Monday, January 11, 2016

He blew our minds

It's an unusually sad day, one of the saddest in recent memory.

David Bowie has died.

This information is very hard to process. Does someone like Bowie give in to the banality of death? Or, as others have suggested, was he just passing through our little blue planet on his way to somewhere better?

I'm floating in a most peculiar way, dipping in and out of Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane and Low and Ziggy Stardust, unable to do much work today, immersing myself in his massive, beautiful talent, so very sad, tears coming and going. I have never shed tears over a celebrity death before, not Lennon or even Lou Reed, but this one I'm taking personally. It is personal. He was the soundtrack of our youth, every song, as my friend Vivien points out, represented a love affair, a moment. Every single song takes us back to a particular place, a specific time. When I was 19 I was sure he was God. Not in a silly way, not in a drunken, oh wow maybe Bowie could be a deity way, profoundly, insistently. I thought he knew something that no-one else knew. His lyrics were magic, each word imparted with intense meaning. He spoke to ME.

And I find I'm not alone. Today, I'm surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who think this is personal, who believe that Bowie spoke specifically to them. He was a refuge for the freaks, the outsiders, the dorks, the people who didn't fit in. He sucked the humdrum out of life as a teenager in the English countryside, made us dream of glamour and transcendence and glitter, and blew our minds. He was everything.

And only a few days ago I was driving with the man I love through the cold, blue sunshine of Joshua Tree, windows rolled down, singing Life on Mars at the top of our lungs, holding hands and smiling as the sun flickered through the desert. And he knew the words too. All of them. How is this possible, I thought, to be in love with a man who also knows and loves Bowie as I do. This could be the most perfect day (it was January 1, 2016). This could be bliss.


Debo said...

Oh Bumble, you conveyed my feelings of yesterday to Tee. I woke up in shock hearing 'the late David Bowie', and I thought, huh? He just released an album? Sad sad youth and love affairs are coiled tightly with his music...times and faces appeared to me and I too wept...cried for all of it...David Bowie, those loves, that life just plain gone gone gone. So glad you are happy, and so glad that horrible day is over and doesn't have to happen again. Big hug from Ottawa, CAN Deborah xx

Unknown said...

I am right there with you....Over a month has passed and I still feel the bruise...
So many of my peers, when I tell them how I feels(and there is a little incredulous guilt that I feel the grief so keenly and completely) can only say in a hush, "Me too!"
On February 29, Leap Day, I went and got a Ziggy lightning bolt tattoo'd on my wrist.
Yep, I'm 53, and haven't gotten a tattoo since I was 18, but it felt utterly right and necessary.
It is about an inch long, above where a watch strap and bracelets hit. I can see it everyday. It is a vow, a mandate written on my skin. A constant reminder that time is short, to not play it safe, to dare greatly, and if I fall , I fall as stardust.

I raise my glass to toast the burning-bright life and eternal legacy of David Bowie.

diane in mount airy