The Silent Noise of Hearts & Flowers

This is as short story about a woman’s undying love of a notorious player. On this particular evening, they have a date. He is late. She decides to meet him, in hopes of surprising him. Her timing is perfect, as she catches him exiting the florist shop located next door to the building where he works. The look on his face tells her all she needs to know. But she dares to ask anyway, as she mentally prepares to catch her own heart in her hands, as it threatens to burst out of sheer anticipation. Or, because she senses that her lover is about to deliver a blow that her heart cannot withstand.

Are those for me?” Her voice betrayed her as it gave way, collapsing over these four simple words. Her hands automatically reflexed, without any beckoning from her brain, reaching towards the brilliant bouquet that rested so comfortably in his arms. In a failed attempt to appear calm, her lover motioned to swipe his touseled hair from his brow, a nervous gesture she had often witnessed, and had at one time, found adorable.

At that very moment, the collage of colorful petals fell to the ground with a deafening silence. She could actually hear the flowers lying on the ground, where they didn’t belong. Evidently, they didn’t belong with her either. The flowers remained there, sprawled carelessly between them, for what seemed like a tortuous amount of time. He made no move to recover them, but his lips began to motion with what she could only guess, were as many excuses as there were flowers on the ground. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and upper lip, betraying him as well. He spoke but she could not hear him. All she could hear was the silence of those flowers, and the shattering of her heart into a million pieces.

She couldn’t help but notice what an odd scene the fallen flowers and her broken heart made, lying there together on the ground, in misplaced solidarity. Strangely, they seemed to belong together. And had she been the intended recipient of the bouquet, they would have eventually died anyway, just like their love, which she realized at that very moment, had died long ago. Flowers had always been so meaningful to her in the past. They were little colorful bursts of joy that were meant to grow, blossom, and be given and eventually die at some point, much like the heart, which ultimately does the same.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Farewell to a Royal Prince…

It’s growing very tiresome and troublesome, mourning yet another mega-superstar musical icon. Yet, somehow, I still have some tears left. Prince Rogers Nelson is gone. It still doesn’t resonate with me, whether I write it or say it. In fact, it’s downright unbelievable! He was one of the last true baby-boomer sensations, that my generation could relate to on such a deep level.

Each time an announcement is made about the death of another larger-than-life person, of course the initial reaction is a big fat dose of denial. At least this is the case for me. But this time, denial didn’t stay around very long, as the media began to quickly flood the airwaves on Thursday afternoon, April 21, 2016, with the shocking news of Prince’s death.

Maybe you hoped as I did that this was another hoax. Sometimes people with a dark, sick sense of humor, ignite rumors of a celebrity’s passing. Incidentally, Bill Crystal has been reported to have passed away several times, but thankfully, he lives to laugh about it. But there’s nothing funny about it. Especially, God forbid, when the day actually comes and the ‘true’ announcement is made, no one will believe the news. Unfortunately, our ‘Prince’ has left the building, for real.

I must say that I am both moved and impressed by the outpouring and showings of support from all over, to pay homage to this genius of a man, known by only one name, Prince. A man that has contributed so much to the music industry and the world in general. Interestingly, I don’t see very many people shedding tears. Mostly, there is contagious dancing and laughter amidst the purple rain, that has spread like wildfire, as people gather to reminisce about their beloved ‘Prince’. The tear-free crowds are a bit of an unusual sight, but also refreshing to see because it helps to dry up some of my own. He has given us pure joy through song and selfless humanity, both of which were shared so generously with with so many; two gifts that keep on giving as his music and kindness  live on forever.

I may not have all of his music, or any of his music. I can truly love an artist and what they do, but won’t have one piece of their music. This is amazing to me even as I share this odd fact about myself. But does that make me any less a fan than the person that has their favorite artist plastered all over their bedroom wall, or owns every t-shirt ever made in that’s artist’s image? I think not. I am just as much a fan of Prince as anyone else. As always, when an artist that I adore passes away, I pay homage to them by watching every documentary, news segment, reading every article I can get my hands on concerning the person. I then get to the business of purchasing all of their music. You may think this is backwards, but I guess it’s how I roll. Regardless, I will soon be able to play his music in heavy rotation within the comfort of my home.

I’ve often heard others who don’t understand the die-hard fan nature of some people. They don’t understand how people can get so caught up and distraught when a high caliber celebrity passes away. After all, they don’t know the celebrity personally. Well, that’s easy to answer. When you truly enjoy the artistry and talent of a artist and they move you in ways that can barely be described in words, as a true fan, you develop a connection with these people. You almost feel as if you do know them. It’s called the power of music and it is magical.

Prince provided the soundtrack, backdrop, and narrative for a major part of my life, as I’m sure he did for so many others. How could I not feel connected in a strong way when tragedy strikes? His music has gotten me through some exciting, tough and very challenging times. And there’s so much music that he gifted us with. It’s so fitting that he loved the color purple. He seemed to quietly and humbly rest comfortably in knowing that he was indeed royalty. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he’s gone and that I will never get the opportunity to see him in concert. At least there’s film and plenty of music to remember him by and for that, I am eternally grateful. I will miss him greatly. Rest in peace, royal Prince.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know…16

I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the unusual instances of celebrity deaths that seem to come in three’s. The most recent proof being the passing of Robyn Williams, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Rivers. It’s kind of hard to argue against this when it has happened repeatedly over time. Admittedly, I’ve heard this old adage for as long as I can remember, never really paying much attention to it until entering into my adult life. I began to notice that there seemed to be some truth to this “Hollywood” affliction. With the recent barrage of deaths, it seems appropriate to take a closer look at the so-called Celebrity Death Rule of Three.

    • Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper all crashed and died simultaneously in an Iowa cornfield on February 3, 1959. Not since their untimely deaths, has the Celebrity Death Rule of Three happen so quickly, according to an article by Dave Montgomery of the Washing Post on June 30, 2009. Further instances may not have happened as quickly, but they certainly did happen.
    • The earliest instance was recorded as far back as late 1970 to early 1971. It has been documented that rock star royals Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison all died in close time proximity. *Unbelievably, all three of these rock legends died at the age of 27. This is both remarkable and peculiar within itself. (Another post perhaps)
    • In June of 2009, the deadly trifecta, if you will, made an appearance again. Ed McMahaon passed away on June 23, 2009, mega-celebrities Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, both died on the same day, June 25, 2009. The media clearly struggled to bring some type of balance to its reporting on each of these stars. I’m willing to bet the media never imagined they’d be scrambling to cover such broad careers simultaneously, to say the least.
    • During the summer of 2013, the triage of death occurred again with the death of infamous Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Sopranos star, James Gandolfini, and actress Jean Stapleton(known for her role as Edith Bunker on All in the Family).

Again, it is hard to argue the existence of the alleged Celebrity Death Rule of Three when as you can see, there certainly are enough occurrences to support otherwise. Myth or pure coincidence? You be the judge…

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The 3rd Time is Not a Charm

 

The third time is definitely not a charm. It has often been said that when members of the Hollywood elite pass away, their deaths come in threes. By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard that Joan Alexandra Molinsky, most infamously known as Joan Rivers, her stage name, has passed away at the age of 81. She completes the the latest trio of Hollywood deaths; most recently, Robyn Williams and Lauren Bacall(please see previous posts). Her career spanned an amazing 50 years; truly an accomplishment. One can only imagine the stories that have passed on with this extraordinary woman, who possessed a personality as broad as the widest of oceans.

Joan Rivers had to be one of the hardest working women, if not the hardest working woman in show business. She never seemed to tire and even maintained a rigorous schedule right up until her death. It is as though she had and endless source from which to draw from, in order to deliver her signature in-your-face ‘dry humor’ that was so characteristic of her authentic style. Somehow she managed to deliver a great deal of her comedic onslaught without barely cracking a smile; another feat within itself.

She was a die-hard New York native, who came into show business with hopes of planting her feet firmly in a theatrical career. Comedy just happened to be a viable means to pay her bills at the time while she auditioned for acting roles. Comedy came natural to Joan and seemed to fit her like a good-fitting shoe. In 1965, she received her first booking on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson who reportedly told her, “God, you’re funny.” Her good fortune of landing this gig and a seemingly inexhaustible work ethic drove her as she continued to write, test and tweak her jokes.

In the mid-1980s, Joan Rivers came face to face with a life-affecting crisis. Her husband of 23 years, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide in 1987, following her firing from her late night talk show, which he produced. According to Rivers, the failing show was a major player in her husband’s suicide. The fallout of these events also contributed to the derailing of her career for a brief time. Comedy was both her calling and her therapy. She used laughter to get through the tough times and was often the ‘butt’ of her own jokes. One of the best therapies of all…laughter of self and few did it better.

Joan Rivers was the face of “Fashion Police” on the E Network and starred with her daughter Melissa in a reality show called: Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? I was a fan of Ms Rivers and will always remember her for her for relentless barage of comedic attacks on the many bystanders that waited anxiously to die laughing in the midst of her witty banter. Rest in peace dear Joan. You will indeed be missed.

***Sidebar: I was pleasantly surprised to learn after all these years of watching Joan Rivers, that she and I share the same birthday, June 8th. Wow! You just never know!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Fly Robin Fly

FILE - This 1987 file photo released by Touchstone Pictures shows actor Robin Williams in character as disc-jockey Adrian Cronauer in director Barry Levinsons comedy drama, "Good Morning Vietnam." (AP Photo/Touchstone Pictures)

I was extremely saddened to learn that ‘entertainer extraordinaire’ Robin Williams passed away On Monday August 11, 2014. It was even more disheartening to hear officials speculate that he may have taken his own life. Indeed a crash landing for a man who soared to such magnificent heights as a performer.

I first became acquainted with the work of Robin Williams during the sitcom days of Mork & Mindy which ran from 1978 to 1982. He went on to do such hugely memorable things; everything from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire to Goodwill Hunting and more. His talent seemed to have no bounds and he always had me in stitches. I’ve seen him interviewed on numerous talk shows over the years and I have to say, it was painfully humorous to watch the host(s) try and conduct a serious interview with Mr. Williams with his constant joke-cracking at every turn, taking full advantage of every opportunity to throw them off their ‘game’ with his witty and outrageous tactics. I don’t recall witnessing one host who was able to keep it together in his presence.

You could just see them struggling to stay in control until it became impossible, at which point they would let loose into thunderous hysterical laughter. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but usually ended up doing both. Robin would just continue on mercilessly, with his rapid-fire barrage of comedic jokes that seemed to spew from a never-ending arsenal of humorous lines.

Comedic timing is key in the world of comedy and Robin Williams had it down to a science, that he managed to successfully convert into his own special art form.  He will surely be missed but  never forgotten and is certain to go down in entertainment history as one of the most accomplished entertainers to ever grace the screen,stage, etc. Rest in peace great man with the ever-present smile. Fly Robin fly.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

June 2017
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