I realize my readers have come to expect book reviews and author interviews when they stop by. In a way, today's post isn't too far off, as Amy Winehouse wrote many wonderful songs. Comments today have ranged from "what a waste of great talent" to "I'm surprised she lasted this long". Almost everyone mentions the drugs that were so present in the past few years. I have read only a few comments that actually acknowledge Amy--not her talent, not the drugs--Amy Winehouse, a young woman who fought demons much deeper than many of us can imagine.
You see, drug and alcohol use aren't the problem in many instances, they are merely symptoms of something deeper, something a person finds too strong to fight. Amy herself gave us a clue to this pain, scattered throughout the songs she wrote: "My tears dry on their own." "I tread a troubled track." "I'm not going to spend ten weeks having everyone think I'm on the mend." "I don't want to drink again. I just want a friend."
The first time I saw Amy perform, my mothering instinct kicked into overdrive. Take the time to view a few of her live performance videos. Amy always took a deep breath and physically straightened as she entered the stage--an act so common with someone about to face something they fear. Each song ending saw a look of pure relief, a silent "I made it through". Her eyes did not seek out the audience, but submissively looked away, as one fearing rejection. Pictures abound of this beautiful woman--and in only one did I see a real smile--one that lit up her face and crinkled her eyes. Maybe it is the Psychologist in me, or the involvement I've had with others like her, who tried to fight their demons with drugs and alcohol.
Amy was one of those old souls who found herself in a world beyond her understanding--a world that requires an inner hardness that old souls seem incapable of developing. Look around you,, if you want to see what I mean, we all know someone who has had the drugs or alcohol become their existence. Think back to before the drugs and you will see what I mean. Many of these individuals were those who couldn't "fit" into the "competitive, do better than everyone no matter who gets hurt" lifestyle that seems so prevalent today. These were the ones who reached out to the outcasts, gave all to see someone smile--the gentle souls who tried to make the world a bit kinder.
Is Amy Winehouse's death a waste of talent--no, for what she gave us, however briefly, will remain. giving us moments of joy and pain, comfort--and maybe understanding. Amy tried to tell the world what she felt--but few, if any, heard her. She did not hide her fear, her confusion, but few, if any, saw. Amy's death wasn't a waste of talent--it was the loss of a special individual who could have taught the world love, compassion and looking beyond the obvious.
Amy Winehouse may you find the peace that so often deluded you here. Tonight I mourn the passing of, not a star with great talent, but a young woman who had so much to give if only someone would have listened.