Monday, February 28, 2011

Long Live the Queen


She fell today. A six foot monarch and mistress of the theatre. She was a Queen. Few people hold Queen energy and own it as palpably as Alicia did. She was over six feet tall, blonde with a high soprano belt who grew into her beauty as she grew into her twenties. We were in high school and college together moving through the same theatre programs, same plays, playing opposite of each other on stage. In Kiss Me Kate she played Kate and I played the sister she hated Bianca. In Macbeth, I played Lady Macbeth and she played Duncan the King I coerced my husband into killing. Let me be clear. Alicia and I were not friends onstage or off. We both held Queen energy and of course there can only ever be ONE Queen. But today, as I hear of her death the breath is sucked out of me and I am astonished. The Queen had fallen.

Alicia had a heart transplant in high school. I don’t remember the details of her heath condition but I remember her saying to me at one point there was nothing short of a sweet justice once everyone realized she was not just complaining or making things up about her health, she really was sick. A Queen’s response. She bore a long battle scar down the center of her heart –that in the early days after the surgery she would try to conceal but after a few years she soon outgrew concealing and wore her scar shamelessly. If people stared who cared. She knew who she was. She was a warrior, a priestess, a survivor. She was a Queen. I saw her Queen because I hold the archetype of a Queen and we are not easy people to get along with, especially among other Queens. We are a bit dramatic and at times melancholic. We are better than others but our shadow side really says this "Betterness" is "Lonliness" and Queenly/Lonely keeps others at an arms length to avoid rejection. We are magnificent to witness onstage and cool as cucumber to converse with but don’t cross us or its off with your head.

Alicia was regal and statuesque with a touch of awkwardness and humor mixed in the pot. She had a flare for the dramatic in her own life, which mirrored mine. Today a Queen has fallen. Today my head is bowed and I stand in silence with a deep, deep respect of who she was during her life. She was the first of my peers who I grew up with in Tulsa to pass. We had participated in numerous plays and theatre classes together. Theatre being the oldest form of ritual, we cocreated magic and transformation among ourselves, our cast, our audiences. When one of us falls it affects us all. I bow my head to you today Alicia. I honor you. I honor your magnificence.

Long Live the Queen!