Here’s how we process new information: First, we focus on what we see (how a person looks, what he or she is wearing), then we hear the person’s intonation (does he have a nice voice? a Louisiana twang?) and finally, we pick up on what the person is saying (the actual message). Such is what I experienced this morning when I saw the TV news.
First, I saw Teena Marie’s image on the screen. [She looks older and why is she wearing those jeans on stage?] Then, I heard a voice but instead of listening to the newscaster, I focused on the backdrop of music […I just want to be your Lovergirrrlll…] and I got excited. [Oh great, Teena’s coming to town! Strange for a concert to be announced on the morning news, though.] But when my thoughts slowed, I began to process what the news anchor was saying. She reported that my favorite singer/songwriter was dead at the age of 54. I stood there, mouth agape. It can’t be, I thought. Not my Teena Marie!
Throughout today, I reflected on her passion for creating music and I mentally scanned the catalog of her powerfully moving lyrics. It’s true that each time I hear one of her songs, it takes me to a far away sensual place. Teena Marie wrote about pure LOVE and all of its orbiting attributes: Delight and ecstasy, desire and passion, discontent and pain, doubt and sadness, determination and hope–, and the rest of those feelings that emotional love brings. She was a brilliant songwriter.
I hate that Teena Marie has passed away. I find comfort, however, knowing her music will live on. The Law of Thermodynamics says that energy is neither created nor destroyed; only transformed from one form to another. I sincerely pray that the energy, passion, and phenomenal talent that was Teena Marie’s gift to us, might somehow find its way back to all of us writers and artists who remain. I pray we all continue to be inspired by her music and keep some element of her genius alive with our own original words.
My God rest your soul, Lady T. We miss you already.