Why can’t I stop thinking about Madonna’s fall? Why do I keep watching it over and over? Why did it make me trembly and tearful?
Last night the echoing bump of her microphone reminded methat she is precarious. It made me sad about life….. It raised many existential questions, reminded me that none of us are inextinguishable; we all drop, we are all alone. Although she was surrounded by dancers as she flailed with her legs in the air, she looked solitary. It pained me to see her so vulnerable, so unexpectedly. The Brits are supposed to be a couple of hours where we can escape and forget our own troubles. And yet Madonna’s thud invaded my living room with a sharp reminder of all the times I’ve felt exposed myself.
Why was I so protective towards her, ranting “don’t say it’s because of her age, don’t say it’s because of her age”? When I say that her fall reminded me of the feeling I get when I see my own parents poorly or injured, that’s not to say I am colluding with any sexist or ageist jokes about Madonna. I’m using my parents as an example to illustrate why I feel that Madonna’s fall struck me quite so strongly. Just like my parents, I perceive Madonna as a steady constant. I need to perceive them that way, it’s what keeps me going. It is frightening to realise that even the strong will be weak. I didn’t want the media to acknowledge that my hero is growing older (not that her age had anything to do with her fall) because change probably terrifies me, and so does the all too swift passage of time.
But the story isn’t over. She got up, she carried on. What an absolute champion professional. I found her performance all the more inspiring because of her fall (although I wish it hadn’t happened). I hope you’re not embarrassed Madonna, I hope you’re not ashamed. I hope you’re not hurt – you showed us your humanity and you’ve kept me going for now.