I went to a funeral this afternoon for a former colleague. Obviously, I’m saddened by her passing and very sad that she did not get to enjoy her retirement from teaching much. Death always seems to be a reminder, not about death but about living. I am well aware that my time on this planet is finite. It is limited. This acknowledgement of reality always makes me think of my choices. At the end of my life, will I look back on my life and appreciate the choices I have made or will I regret how I have spent my life.
This past Tuesday, I received a number of messages from my partner-in-crime about a live appearance that Duran Duran is doing in L.A. on April 1st entitled, “The Music of David Lynch”. I didn’t hesitate one bit when I declared that I would go to the show with her. Yes, this means buying a plane ticket and spending a big chunk of my spring break away from home. Some have subtly or not-so-subtly questioned my motive for this. Will the band play more than one song? Will they even play their own music? Will you be spending a lot of your touring money for just one song or a brief appearance? If so, will that be a problem later on for you? I calmly answered those questions both to the people asking and to myself.
If you have been paying attention to this blog lately, you might have noticed that I haven’t said much about the band at all. Rhonda has been voicing her dismay about Durantime, the lack of social media presence and more. Have I been quiet because I feel differently than her? Not really. I found myself in a situation in which I was almost afraid to start talking, to start really talking, for a number of reasons. A few years ago, I posted my concerns about a lengthy time between albums. I mentioned how the facts show that this will be the longest stretch ever in the history of Duran in which they haven’t either released an album or gone on tour. The response was overwhelmingly critical towards me (and Rhonda when she voiced similar messages). How dare I not be supportive? Don’t I think they deserve a life? Don’t I realize that art takes time? (For the record: My mom is an artist–I know about art and about how she has deadlines just like other professions, at least if she plans to show her work in art shows.) Thus, I opted to keep my mouth shut for awhile.
Then, over the fall, I spent a lot of time putting together that book that Rhonda showcased in a post here last month. It meant going back through all of my scrapbooks, this blog, massive amounts of emails and more to be able to tell the story of us, Rhonda and Amanda, to tell the story of our fandom. I realized how much each and every tour, how each and every step of this journey has meant to me. I was overwhelmed by the power of the memories. I missed it all so much that I physically hurt, at times. The grief I was experiencing was such that I actually went through the typical stages of grief, ones that the family and friends of my former colleague are now going through. I tried to deny how long they have been “working” on the album. I became angry–at them for not understanding how much they mean to so many of us and for not seeming like they care. (By the way, I’m still amazed that there has never been an acknowledgement of this blog that we do each and every day or the fan events we have organized and held.) Has all of this been a waste of my time? My energy? At the end of my life, will I look back at the choice to focus on my fandom so much as a mistake? Then, of course, there was bargaining and depression.
I don’t think I ever truly got to the acceptance part. I’m still disappointed in many of their choices. So, why go, you might ask? If I don’t go, who am I punishing? Them? They wouldn’t know or care if I didn’t go. Heck, they wouldn’t know or care, if I didn’t do the Daily Duranie anymore either. No, I would be punishing me. I would be punishing Rhonda. The truth is that touring and going to Duran related events have been some of the truly best times of my life. I have had the most fun ever on tour. I don’t want to let that go. Yes, maybe, this is me denying that all of this has been a waste. Maybe, all of this didn’t produce the results that I thought might happen. I know this much. I learned a lot about myself. I learned so much about our fandom and fandom, in general, that it isn’t funny. I gained friends and long lasting memories.
Here is what I hope for with my trip. I’m hoping and expecting it to be fun. After all, I get to hang out with my best friend for a few days. I get away from work and other responsibilities here at home. And, yes, maybe, just maybe, I will have a moment that will allow me to lose some of that disappointment, some of that frustration with Duran Duran. Maybe, I’ll remember what started me on this journey in the first place.