alee_grrl: a still of chihuro sitting on a balcony overlooking water and watching the train ride across the water (train watching)
I'm taking a brief break from my bar prep to write out my response to hearing of David Bowie's death. There have been a few other celebrities whose lives, works, and ultimately deaths have touched a thread in my heart (Terry Pratchett and Leonard Nimoy for example). I usually manage with a moment of silence and a revisiting of their works. I've spent much of my morning reading and watching tributes to this esteemed artist and decided I wanted to add a brief bit of my own response.

I first fell in love with David Bowie as a child watching the movie "Labyrinth." He was captivating and fascinating, and his voice! I remember hearing "Space Oddity," "Modern Love," "Let's Dance" and "Chinagirl" on the radio growing up, but didn't fully discover his music till I was in my late teens when I heard "Little Wonder" and "Dead Man Walking" of his "Earthling" album. I promptly bought that and then started digging in his back catalog and falling just that much more in love. There are so many excellent songs to love and admire, and so many that speak to being an outcast, an alien in the world, to being different.

In college I discovered some of his movies. I ended up writing a paper on "The Hunger" as a freshman. I was again struck by his ethereal beauty and how he felt both masculine and feminine. Here was someone I longed to be in many ways, captivating and androgynous. His continuing explorations of self and identity as he got older in many ways taught me that it was okay to keep trying on new identities and trying out new things. Experience in life causes us to expand and grow, becoming more complex and adding to our multitude of internal contradictions.

I spent the weekend listening to his newest album, "Blackstar," which is retrospect is very much a goodbye album. It is telling that the first time I heard the title song "Blackstar" I thought of the weeks spent at my father's side in hospice and the transformative aspects of death. The whole album is classic Bowie, brooding and ethereal with loads of self-reflection apparent in the lyrics. I was stunned when I read about his death this morning, and yet not as surprised as I could have been. From all accounts he, like my father, met his death with open eyes. He prepared a final good-bye for his fans and spent the remaining time with his family. And my thoughts are certainly with them, because I know how hard it is even when you have been preparing for the moment for months.

So thank you, David Bowie, for showing us misfits that we can find a place in this world, for teaching us that it is okay to keep exploring yourself as you age, and for just being an amazing well of talent. May your spirit rest in peace and may you find joy in whatever comes next.

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alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
Manda

May 2017

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