(painted on glass, collage background from recycled materials, torn pieces of Holiday’s song lyrics on the mat)
“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.”
“You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling.”
“I can’t stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain’t music, it’s close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.”
Billie Holiday is one the singers I can listen to her endlessly. That voice… I wish I could sing. But I can’t. We can’t have everything that we wish for. However, we can cultivate the talents that we actually do have. Furthermore, I believe that it’s our responsibility not to waste our talents and it’s our responsibility to live our lives to our full potential.
It breaks my heart that so many talented people (Billie Holiday among them) died too soon. Ms. Holiday once said “I never hurt nobody but myself and that’s nobody’s business but my own.” She couldn’t be more wrong. Her life choices did hurt her fans both past and future. Not to mention her family and friends.
I’m speaking from experience since I’ve lost many people close to me due to the same life choices as Lady Day had made. I feel like weeping when I think of what kind of great ideas, great music and great art was lost to us because of the circumstances great artists like her chose to put themselves in.
I understand that creative personalities often come with a variety of excesses; I understand that a creative person might have a desire to explore life from every possible angle; I understand that the use of drugs and alcohol is perceived by some artists as a part of their creative process…
However, it saddens me that so many artistic people choose to continue their dependence on substances when it clearly stunts their potential. I enjoy partying just as the next gal, but I enjoy painting much more. I could never let anything interfere with my art. Granted, sometimes I use hangovers as an opportunity to take a break from working. Something I wouldn’t otherwise allow myself to take. That being said, I would never let myself waste my talent and my life living in a permanent hangover…