Sunday, July 24, 2011

"hope our poems make things clear..."

I know it's been a month, and I know a lot of my posts tend to be either entirely too cheery or entire downers. But this is going to be mostly the latter. I hope it's got enough of the former.

My friend died today. Or yesterday. It doesn't matter which day. I've always been able to tell others that I feel blessed to have had a great childhood with little grief and strong foundations. Although I have a lot of friends who encountered significant loss early in life, and I have encountered major loss of some kind, I've been lucky in that a peer never unexpectedly left. This is hard.

David Blair is an artist, a poet, a musician, an actor, an author, a thinker, a performer, a teacher, and one of many gods I've hugged in life. I'm so happy, in a way, that I have an opportunity to help cultivate the seeds he's spread. He's not gone, but he did die. I'm expecting him to call and say, Oh, they mixed me up with some other dude. You know how it goes! and then laugh big with a piratey tooth gap. But he left, and he just gave everyone he touched with the next task: to take his lessons and craft them into our own beauty, to give that beauty to other people of all creeds and stations (I don't care how cheesy this is) and to ensure that that beauty is multipliable infinitely. He traveled the whole world and called Detroit home. He introduced me to half of my friends, and the other half just knew him. I played his CD release two years ago, my Birthday Eve. We did an impromptu unrehearsed Purple Rain. I'm rambling but I guess I can't help it.

This loss is such a shock that it requires me to be vigilant of all the amazing people that Blair has touched in his life. He was SO completely uncompromising that he lived 7 lifetimes in his short 50 years. And he didn't lead just by example; hundreds of students can attest to that. I'm one of them.

He has believed so enthusiastically about humanity that typical Detroit cynicism immediately stops being cool as soon as he enters the room. His natural knack for musical and English language commands whatever he points his tongue or pen or guitar toward. He's worked hard his whole fucking amazing life. The things he can see make the most privileged feel blind. Just say "hello" and you may have stopped a war, right?

I'm going to leave you with a poem about this city. Why? Because I can't lie, I hate it here sometimes. But you can't listen to this piece and not fall in love with the insanity like the first time. You just can't. Us mental cases are too sweet.