Eric Clapton and change.
A powerful example of grief and repair.
Normally my week-end posts are lighthearted. But I do hope you will forgive the departure for today.
Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will recall that on the 2nd August I published a piece under the title of Changing the person: Me. It offered several examples of how personal change or transition is tough but that the rewards that come from understanding the personal and emotional consequences of big life changes are immense. As I wrote then,
The most important thing to note, and this is why so many ‘change’ ambitions fail, is that change is deeply unsettling at first. When change happens for the majority of us, often ‘forced’ on us as a result of unplanned life events, we are left deeply unsettled; a strong feeling of being lost, of being in unfamiliar surroundings. Think divorce or, worse, the death of a partner or child, reflect on how many sign up for bereavement counselling in such circumstances. Big-time change is big-time tough (apologies for the grammar!).
Then I came across the story of how Eric Clapton coped when his four-year-old son fell from the window of the 53rd-floor window of his mother’s friend’s New York City apartment. Here’s an extract from the WikiPedia entry:
The years following 1990 were extremely turbulent for Clapton. In August 1990, his manager and two of his roadies (along with fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan) were killed in a helicopter accident. Seven months later, on March 20, 1991, Clapton’s four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of his mother’s friend’s New York City apartment. He landed on the roof of an adjacent four-story building. After isolating himself for a period, Clapton began working again, writing music for a movie about drug addiction called Rush. Clapton dealt with the grief of his son’s death by co-writing “Tears in Heaven” with Will Jennings.
Here’s Tears in Heaven. Please stop whatever you are doing now and play this video. In under 5 minutes it demonstrates the power of the saying from Henry David Thoreau, the American author and poet – “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves”.
And going back to that WikiPedia entry …
In an interview with Daphne Barak, Clapton stated, “I almost subconsciously used music for myself as a healing agent, and lo and behold, it worked… I have got a great deal of happiness and a great deal of healing from music“.
Let me close with another saying, this time from George Moore, the novelist, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”