I don’t know when it started. It may even have been the moment I heard the news that Prince had died (although I certainly wasn’t aware of it at the time), but from somewhere deep inside me a desire emerged to “find” him. More than a mere curiosity, it was a yearning to uncover the person beneath the persona, the mask he had presented to the world. This yearning became impossible to ignore.
As I perused video clips online, I discovered early concerts with performances from his “Dirty Mind” tour that gave me pause. I couldn’t take my eyes off this young, charismatic, seductive ball of energy flaunting his sexiness with complete abandon. I recognized an intense aliveness in him that sparked my interest even more, as if he were beckoning me to wake up from a long slumber to go crazy with him. I knew that “craziness” because I, too, had experienced my own desire to live life freely, past the dictates of the limited social mores.
On May 4, 2016, just days after my first glimmers of awakening to Prince, I wrote in my journal, “This Prince thing is cracking open my heart big time.” I had no idea what I meant by “this Prince thing,” only that whatever was happening to me had something to do with Prince. I was all over the place emotionally—ecstatically happy, singing and dancing one moment, sobbing the next. I would feel invincible and unstoppable, then I would crumple like a deflated balloon.
Each morning I’d awake at the crack of dawn and feverishly scribble in my journal, asking for guidance to my one question, “What is going on?!” I was able to find a couple of terms that seemed to describe what I was experiencing—a spiritual awakening or a spiritually transformative experience (STE). These explanations seemed as good as any.
I had been wanting to listen to Prince’s Purple Rain album but procrastinated. Once I finally got to it, I sat myself down in front of the stereo, plugged in the headphones and gave it my full attention. I listened intently to these 1984 songs from a movie I never saw, and discovered that they did ring a bell. But something stirred within me as I listened to the seventh song, “The Beautiful Ones.” I heard, “Baby, baby, baby, what’s it gonna be? Baby, baby, baby, is it him or is it me?” His voice was building to a crescendo of wails, getting louder and louder until he squeaked, “What’s it gonna be, baby? Do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want YOU!” As he screamed this, I gasped.
My heart began racing and I could hardly breathe. I unplugged my headphones and turned the sound way up, letting myself sob out loud as I got caught up in his passionate pleas. I wanted to become one with the sound. Trembling, I squeezed my eyes shut, wrapped my arms around myself and rocked, trying to soothe away the seeming panic. What is happening?
I felt consumed by a rush of energy like a gust of wind, and decidedly felt a presence right there in my living room. I could not stop crying, but thankfully my fear began to subside and my sobs morphed into tears of joy, wonder, and appreciation. Still, I couldn’t understand what was happening.
Logic versus knowing
I was trying to make sense using my logical mind. I absolutely knew I had felt an energy and a presence while listening to “The Beautiful Ones”, but how was I supposed to believe it was Prince? There had to be some mistake.
If it was Prince, maybe it was some sort of weird cosmic accident…Perhaps he landed in my living room on his way to somewhere else, or maybe I had been too open and somehow pulled him in…nonsensical ramblings. I tormented myself with questions, like, why would Prince be knocking on my door? Why me?
Doubts about what I was experiencing plagued me for a long time, especially during the first year or so, challenging me with one of the biggest human lessons—to feel worthy and to accept love. I have since come to trust that Prince did intend to be with me as soon as he left his body, and that there were “good” reasons for it. In fact, later I would discover that we had made, what could be called, a “soul contract”, possibly planning this whole thing long before coming here. More about that later. But, oh, was I tormented by the question, Why me?
A new language
One morning later that May, I heard specific words with the now familiar rush of energy. Was I recognizing a certain cadence, rhythm, or vibration that resonated with me? I decidedly heard what I would call “impressions of words,” although my physical hearing was not involved. I perceived a particular and familiar voice. Like a toddler understanding her very first word, it hit me. While I had been doing nothing more than eating my breakfast, I heard, “Please listen to my more recent music, you will find it more to your liking.”
I dropped my spoon, gazed out the window to the Boulder Flatirons glistening in the morning sun. Oh my God, I hear you. Plain as day. My first impulse was to duck and run, so incredulous it was to actually be understanding words that might be coming from Prince. I knew I had to follow the coaxing of the voice, so I bought and downloaded Prince’s last recorded albums, “HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two,” and he was right—they were more to my liking. Some of the lyrics blew me away, they hit so close to home. Later I heard, “The answers to your questionings are to be found in my music.” Oh dear, what if I mess up and interpret them incorrectly? This telepathic way of conversing was new, especially since I hadn’t known him, and I felt insecure.
I decided right then and there to become laser-focused, to listen intently whenever I sensed that unmistakeable energy around. I knew I was experiencing something quite profound and needed all my faculties on deck, so I practiced distinguishing the voice from other chatter going on in my head. I asked for no outside help; rather, I prayed for “guidance” as to what to do. And it has paid off, as I have learned that Prince has, indeed, communicated through songs, lyrics, and his words, answering my questions. But in the beginning, I felt so much inner turmoil because I just couldn’t wrap my head around “this Prince thing.”