and compassion in the man that he was, not letting his struggles in life hold back the gift he gave to us of amazing music, created from his very soul.

Elliott Smith would have been 43 years old today, and he would still be blessing us with lovely songs. In this world he is lovingly remembered by the timeless legacy he left of music, but he will also be remembered as a sweet and gentle soul who just wanted everyone  to enjoy his gift of song.

Memorial plaque of Elliott Smith that hangs in Lincoln High School in Portland, OR

Artwork done of Elliott Smith that hangs in the Crystal Hotel in Portland, OR

Their Friend

 

Every venue he plays

Becomes an intimate setting

As if he sits

With the audience

In their living room

He greets them with a shy “hello”

Then sits in the chair

The small man and his guitar

Swallowed up by the stage

He nervously picks at the guitar

And a song starts to emerge

The crowd cheers

Then a hush ensues

He holds them in the rapture of melody

The song ends

They cheer once more

A quickly spoken “thanks”

Is shared with his followers

They talk to him

Asking him questions

He politely answers

Someone shouts “I love you!”

“I love you too” he replies

And this exchange of love

Is what endears him to them

To every face in the crowd he is

Their friend who sings

I Am – a movie we all need to see

I watched an amazing movie last night, entitled simply I Am. It is a film made by a director named Tom Shadyac, who is famous in his own right, having directed such films as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bruce Almighty and other successful comedies. It tells the story of his journey after suffering head injuries following a biking accident, causing him to reevaluate his life and lifestyle, as well as asking the questions: What’s wrong with our world? and What can we do about it? He talked to and interviewed a string of great minds, from scientists to poets to religious leaders. And the underlying theme that I got out of this film is that we are all connected, all life here on this earth is connected, in a way that cannot be scientifically measured or proved in that way. And that connecting energy is love! This film also brought forth the knowing that our innate nature is that of compassion, but we have buried that under the guise of competition in our modern day societies. Yet the final message that came out of all this is one of hope; that as humans we have the power within us to change our world to one of cooperation and sharing, making sure that all are taken care of. As Tom Shadyac worked on this film and started to question his own lifestyle of excess, he eventually began to heal. He then took steps to simplify his life; selling his huge mansion of a home to live in a mobile home park, selling his private jet, and becoming an instructor at a nearby university, teaching screenwriting. Another message I garnered from this is that we are not meant to give up all our comforts of life and live in near poverty. But so many of us have so much more than we truly need to be happy and comfortable in our lives, at the expense of those who are living lives where their most basic needs are not met.  And as I reflect on the main thing that I got out of this wonderful film, it all comes back to this: Love is the most important thing.

The monkey called fame

I never used to think much about famous people and how we perceive them, even though like you and me they have to go through all the everyday particulars of life. Those kinds of things are never really talked about, although there may be the occasional photo at the grocery store, or a “beautiful” person that is caught jogging in sweats, no make up and a headband holding back unruly hair. But once I quit watching television, I started to realize how fame is an attribute we bestow upon those we deem worthy. This first came to light when I stood in line at the grocery store, staring at the row of magazines by the check out, and realized I didn’t recognize so many of the faces on the covers. These are obviously people who are well known by most of the population, but if I were to encounter them I wouldn’t give them a second glance. Perhaps that is why so many celebrities move to far off places to live, to get away from the constant recognition and ensuing fan ardor that seems to interrupt their lives during what should be private times. For some of those “blessed” with fame and fortune, I do believe they may feel like they have a monkey on their back.

The Odd Monkey

 

Fame!

Fortune!

Oh! the notoriety

What an odd little monkey it is

That clings to those

Who make the climb

Up the pedestal

That we construct for them

But, alas

The pedestal crumbles

Under the weight of this person

Who we thought

Was as light as the gods

Oh! our illusion shatters

 

Tag Cloud