This week has not been kind to keen artists from Britain who are 69 and who secretly had cancer. This week officially TOOK away some pure creative geniuses.
My reaction when I woke up, awfully early, on Monday morning when I saw the news on David Bowie was a surprised "Oh, my God!"
This morning, after getting up awfully early again (it's been a busy week, professionally), I settled into the driver's seat of my car and before I could do anything but pull the English muffin out of my pocket to eat (foreshadowing???) my phone chimed with a text message. I hit the screen and read "Just heard snape died..." from my best friend.
I sat there, and just chanted, "No! No, no, no, no, no!" Left the breakfast on my lap, which bled butter into my newly cleaned trousers. So much for a professional appearance. (I later determined that Alan was telling me it was time to replace those 15-year old trousers. And because he is British they were trousers, of course.) I called Lee, reported this, and headed out. Things had to get done. I couldn't sit around and bemoan the loss of someone I don't even know, nor would have ever had the chance or circumstance to meet.
So here's the thing...when I think of him of course I think Severus Snape. I love Harry Potter. I loved reading the books, and when they said that Alan Rickman would be playing Professor Snape I had such hope for the films, and the whole series was perfect. You can't convince me otherwise, so please don't waste time trying.
When I was 16, my sister Shannon and her bestie Sarah and I used to go see movies all the time. When they were home from college, a call would come from Sarah, "Hey, this amazing/stupid/creepy/whatever film is playing. Let's go!" and Shannon and I would peel out of our house, screech to a stop briefly in front of Sarah's, and then practically Italian Job park in the movie theater parking lot. Sarah called one day and said, "Truly Madly Deeply - let's do this." So we did. It was the first work I'd seen of Alan Rickman's. (Of note - I didn't see Die Hard until much later - just not my thing as a teenager) If you haven't seen this film, do so if you can. It's lovely.
Then a year later, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came out. I was 17. I saw it 5 times in the theater. You can judge all you want. I was SEVENTEEN. And whenever I saw Alan Rickman, from that year until he became Snape, when I saw him I would occasionally say when someone referenced a spoon, "Why a spoon, counsin?" I really wanted the other person in the conversation to Alan Rickman me. I don't know why. I'm weird. Who cares? Either way, I loved it especially when they would say the whole response, "Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more. Now sew! And keep the stitches small."
Then Sense & Sensibility. Then Love, Actually. Then all the roles. And then Snape. To take on a character reviled for almost 4200 pages of the series, only to find out at the end his true motivation was love, and to work so closely with the author to relay that spirit and that resolve and remain an enigma to the very end? Genius, people.
Drew recently finished the series. I will be telling him when I pick him up from school. Snape belongs to him and me. Lee hasn't read the books, and Tucker only knows Snape as a bad guy. This is our thing.
As I chewed on this in the back of my mind today, I began to think about the artists we lost this week. They were both sublimely talented and multi-faceted. Then I thought more...aren't we all multi-faceted? Doesn't the loss of two well-known artists call to us to remember that we all have talents, and sharing them is the BEST way to relate to people? To make connections? To last in this world?
Be your art. Let it come out of you. GIVE it, to counteract the taking of them. Don't stop. Alan, and David, and all the others whose work moves you will celebrate.