By: The Ignant Intellectual
(originally published on www.ignantintellectual.tumblr.com)
Michael Jackson...Kurt Cobain...Amy Winehouse...Albert Einstein...Kanye West...Dwayne Michael Carter II…Van Gogh…Elvis…Bob Dillan…Edgar Allen Poe…Sylvia Path…Chris Farley…John Candy…Virginia Wolfe…Miles Davis…Billie Holiday…Mozart…Lauryn Hill…Whitney Houston…and the list goes on.
What do these people all have in common?
Something I've always felt: The light of genius almost always seems to cohabit with darkness/battling demons.
Is darkness an inherent lover of the light of genius? How thin is the line between genius and darkness? Should parents accept that if their child is genius (not just really really smart), they were more than likely battle some form of darkness? Why are humans required to exist on a certain frequency instead of being allowed to create their own?
Whether it’s social/environmental or physiological/chemical, one cannot deny that those souls that have the light of genius are almost always enveloped in some form of darkness—or what many call ‘battling demons’. It’s a relentless battle. One that if we could put on our spiritual shades, we would likely see a battle of epic proportions. I often see tormented souls and think, if we opened their spiritual chest, it would be unlike anything we have ever seen. And the thought of that being a daily existence but out of it comes the beauty and magic that pours from their minds. It’s a beautiful yet tortured thing. Or maybe it isn’t torture at all.
My Spelmanite, Chaundra M. Hughes, made a most brilliant observation that I agree wholeheartedly with. She states:
The “darkness” comes from attempts to fit in, feel less, accommodate those on a different frequency and quiet all of the voices/inspiration. The light of genius shines so brightly, but not everything that it attracts is positive. It is a delicate, fragile balance but we are all transformed having come in contact with it. –- Chaundra M. Hughes
Oh what truth is in that statement!
Initially I sat down to write a post about the passing of Whitney Houston. My reaction to her death is unlike my reaction to, say, Michael Jackson’s. When MJ passed, my tears did not struggle an escape. When MJ died, I was in a huge state of shock. I had thoughts like ‘not the King of Pop’…’Damn WTF’. But when Whitney died, I felt my heart break. My tears would not and still have not flowed. I felt like a family member had died and I don’t even personally know her. It was an experience that shocked even me. I had so many thoughts rushing through my mind. I was fixed to CNN. I grew sadder and sadder then angrier and angrier. I found myself yelling at the TV when they began their typical demonizing and assuming statements without a Coroner’s Report. I found myself pissed at how we are only just now celebrating Whitney. What happened to giving somebody flowers while they’re still alive?
If we put as much energy into someone’s life while they’re still here as we do post-them-croaking, we might ‘save’ more people. If we wouldn’t hand people scripts at birth and at random times in their lives and require them to stick to it, perhaps a divide would not develop. Perhaps if people were allowed to exist on a self-determined frequency and not be required to exist on the frequency of the masses, genius would not feel silenced, thus no battling. Sounds simple? Perhaps. I do know that it would require a GINORMOUS paradigmatic shift…in our thinking…in our being…in our creating.
As I am writing this post, I realize that it’s not just about Whitney. It’s about a collective forcing of spiritual beings who are having a human experience into being ONE monolithic way. It’s about a ‘one size fits all’ required existence. Perhaps if this was alleviated, we would still see this duality…this seeming battle. You’re right. But I argue that we would not see it ‘as much’. Seems unlikely.
I grew up on Whitney just like most of the people my age and older. She was timeless. She was regular. She was me. She was you. Damn! I bet there is a concert going on up there! Etta, MJ, Whitney, with Don Cornelius as producer!
Bottom line: Let’s let people exist where they exist. Create what they create. And value the differences.
--The Ignant Intellectual
2/15/12 8:22 am EST
The Ignant Intellectual is a New Orleans-reared writer, poet, and spoken word artist who has been writing before completely mastering the English language. From the accent to that je ne sais quoi that folk have been trying to put words to for far too long, to the curious name, The Ignant Intellectual is indeed a 'strange fruit'. I.I.'s goal in writing and performing is to deconstruct the many unconscious social constructions that guide our mental processes and ultimately our actions, to influence youth and elders to re-imagine what is, pushing/pulling the collective to our full potential. The Ignant Intellectual's vibrant, often humorous, and always though-provoking writings and performances convey that, "Life really is good enough to be true." And so it is.
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