“I want purity, I must have it here right now”
Michael Jackson once said in an interview with Lisa Robinson, “…I’m going to do bigger and better things in the future. I’m compelled to do what I’m doing and I can’t help it—I love performing. I love creating and coming up with unusual new things. To be a kind of pioneer. You know, innovative. I just love it. I get excited about ideas, not about money; ideas is what excites me.”
Recently, I have been thinking about the people who effect us the most, who touch our souls and leave us with a lasting impression; the people who when we see, hear, watch them we can’t help but be moved, be in awe. These people are motivated by a desire deep within themselves, they are sensitive and aware, they are rooted in creativity, they long to learn- every opportunity is an opportunity to improve. They are not motivated by money, fame, or recognition but by pure love for their art. Often times, these people are tragically affected by the fruits of their success. Specifically, I have been thinking about the lives and careers of River Phoenix, Heath Ledgar, and Michael Jackson.
These three individuals sought after pure art. Their performances were captivating, original and lasting. I am curious about them because of their individual tragic fates: River’s drug overdose outside West Hollywood’s Viper Room, Ledger’s overdose of prescription drugs, and Jackson’s suspected homicide- it seems the world surrounding them got too big to handle. Their ability to capture pure human emotion simply by being sensitive, absorbing people leads us to push into their lives, which becomes overwhelming, causing their internal selves to destruct. It is hard to say if this is a bad thing or not. Although I would not wish death upon anyone, their performances are art, they are beauty, and I don’t think they would even take away the opportunity to be a part of that history.
The purist kind of motivation is that for idea, to carry through an idea to its fruition. It is when this is actuated we are in awe. We are so distracted- by money, by relationships, by winning, by appearance… We loose sight of the original, pure motivation we felt.
I am reminded of a verse I used to know quite well, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8. We are enthralled by these people, we are curious about them because they have the ability to do this- they see what is pure, what is lovely and execute it. In our lives that are filled with so much stuff, they have the discipline to see and create. That is a gift that comes with a cost simply because it is so valuable and rare. The cost for these three stars was their life and it does not go unnoticed. RIP River, Michael, and Heath.