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Sunday, February 12, 2012

"To taste the sweet....I face the pain": Goodnight, shining diva

This is how The Voice touched me.

Passionate, joyous, and poignant.  Tingly feelings when that towering sound ripped through the speakers and flooded the car.  That gorgeous woman's blinding, perfect smile whenever she'd stroll confidently across a stage.

And then there were those music videos.  In Whitney's prime, they were the glittering diamonds that lit up the MTV jewel box.  Of her scores of hits, there were two that enlivened me like none of the others. 


This epic song hits all the right notes, lyrics exploding with pathos, on that journey that starts in childhood but will only be survived with the active ingredient of enough self-love.

"I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all....."

There has been more than enough written about Whitney's debilitating addictions to drugs and a degenerate punk.  She tragically couldn't find enough of that greatest love to rescue herself from these relentless demons.

And it slowly destroyed her.  The health, then The Voice, and finally the rest of her.

But like so many legendary singers that also succumbed to self-destruction--we know the list--Houston's music will endure, a permanent place in our popular consciousness.  Her story is part of that, yet another cautionary note on the horrifying perils of addiction and how no one on this earth, however rich and famous, is immune to its ravages.

Her other classic is a kind of prophetic one.  Hard to watch through the tears tonight.  I thought about all those moments she did celebrate in the years before her spiritual demons finally caught up with her.  But thank God for the fact that Houston held on long enough to serenade us so we could bask in her ocean of triumphs.

"Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity....."

Let the peace find you once again.
Thank you, Whitney.