The sobbing purple bananas poured out of my pencil in a wave of tears at The Foshay in Minneapolis last June & captured the enduring anguish that still ravages my shattered heart nearly a year after Prince left us. I had gone up to pay my respects to Prince and to TRY to say goodbye. It was an onerous and impossible task trying to let go and I have yet to do it.
Dear reader my precious bananas have been on one hell of a journey.
The bananas were inspired from a line in Let's Go Crazy where Prince sings "Let's look for the purple banana until they put us in the truck" so I drew a bunch sobbing in the back of a weeping one and the elephant and flowers just sort of fell out of my pencil as elephants sometimes do.
Pancake Dan helped me secure them to the memorial at Paisley Park and he put them right next to one of many of his own portraits so he could keep an eye on them. It is really nice when someone offers to keep an eye on your bananas just so you know.
My weeping elephant and bananas were on the Paisley Park memorial for months and hung there on the fence near the entrance along with my shirt that I wore to the NPG tribute show at The Parkway and was still there raggedy faded but in tact when I went back in September.
The original bananas/elephants drawings were not very well insulated from the elements and the purple skied people running everywhere storms Prince sang about Minnie took their toll. Dan emailed me to say they were looking rough. He didn't know how much longer they would last as the mold and water damage were becoming more visible with each passing day.
I printed copies, sealed and reframed them with a poem by Maya Angelou
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignoranceof
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
We can be.
Be and be better.
For they existed.
I mailed the refurbished tribute to Dan who replaced my deteriorating originals. SIDE BAR: In the meantime I was banned from facebook for my bananas because sex or something
Yes yes Zuck I was trying to sell banana dildos on fb. You caught me. Spanking earned. **scowling emoji
Dan sent my original purple bananas and elephant drawings back which he had graciously cleaned up and which I had framed with special protective glass surrounded by black suede and are now safe and sound at home. They have been thru a lot.
I. went back to Minnie in September for the Revolution reunion and drew a cherry moon portrait which was surprising because I have not been able to draw with the 14 hour a day fervor I had prior to Prince death. His loss was hobbling in so many ways. I still can't find my passion for it so the cherry moon drawing was a gift, A blessing. A release.
There was deep catharsis and comfort drawing it and then making the 45 minute drive to Chanhassen to revisit the memorial. I left it on the fence next to the replacement bananas
Sadly I don't know what happened to the copies and the other items I left on the fence because the jackals that are running the estate have gone out of their way to be as revolting and disrespectful as possible. First by dismantling the fan tribute then adding a sickening sign discouraging any further tributes. So it went from this:
The first wave of mementos left in April and May were collected by the Minnesota Historical Society. But the second wave were left in the dirt and mud by insensitive bozos who dgaf. That still hurts, deeply.