Tribute to Jenny Davies

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It is hard to know how properly to word this tribute – but certainly nothing I say could embrace everything Jenny was.  Jenny, a friend from high school, took her own life this Summer.  She was talented, kind, a deep thinker, artistic and sensitive.  She was known to many in the various circles she mixed in, and most recently resided in Edinburgh.  I don’t know so much about her life up to when she died but know that she was troubled.  The song at her funeral, chosen by her parents, was ‘Vincent’, after the artist, by Don Maclean.  I’ve always been moved by the words, but now they take on a new meaning – it is not for our madness that we are mocked but for our sanity: the world does not appreciate the deep thinkers of this world – it doesn’t have time, or it is too scared about what the thinkers might have to say (the truth?).

What is also sad about Jenny’s death is that she probably felt alone when she died; and yet there are more close to her situation than is realized (I speak very personally here).  The lyrics, which I now associate with Jenny’s life and death, make me think more deeply about my own life.  Some people can live not thinking about what life means or what their place is in it – and some are very happy with their place in it.  One day I hope I will be; thinking deeply and reflecting is at times not rewarding – it brings pain and unkindness from other people.  Jenny had much more to offer than me; I wish she was still here.

Jenny

Jenny

Vincent – lyrics:

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant
For one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn, a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

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6 responses »

  1. I’m so sorry about your friend. No, our society has no time for deep thinkers and lovers of art or introverts or anyone that doesn’t like Jerry Springer shows or the like. I can relate to that song too. I remember when it came out when I was a teenager, I had no idea who it was about or what it was about but that it was sad. Many years later, I know only too well. I’ve listened to it more now than I did then. You see, my 23 year old artistic, creative, deeply thinking, poet, writer and 3rd year medical student daughter took her own life 4-11-13. She hid her depression all her life and didn’t want to worry anyone with it. We only found out about her depression in her suicide note. People who think very abstractly feel very alone in a sea of people who are shallow or just perhaps clueless. It makes for lonely souls who just can’t live here I guess. Thank you for that wonderful post.

    • I am also so very sorry about what you have been through – I am also touched you shared your story with me. How very sad about your daughter. My thoughts are with you – we don’t know each other but we share an understanding and for that I am grateful. I just feel it’s increasingly impossible to think concretely about many things but your comment makes me feel a little less alone about it.

      • Thank you. Unfortunately we are not alone. But then again, at least we know there are people that understand what we are going through, but I wish they didn’t have to.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose someone but especially when they take their own life. The truth is that we are all very gifted we just really struggle with finding that truth within. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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