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Friday, June 29, 2012

Tumblr 'Candles' for Ryan, Week 1 (June 3-9)

[These are simply copied over from tumblr, with minimal html tags added to keep them readable on this site. The pictures do not belong to me, and I will add in photo credits once I find them again, soon. All of the text in these posts is my own, usually late night, ramblings. Any comments which were not part of these original posts are set apart by square brackets. The dates are a bit confusing in places, since in a few cases I wrote mid-day, and otherwise I was writing late at night, after midnight. The order of the posts is accurate, though, regardless of what day they were technically posted or written.]

June 4, 2012
I obviously spend way too much time on my computer these days (and clearly the Celtic Thunder guys post stuff online a LOT too, for me to say this). Anyway… I think I was so inordinately thrilled with the silly things Keith posted today- a cat in a lion costume, a can of Mexican beer- simply because it broke the silence of online Celtic Thunder Land. I may not be sitting around in some hospital waiting room, or kneeling in a church somewhere praying and waiting for good news, or any news, but there’s a funny silence as if I might as well be in some sort of diffuse, virtual waiting lounge, waiting for the facebook post or tweet or blog post that will tell me what happened and whether my beloved Irish singer is going to be ok. I am still pondering the implications of this aspect on the psychology of modern folks- not only do we barely know the people we see every day, but we can more or less know random people we have never met or even chatted with online, well enough to worry about them as if they were close friends after all.

June 6, 2012 (written late at night, June 5)

Ok, so these are not exactly ‘real’ candles- these are the QVC flameless candles Ryan took a photo of while doing the St. Patty’s Day special thing at QVC this year. And it is still a few hours till morning, so this is a bit early. With any luck we’ll hear that he is fine, long before I am up to post a proper candle, but I am still feeling really crummy and if I can get to sleep I intend to stay asleep as long as I can. (Ok, not REALLY crummy, just a headcold, but I am pretty pathetic about those- sore nostrils and sore throat are enough to set me whining.) If there is still no word from anyone about Ryan tomorrow, or if we do find out something that warrants more candles, I’ll find a real candle once I am awake and finished whining for a while.

June 6, 2012

Another day, another candle. I like this imagery as a metaphor- first of all because this is what musicians do, passing bits of light/music from their own souls into the souls of their listeners. This is why musicians touch us so personally, and in part why thousands of people Ryan Kelly has never met, or had barely known, are praying and lighting candles for him as they await news regarding his condition. But also, the candle imagery touches on one of the amazing and rather cool parts of this whole sudden nightmare- fans who never met each other, and may never meet in person, are drawn together by this, and lend each other the strength and comfort that they need. No doubt the fan community which has grown up around Celtic Thunder will be stronger for having gone through this week.

June 7, 2012
A real candle, and green because as most Ryan Kelly fans know by now, the Celtics have been winning since Ryan vanished from our social media lives. The Celtics play again tonight, and I’d bet they have a few more viewers than usual now that their games have become a sort of link between Ryan and his fans. (I know I had very little idea about sports outside what Ryan and the other CT guys posted, and now that they are posting less, I somehow know quite a bit about the last two Celtics games, for me anyway.) I really wish we would have had news before I could get around to posting this one. Still, if we hear nothing, at least we can almost safely assume he is not dead, and that’s at least something.
[The Celtics games became a sort of symbolic interest of quite a few fans this past month. Even I knew what the scores were and kept tabs on the games as they were being played, and I am still clueless as to how basketball is scored. Quite a few fans were on twitter and using @RyanKellyMusic in their tweets, so this became a sort of makeshift forum while all the usual forums were closed, and a lot of these tweets on game nights were following the games.]

June 7, 2012
Twitter wish for tomorrow
It is often said that you only get something you really want if you ask for it. So..

