When Doves Cry

“Why do we scream at each other… This is what it sounds like….When doves cry.”  Prince

“Honey I know times are changing…It’s time we all reach out for something new….That means you too….You say you want a leader…But you can’t seem to make up your mind…. I think you better close it….And let me guide you to the purple rain.”  Prince.

I had the day off from work and was running around from errand to errand last week when I found out that Prince died.  I got the news through a text from a friend.  “WHAT???” I responded.  When I checked my Facebook feed later that day, so many of the status updates were about Prince… his picture… his lyrics…. because I was a teen of the 80’s, and therefore so are the majority of my friends.

When Whitney Houston died, the single lyric “The ride with you was worth the fall” was the one that stood out, and I started my post Breaking Up Is Hard To Do with that opening quote.  She died just a couple of months before I started running, and later I downloaded Didn’t We Almost Have It All and I Will Always Love You on my playlist and ran with the lyrics.

With the death of Prince, the same…. I downloaded some of my favorite songs of his onto my running playlist… and started running with them… thinking of the lyrics…. and hearing them so differently as a 42-year-old woman than the tween girl who first heard When Doves Cry in 1984.

The day of his death, I picked up my son from Lacrosse practice, and as we sat in the car, the song 1999 came on.  I asked him if he had heard that Prince had died….”Yeah, but I don’t really know who he is.”  I turned up the radio and said, “This is his song.”

“Oh, yeah… I know this song… although what’s the big deal about 1999?” he asked.

We talked about Y2K… about how when the song 1999 was released in 1982, the year 1999 seemed ages away.  And then when I was on my run with it, I remembered December 1999 when the song was being replayed all month long.  I was a resident in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), and we were all worried despite many reassurances that something would go wrong on call New Year’s Eve night with all these teeny tiny babies on ventilators.  Nothing went wrong.  Now another 16 years has passed from that…time slipping away…those babies can now drive.  I remembered that NICU rotation and how brutal it was for me to get up at 4:30 am to get to the hospital and be checking babies at 5:30 am….how we counted down each day of that rotation until it was over.  Sixteen years later, I get up voluntarily not too much later than that for my morning run.

As I run with Prince’s lyrics, I also think about the other musical influences from the 80’s in my life.  I wrote about Duran Duran in my post Delayed Gratification…. In the 80’s, locking myself in my bedroom and listening to music was so much of what I had…. music and fantasy helped me get through some not so fun years…..  Maybe instead of waiting for drugs and alcohol to take away another of my musical influences to put songs from my past on my playlist, I should do it now.

And when I think about Prince on my run, I also think about him generally being described as androgynous…. going from being Prince to “The artist formerly known as Prince” back to Prince….and what does that say about the struggles going on inside of him. .. how happy I am that it seems like we have made so much progress in accepting people for whom they are…. and how much I fear that there are people in this country that want us to regress….or are afraid of progress…. Then I think of Jake, who often says, “Every time there is fear, there is a chance to be brave, there is a chance to explore.”  If the people who are afraid would just be open to exploration, how different our world could be.  If we listened rather than scream over each other…

This is my life on the run….. everyone has their own way of processing things… some go to church, some mediate, some write.  Some people don’t have a way….they turn to alcohol or food, become depressed or lash out.  For me, for years, I didn’t have a good way to process life…. now when things happen, I run with them.


About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

16 comments on “When Doves Cry

  1. It always comes back to the music, doesn’t it? My life is defined by songs. Prince was an important part of me in the 80s. College student, I didn’t fit the mold of the typical nursing student at Marquette. But I found music.

    • My life is defined by so many songs…Funny how now I hear some songs on the “oldies” station, and it will take me back to a particular memory instantly.

  2. Ah, this makes me think lots about what my yoga teacher talked about today. She played almost all Prince songs this morning…or songs written by Prince. Prince wasn’t huge in my life… I don’t know if has to do with my generation since I was still so little in the 80s or if I’m really not too much of a music person. I listen to music on the radio or pandora all the time, I like music but I can tell I’m kind of clueless when it comes to certain iconic names and songs that are so well known by the majority. I’m this way with movies and celebrity news too. But when it comes to really thinking about it, I see someone like Prince and realize what incredible courage and talent he had in staying true to himself as an artist and who is really was… he put himself out there as he was and spoke his truth. I think this what we all crave in some ways. And certainly what draws so many to Prince and other artists who put themselves out there. It’s magic. He was magic. Reading stories, watching old videos, hearing what others have to say about his influence and music… it’s obvious he found his way of processing and speaking his truth through music. Anyway, long ramble. Take away sentence: “Every time there is fear, there is a chance to be brave, there is a chance to explore.” Nice. Thank you for your words.

    • Well, that sentence about fear is from my favorite yoga teacher / therapist. I’ve heard him say it many times…and it makes me think every time:)

  3. I love this. And you’re right, why wait for these icons to die before digging into their music? John Lennon has always been my favorite music icon and I remember my mom’s story of the day he died vividly (because I wasn’t born yet). So many brave souls, so many sad endings.

    I can picture you working in the NICU and I can only imagine how nerve wracking Y2K would be with those precious, fragile little babies in incubators.

    And to what you said about how people deal … I also run through it. It’s the only thing I really know how to do. That, or jump in the ocean and cry.

    • I was just thinking that I need to download a little Geroge Michael, a little Madonna, a little Sade…. when I read that sentence about you jumping into the ocean, I had a very clear vision of you jumping into the ocean and turning into a mermaid… like the movie Splash.

  4. I never heard Prince until I was older, but my husband adores his music. The man was clearly a musical genius, it’s a shame he died so young. I’m sure he had a lot more music in him!

    It’s always interesting to listen to the lyrics of songs now that I’m adult. When I’m running by myself I tend to pay a lot more attention to the words in songs, and they have a much deeper impact than they did when they were just ‘background noise’. I’ll have to add some Prince to my playlist!

    • I absolutely agree… I pay attention much more to lyrics when I am running (or when I hear certain songs in yoga) than when it is background noise. And about Prince having more music in him, I wonder if he was holding back some… I wonder if there was so much more he wanted to say but didn’t feel people were ready to hear.

    • Dee…I think that is the best comment / compliment…. It shows that through my writing I have been able to express myself in a way for you to get to know me and make a connection… It makes me feel like a writer…and it shows that you are brave enough to put yourself out there and say that to someone you haven’t met… really it’s about the power of words… Thank you!!!

  5. I am in mourning over Prince. His lyrics mean more to me now than ever before. Even “Let’s Go Crazy”! It’s like a cloak was removed from my eyes, or that I got reading glasses 🙂

    He stood for all the weirdos, and I am definitely one of them. Talk about True North. He never wavered from his true self, and was decades ahead of his time. I feel like I’m learning new lessons in re-listening to his music that I devoured as a teenager, though then, it was purely for the music, the escapism. Can you imagine the lessons to learn from his vault of music that’s never been released?

    “Let’s go crazy” and listen to all 80’s music on our road trip!

    • I seriously wonder if he has a vault of lyrics/music never released because he thought it was more than people could handle… In let’s go crazy, he talks about not letting “this elevator take us down”… and then he was found in an elevator…hmm…. anyway, yes, we can do 80’s music on our road trip…but I’m pretty sure we may be too busy talking to bust out singing with it.

  6. It’s amazing how powerful music is and how much it conjures up. So sad when I heard the news and spent that day (and many afterwards) listening to his songs and watching videos. The following day, my yoga teacher played Prince while we flowed and it was the most cleansing thing and then the sweetest Prince song during savasana. I’m still listening to his music and I really want the news about the cause of death to not be about drugs.

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