A curious bit of trivia that's always stuck in my head / 'Can't Get you Out of My Head' / was that Kylie Minogue had scheduled the release of her landmark album Impossible Princess for mid year of 1997, but held off it's release following the tragic death of Princess Diana in August that same year. All of the artwork, everything was done. What an extraordinary hand of timing that is, to think she could well have been out in the world with that comment like prophecy. In any case from an artful perspective, what followed is a significant bit of cultural pathos anyway. Allow me to, explore...
In 1997 I was writing the national news section of the morning bulletins, for a radio station in my home town of Newcastle (Australia), when Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed had that fatal car accident. So for weeks I wrote and re-wrote the script that tried to make sense of the story, in a sort of haiku 2DayFM commercial radio style. I’m not judging that. I actually really liked the opportunity to catch people where they are, listening to music driving around, delivering snippets of news during their morning commutes.
I remember at the time, a cultural murmur about how little girls could no longer dream of being princesses. That the world's heart break over the loss of Princess Diana was actual, mythical and existential. Watching recent documentaries about the expectations on William and Harry to walk through the streets at their mother’s funeral, actually turn impressions of the Queen on the head. Back then she was seen as distant and disconnected, but now I get her point that she had wanted to protect the children and had wanted to allow a space for their grief.
Reporting on those times, back then was the beginning of this curious media practitioners phenomenon, of how when you write and re-write and re-work news bulletins from 4am to 9am every day, or monitor breaking news for broadcasters (it comes to mind tears streaming down my face at work, watching the rescue of office workers in the immediate aftermath of the Auckland earthquake)... or simply to, again and again make sense of stories, that those stories become 'nearly' lived experiences.
I say "nearly lived experiences", to qualify a gap here. It's the way in which some stories even at an apparent distance to our immediate reality are so deeply effecting that we do actually have an experience of the event. Like outward moving ripples on the surface of water, or the question of who's caring for the carer? There are moments when a society shifts culturally. When stories touch our hearts and inspire total strangers to start spontaneously talking and sharing those feelings en masse. In those times, it's actually happening to the observers in these refractive ways, simultaneous to those of you heartbreakingly at ground zero, different but nonetheless effecting. Bless. We are experiencing loss too. Or, we are also experiencing joy. Some moments like Cathy Freeman lighting the flame at the Sydney 2000 Olympics or a couple much like any other - getting married can fill us all with joy.
In yoga or mindful meditation we talk about the role of the witness and the witness perspective, which is supposed to give us an objective, strategic emotional distance from a trip the mind is taking. But in literal proximity as humans, we can bare witness to the life events of others and it deeply touches us.
For me, this truth, is the promise of the sacred feminine - relatedness.
Described nicely in We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love by Robert A Johnson, who suggests: