so often seem to go hand in hand. Waking to the news that Whitney Houston has died is indescribable. Though I don’t publicly admit to my age, I am old enough to remember Whitney’s career at its first ascendancy. Personally, I didn’t care for her early arrogance, nor did I like her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. Yet her crystal clear voice and phenomenal range lifted my heart above such petty concerns. The power and soaring beauty of a vocal talent that would have been at home in any opera never failed to thrilled me.
The first article I read this morning spoke of how many of us are guilty of laughter at her all-too human frailties. Being a believer in the essential goodness of humanity, I know such laughter was only the nervous titters of people who saw their own flaws reflected too clearly in her actions. Celebrity targets such as Whitney Houston make an easy outlet for our fears. Rather than regret our taunts, we should reflect on the true reason behind them. We may find those reasons to be the same ones that drove a tremendous talent to self-sabotage, and to the damaged voice that changed Whitney’s life forever.
Those of us in the artistic community know of the constant struggle to believe in ourselves. Many of us are envious of the great talents that rise above even our highest dreams. Yet all us of understand the agonizing struggle of putting your heart on display, which performers of Whitney’s ability do every day.
So remember the music, the talent, and the extraordinary gift that brought so many of us happiness, and forgive the human frailty that we decried during her lifetime. We are none of us perfect, yet some of us were given the ability to bring a unique joy to this world. Whitney Houston was one.