‘I don’t want to hurt anymore…’ An appreciation for the life of Whitney Houston, dead at 48, February 11, 2012.

February 20, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Article Archive

Now she doesn't hurt anymore.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. To understand this story you must have been in love, wildly, passionately, “have to have it, have to keep it, can’t live without it” love… what’s more you must have loved the Wrong Person… the person everyone and his brother said was calamitous for you, hurtful, damaging, completely baffling to the world…. but completely clear to you.

Have you loved this way? With abject submission, with a focus on the beloved so intense that even you cannot explain it? Have you experienced the heights of ecstasy, wondering how you had ever lived without this person… then plumbed the depths with this same person, the person who did to you what you never imagined… and you were grateful, yes grateful, for every indignation, humiliation, sordid revelation?

If you have never had such love, then you will never understand Whitney Houston… and must never presume to judge her.

And so today, for the incidental music for this article, I have selected “I Have Nothing”. Go now to any search engine and find it. Now make it a point to concentrate on the music, the lyrics, the inimitable soaring presentation that takes you into the inexplicable recesses of love in all its manifestations, to a place only known by real lovers, mindless of anything but the love that is consuming them minute by minute, hurtfully, painfully, known only to them… and joyfully.

If you have never had such love, then you will never understand Whitney Houston… and must never presume to judge her.

The girl next door, born August 9, 1963.

Whitney Houston arrived on this planet in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick, the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin. She could hardly have had a better passport into the world of music. She started with the blessings of a revered sisterhood, with their belief in her and assistance… but all that would have been so much dross without The Voice, the voice that gave her the world and all its glittering prizes.

And right from the start The Voice was there, pristine, piercing, pure, thrilling, able to touch the hearts of others because it came straight from her heart. As such she had everything…. even when she sang about having nothing.

Her career was simply a matter of letting others hear The Voice, for once they had done so they instantly became adherents, supporters, believers. And so the girl with the perfect freshly scrubbed looks, the perfect name, and The Voice that was beyond perfection, started her almost effortless journey to the top of the world… for to hear her was to want her and the riches of her uplifting sound.

“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”

Her ascent started at age 11, as a soloist in the junior gospel choir in the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned how to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” a song she should have kept with her and sung often in the turbulent days to come.

But Whitney’s destiny was not in gospel music, though she always insisted that she had never forsworn her gospel roots; some in the black community thought otherwise and were quick to say so and condemn.

The first song she released was “Someone For Me”. It foreshadowed every song that followed: it was an unchallenging combination of slow tempo, smooth sound, and vocals that didn’t take her to her limits… or make any demands whatsoever on her listeners. But it did the job… it launched her; it signalled the arrival of a new talent… and it sold reasonably well. Thus she sashayed through the door to success and the attention of a world glad to hear her…

Her two next releases, her two next hits “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love For You”, took her — and each of us — higher… though we knew there was much higher to go… and so with each record, each hit we went up, up, always up; carried by The Voice which was always greater than the tunes she sang of love, longing, desire, and the promise of sublime eros and total fulfillment.

She knew what we wanted… knew what we needed… and she delivered it to us with a dance beat that took us beyond care and worry, to a divine moment with the one we cared for and in whose eyes we glimpsed forever. And so it should have gone on… until she met the quintessential bad boy, every mother’s nightmare, every good girl’s secret dream, the man who asked for everything, demanded everything… and with each thrilling step changed everything to the point of devastation, despair, degradation. And at last she understood what fulfillment meant… and its terrible costs.

Bobby Brown was his name.

He entered her well-managed, richly endowed, picture-postcard-perfect life in 1989 at the Soul Train Music Awards. And all the known verities died….and if you believe in fate, then you must believe that it was Nemesis who threw them together, to the detriment — and profound fulfillment — of both, for there must have been such fulfillment, or else the costs can never be understood.

Six years younger than Houston, he was a man of unrivalled passion, insistence, rage, violence, selfishness, cruelty…… and it was this man, with a kit full of chaos — who changed Whitney Houston forever and took her down the dark alleys of love, for make no mistake that even with each declension this remained a love story…

And so from this moment she sang for him such songs of such fierce longing that we knew we were hearing the truths on which she now based her life:

“Don’t make me close one more door I don’t wanna hurt anymore Stay in my arms if you dare Don’t walk away from me Or must I imagine you there I have nothing, nothing, nothing If I don’t have you, you, you, you, you.”

“I never knew love like I’ve known it with you.”

And so the best years of her life were the worst years of her life. And she lived them in all their squalor, horrifying reality, disgust, addiction, abashment and confusion. Yet she stayed… Why? Because as she stated with adamance, “I can’t run from myself, there’s nowhere to hide.”

Others gave advice, an ocean of advice, to get up, get out, get ahold of yourself, girl; but they were not in love with Bobby Brown and never understood his primal magic.

And so they married… and divorced… fought in private and in public… and loved each other to the exhaustion of both, the end the disgrace of one, the death of the other.

Now her pain is over… but The Voice, her great gift from God, abides… leaving us the best of her, every soaring note a eulogy for the lady who loved not wisely, but too well.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Details at worldprofit.com

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