“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”


Today is the anniversary of the day Jimi Hendrix was transported to this planet to do that voodoo he did so exceedingly well.

I won’t go on about his talent; I’ve done it before, and not half as well as anyone else.  But I do like the idea that he was an alien.  It helps give people something to hang his unexplainable singularity on.  The same applies to Albert Einstein.  Why else would his thinking and vision be so revolutionary?  You could even hang the alien label onto William Shakespeare, or Vincent Van Gogh. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson?  Aliens.  How else would they have basically created the blueprint of modern poetry so separately (and so drastically differently)?  Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt?  Yep, them too.

There’s so much about individuals like this that defies explanation.  How did such extraordinary talent and charisma and intelligence come to be?  Calling them beings not of this planet, extraterrestrials that were somehow delivered to humanity for some unknown reason, gives the more ordinary among us an excuse to continue being ordinary.  It’s okay to be an average person when you were born amongst other average persons, while these creatures drifted to us on some ethereal spacecraft.

They aren’t really aliens, of course.  While I do believe life exists on other planets, I’m not so sure about any of it ever showing up here.  Hendrix, like all the others I listed, were just extraordinarily gifted people who managed to discover and use their gifts.  Not all people are so lucky.  Some people never find what they’re best at, or they’re never given the tools to access their gifts.  Or, worse, they’re not determined or disciplined enough to do the hard work of nurturing their gifts.  So while we celebrate the music that Hendrix gave us in his short time on this planet, mourn a little for all the Jimi’s that didn’t get that chance.

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