Isn’t it sad that often for artists and writers, recognition comes posthumously? If you asked me to make a list of my top ten albums or books, I could confidently assure that at least half, or a comfortable majority, of those I mentioned, were produced by someone who no longer sits top side of the soil. But maybe it’s not sad. Perhaps that is the real beauty of an artists death; they can continue to inspire, educate and influence from beyond the grave.
Recently the American author Toni Morrison passed away, and I saw her death mourned across multiple media outlets. Morrison, by no means, went unnoticed in her lifetime. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Morrison enjoyed great recognition for her literary and storytelling talents. But when she died, I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had never read one of her works.
I’ve now come across a copy of Beloved, and have begun reading. I’m only a chapter or two in. But already I feel a great sense of loss. I’ve lost a voice in this world that I had never heard until now. The same feeling, I remember noticing the first time I listened to Jeff Buckley, knowing that nothing more than the finite recordings of a marvellous mind was all that remained.
Just a Thought.