Dear Universe,
While I would of course love a tweet from any of my favorite celebrities, the message I really want, tomorrow if at all possible, is from Mr. Ryan Kelly. I would absolutely love to find in my twitterfeed tomorrow a message like “I have such amazing fans/etc, I’m very sorry I scared you, but I am alive and will be just fine.” I don’t need to know what happened, or how long he’ll be recovering before he’s back on stage. I also don’t need him to promise he’ll be on tour with CT in the fall. I do hope I might finally get to meet him at the Denver show, but if he doesn’t know what his plans are anymore, that’s ok. Really. I suppose I would settle in the short term for just hearing from someone that he is not dying, but getting that tweet in my twitterfeed from him would be absolutely fantastic. I don’t know how impossible this request is, but I suspect stranger things have happened, right?
Many thanks in advance,

June 8, 2012
More candles for Ryan. A few for Neil as well today. We’ve seen tweets from all the other Celtic Thunder guys again, now, but as of right now, both of my favorite CT guys are absent from my twitterfeed. (Both are single as far as I know and just about my age; I know, its a silly reason to like them better, but there seem to be fewer nice, hot single guys my age, the older I get.) I hope Neil has all the support and love he needs right now, and I hope we get to hear soon that Ryan is all better, or at least will be soon.

June 9, 2012

Saturday’s Candle for Ryan Kelly. And, yes, this one is posting a bit early, too, though for Ryan it is already Saturday anyway, I think. My nose hurts, and I’m not far enough from being sick yet to no longer feel whiney about it, so might as well post this early and sleep in again.

It gets harder to write these notes every day, especially knowing so little. Yet, I do not want posting candles to become just another thing to check off of my to-do list. After all, a picture of a candle is about as meaningful as a picture of a lobster, if there’s no thought behind it.

It has become increasingly hard for a lot of folks in the CT community, me included, to stave off the frustration of not knowing what is going on with Ryan, and the badly timed or badly framed posts by Celtic Thunder announcing sales and a teddybear made an easy target, but now that there is no announcement anywhere saying that Ryan is in hospital, most fans who are not online a lot have no idea anything is wrong.

Sales are good. We all want CT and the guys to make money from sales on their albums and merchandise so that they can keep touring and making new music for us. And, if Ryan’s family insist that CT not say anything there are real legal restraints on anyone from CT saying something anyway.

Yes, the total privacy/silence route that Ryan’s family and CT are following is a bit concerning- there’s nothing that he could have done, or that could have happened to him, that would cause any of his fans to leave him, and certainly if Ryan were calling the shots he would not want his fans to be kept so completely in the dark and worried where a simple tweet could make all the difference. But there are a variety of medical situations he could have found himself in, in which it might seem easier just to keep things quiet. I am creative enough to come up with dozens just off the cuff.

Anyway, the short form of this rather long-winded rambling is this: I am frustrated, too, that we have not heard anything yet. I think there were better, smarter ways they could have handled the PR in this situation. But, none of this makes one whit of difference in how I feel about Ryan or any of the guys. It’s a bad situation, but there are no bad guys here. That said, here are candles for everyone involved, including Ryan. May we find when all this is over that we are in a better universe for what we have learned in this challenging time.

June 10, 2012

Some yak-butter candles this time. It has been a week since we last heard from Ryan and almost a week since we saw that fleeting message about his being hospitalized. While that message made us all a bit more worried (understatement of the year?) than we otherwise would be, by now fans who missed that message are getting worried because they have noticed his conspicuous absence. For Ryan Kelly not to tweet at all during the last three Celtics/Heat games, something must be terribly wrong, and none of us needed that initial message to figure that much out.

The rest of the guys are no doubt shifting into rehearsal mode, for their shows in Atlantic City. After all, as the song says, the show must go on. That they aren’t acting torn up or worried is not surprising, really. When you work in entertainment, your job is not to drag your private life onstage, but rather to channel your hopes and fears and worries and grief into great performances that inspire and move others. This is one thing all the CT guys do very well. They do offer us more of themselves than most celebrities do, and I am sure their fans love them all the more for being ‘real people’. Still, we do not hear about all their troubles and triumphs, and right now whatever they are thinking and feeling about Ryan is a part of their strictly private lives. I agree that it seems odd that they say nothing, but they haven’t said nothing exactly. Well, Neil has said absolutely nothing, retreating entirely from his adoring public, a silence that speaks all the more loudly for how much he was posting just a week ago. George has put on his professional face, still sharing of himself as he always does. Keith actually did say something, in a way, in one of his more eloquent tweets thus far. But for all of us, the show goes on. I don’t want to see the end of Celtic Thunder over whatever has happened to Ryan, nor does anyone else, I think.

In the meantime, while life moves on, we continue to send our thoughts and prayers into the Universe for Ryan Kelly. He belongs on that stage with his friends, and we all want to see him back where he belongs.

[End of Week 1]

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