As another living legend passes on, I think about the way people choose to live their lives, and how they purposefully or subconsciously conduct themselves in ways that will be remembered long after they have left us.
JJ Cale died this Friday at the age of 74. Of course, I didn't know the man personally, but hearing about any kind of loss will always affect me on some emotional level-- the reality of being a sensitive human being. It breaks my heart, but also warms me in a peculiar sort of way, knowing that those who loved him deeply are going to be missing him deeply.
This was written about him in the days after his death: "JJ Cale was loved by fans worldwide for his completely unpretentious and beautiful music. He was loved even more dearly by all those he came in contact with as the most real and down-to-earth person we all knew." (CNN.com)
As someone in pursuit of an artistic/creative path, I wonder how I will be remembered when the time comes. First as an artist/aspiring writer? Or first as a person (and a good person)? I bet JJ wished for the latter above all else, and it was simply of consequence that his memory be shrouded with the fact that he was a talented singer/songwriter and musician.
Just last week, I got into a conversation with a friend about our need for permanence. Immortality, I think is a better word for it. Some make history. Some make art. And some have children. How many good people live under the radar and out of the public spotlight, who will only be remembered by the ones who loved them closely and their family members? How important and lasting is that impression we leave behind?