Last Dance: Celebrating Donna Summer

May 28, 2012 by  

Donna Summer was on the radio in more ways than one. Now her music and spirit continue to vibrate through the ether and our hearts.

Sometimes, perhaps, often, we do not know how good a dance is until the word's "last dance," are heard. If we failed to ride the rhythm throughout the evening we may find ourselves desperately seeking a way to prolong the moment. The last dance becomes the most important. It is the one either vibrant with memories or the theme of disappointment. We love our celebrities when they are riding high on the charts but like childhood friends they can get lost in time when they are not standing before you in their sequins and colors. I remember when Donna Summer appeared on the music scene like a nova. Crowned with cascading hair and a sleek body capable of poly-rhythmic dance, she sang in a voice that took listeners into new spaces. Donna Summer was not just "On The Radio," she was on television, the live stage and in our minds. Her period of triumph was mostly in the seventies and eighties. Although we did not see much of her in latter years she was still active. She had a hit in 2010 and was in the studio recently. It was a great surprise to nearly everyone to discover, all too late, that the great artist had been quietly suffering from lung cancer. A few days ago she breathed her last breath on this plane. While in some way it may be true that that moment was her last dance, it is also true that her voice and image lives on. This is not only true because of the media we have but because whenever we heard one of her songs we will remember her, and feel the spirit of her gifts anew.

I honor the spirit of Donna Summer for giving her gift with full intensity, and for adding energy to our lives. It would be great, if we could all be so focused. Donna, we love to love you, Baby, in the highest sense. Be in peace.

When a celebrity passes human mortality is underscored. We feel the lost of an important part of our youth, the time of jubilation but the last dance comes to all of us in time, even though we may not contemplate its coming, not to ourselves, nor to those we love. One of my disciples learned that her mother suffered a Cardiac Arrest. She was immediately fearful of losing her, mindful that life without here would be unbearably different. By the grace of God, her mother was spared for another day. The mother told me later about the need to prepare her daughter and other off-springs for her eventual passing. It was a reminder of how little time we spend remembering that the dance will end. We can enjoy the beginning of the dance but we can also enjoy the last song, if we just meditate on the nature of this dance called life.

Right now, this moment, we have a last chance, for romance, for life, to share, to make peace. Meditate on that. You may live but someone important to you may be hearing their last song. Reach out.


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