Nina Simone’s story is one of pain, and her work is the way she carried it. It might be surprising to read now that she felt unfulfilled as a jazz artist and would have rather been famous for her piano playing, but that’s only because as the audience it’s easy for us to say what someone should do with their talent and career. We have a damaging tendency to meddle in things that should never be ours. Nina was singular in both her ability and the music she made. She will always be one of the best to ever do it. Those things are obvious. What’s less obvious is who she was behind all of the things she was famous for. Who Eunice Kathleen Waymon was. And it isn’t ours to know. At least not completely. What’s ours is to honor her work as best we can, and lose ourselves in her sound. To be grateful for the light she gave us, and grieve for the things she never found.