A Tribute to Julee Cruise

There’s been so much written in the wake of Julee Cruise’s passing that I feel quite superfluous, but it’s amazing how many people are saying the same things that I’m feeling. It’s made me feel the connections that exist within this fan community more and more; I started to see the strings that connect us all. Julee Cruise was, and will always be, one of those strings. The sheer volume of people saying that she was ‘the voice of their childhood’ is astonishing. Some of us watching in the old days, before the Internet, thought we were the only ones who were experiencing the wonder of Twin Peaks.

For me, it wasn’t something people talked about at school. Nothing I liked was ever cool so I just kept my mouth shut. It was mine and I didn’t care what other people thought. When I got home from school, I wasn’t an awkward teenager who no-one really liked. I was a part of this mysterious world so far away. The ethereal voice of Julee Cruise was such an indelible part of it, from the stuck record at Jaques’ cabin proving that there was ‘always music in the air’ to that sad night at The Roadhouse when the most haunting song of my life was etched into my soul forever.

I hope Julee, off somewhere in the eternal, is aware of the outpouring of all these tributes. I hope she has the knowledge of the lives she touched, and I hope she has peace. I wanted to celebrate her in a poem. Haikus didn’t seem the way this time; too structured and set, so I thought I would just do this as a stream of consciousness about that night, so long ago, when a song made what was going on on TV spread out and engulf me wholly.

For Julee

So I’m sitting there in bed and it’s night

It’s not really night it’s evening but it’s night for me because I’m young and when the sun goes down it’s night.

I’m young and stupid and I don’t know much about anything.

I know I like this show, though

I know I like it because it speaks to me and makes me feel like I’m not alone

It makes me feel like a grown up

Like I could be an adult and I could live in a world like this where there are heroes and villains and people you can’t figure out

But it’s ok that you can’t figure everyone out because that’s the mystery and that’s what keeps you coming back; keeps you interested, keeps you interesting.

So I’m watching the show and they’re in a bar and there’s this song. It’s a beautiful song and it’s already inside my heart and I know I’m going to have to find it afterwards. Just me and my black and white TV in my room; in my safe place where I come to join this world every Tuesday. A world I hope I’ll never leave. It’s all dark; just the light from the TV because I don’t want any distractions; nothing else, just this. It’s my place, my town, more than the one I live in where there’s no reasons and everything is harsh.

Then something horrible happens

On the screen; something horrible that I have to watch

And then I’m back with the others and it’s another song, and I didn’t know what it was to feel part of it after all. I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was possible, for this voice, the voice of a heartbroken angel, the voice of heartbreak itself if it came to life. Delicate and powerful at once; a song mesmerising as from a siren but with only comfort there and no enmity contained. And I feel the whole world in this show spread out and engulf me in my room. I’m not a watcher any more; I’m connected for real. I’ve been taken in by this song like a lost wanderer welcomed to a warm hearth.

Her song cuts though every doubt I have about myself in that moment and I am one wave on a whole ocean. I have a glimpse of what is possible.

I know this song and this voice is going to stay with me forever; that I’ll hear it in dark times and it will comfort me. I’ll hear it on warm summer days when the sun kisses my face and all is calm. I’ll hear it in the chill of winter as I drive home tired and angry in the dark. I’ll hear it when I’m in the depths of grief and I’ll hear it when I’m at the top of the world. Every time, the voice will bring me peace and remind me of this night.

She will float through my life and never touch the ground; she’ll be with me like a comforting Angel.

And even though she’s gone now and I know that, she will live on in me and in the rest who shared that night. Her song and her life will touch others as they hear it for the first time. For this I love you, angel. You brought me a piece of my strength, a thing to hold on to when there was trouble, a comfort and you asked nothing in return. Thank you Julee, from the teenager who knew nothing and the adult who knows not a whole lot more. It’s the mystery that counts.

Thanks for reading everyone.

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