I’m still coming to grips that Prince is dead.
Yes. Purple Rain. Game: Blouses, Prince. Prince is among a handful of other iconic artists, both actors and musicians, that have passed away this year…and it’s only April.
Death is a bitch. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s a terrible beginning of something new, that which is to come. As the living, we have no idea what it’s like on the other side or what it’s like to actually die. It can be paralyzing to think about.
Death makes me immediately think about Cow and Chicken. Yes, the Cartoon Network series of the 90’s. Cow and Chicken has existential implications, it turns out.
There is an episode of Cow and Chicken about a ‘laughing puddle’. Literally, that’s what the episode is about. There is a mysterious puddle in the bushes that seems to ‘laugh’ at will. Chicken and Co. are terrified of this tickled body of water until one by one the characters eventually ‘meet their fate’ by submerging into the puddle.
Chicken is the last to go, as he scours the city looking for any remaining souls. He’s the only one left until he builds up the courage to face the inevitable and dive into the hysterical puddle of the unknown. Upon his submergence, he not only discovers that the puddle is not at all what he thinks, he finds out it is actually a comedy club. Yep. A comedy club. The occupants of the ‘laughing puddle’ are an audience to a standup show performed by Chicken’s cousin, Boneless Chicken.
There you have it, folks. Mind blowing, I know.
Maybe not the profound home run you were expecting, but it carries weight. A lot people are afraid to die. Whether out of fear of the unknown or the thought of heaven or hell. I don’t know what heaven is like or what hell is like, or if either are what we think they are. I’m just facing reality.
Prince, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Alan Rickman, Nelson Mandela and so, so many other prolific deaths act as consistent calibration of my soul. The thought of ‘who’s next?’ and ‘when will I go?’ resonates deep. The more breaking news I read about earthquakes, terrorist attacks, or shocking celebrity deaths, the more I scour the city searching for anyone left that can go down into this abyss and promise me it’s not what I think.
I’m not nearly as ‘religious’ as I used to be (more on that later), but there is something very telling about the impact of Jesus Christ’s believed resurrection. No one knows how he came back to life and, technically, there is no way to prove he did or didn’t other than biblical tales. I believe he did.
What matters is the implications of his resurrection and the belief that he actually came back and walked amongst the living. What if death isn’t as bad as we think it is? What if we can only mourn so much before we make ourselves sore? What if instead of running around searching for others to go down into this freaky puddle to find out what it really is, we muster up the courage to accept this inevitability of life and go down ourselves when our time is come?
What if we submerge ourselves into the abyss that is presumably ‘the end’ only to discover it is a comedy club of sorts, a room filled with the town occupants, friends, family, people across the globe we never thought we’d see. And we laugh. We laugh our faces off. Not necessarily at the jokes being told.
But we’re laughing at the absurdity of how we could have ever been afraid of such an event that garnered this much joy and feeling of completion. Like the end of a marathon we didn’t think we could ever complete. Like taking a spoonful of castor oil only to discover it tastes like honey.
Because the most joyous part of being in that ‘club’ isn’t necessarily about the jokes that are being told. It’s the relief of finding out that the cover charge for this laugh house really isn’t as austere or dismal as we on the other side believe it to be.
They say the best part of any trip is the journey itself. I say we enjoy the ride.
Goodnight, sweet Prince.
image via pimthida