Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Truth. Capital 'T'

Whitney Houston died yesterday afternoon just down the road from me. Like everyone else who loved her in real life or from afar as a fan of her music, I'd really hoped she would get the proverbial drug monkey off her back.  None of us will ever know her particular chaos that dwelled inside her brain. And that's the part, to me, that is so heart-achingly sad. Even surrounded by a staff of handlers, friends, family (and maybe even a sobriety coach? I haven't any idea about that one)---even with all of that, she was alone.  In the inner world of the human mind, we are ultimately at our most alone. There are illnesses that cause complete physical paralysis, while leaving the brain perfectly intact. One, in essence, becomes a captive of their body, like a patient waking from anesthesia, mid-surgery, and being unable to scream.  In actuality, we live a version of that everyday. Some more than others. It's why the ubiquitous neighbor of a serial killer news interview is always some version of, "He was a nice, normal guy. I never would have known." And that's the point. We never really know. This is an absolute that we absolutely know.  Even the most adept communicator cannot convey a 360˚ view of their thoughts and feelings. By virtue of the fact that even with the power to convey a 360˚ view, the person listening has their own 360˚ view that assesses all incoming information via its own prismatic alteration of that original truth.  So, as much as everyone in Hollywood this Grammy weekend wants to figure out and understand, it's a futile effort.  Whitney kept her secrets, and took them with her.  And those who will inevitably claim to know what was in her mind? All we'll ever know from them is their interpretation, not The Truth. 

It occurs to me as so odd that we all go through life knowing that death is part of the deal, and are still rendered utterly dumbfounded when it shows up in close proximity to us. I'm beginning to think that we run around in this world of social constructs, mostly ignoring the fact that much of it balances upon untruths. Then The Truth shows up. Because death is an ablsolute truth. And I think that's the most confusing concept imagineable to us. Our no longer existing is the thing. But the scary addendum on that is that too many of us stop existing long before The Truth in the form of death arrives. I guess it's up to each of us to decide which end to existing is more tragic.

I pray that she finds the peace that so eluded her while she was here.