I’ve been trying to write this for a long time now, but I’m really struggling with it. It’s rare that words don’t come easily to me, but what I need to say is so personal and yet something I know I share with so many others. I guess there are those out there who don’t understand mourning a public persona, but to so many of us, David Bowie was more than that. He wasn’t just a musician or an actor, although obviously that’s how he came into our lives, and his music is deeply important to me.
But what I feel is a jagged, personal pain. Yes, part of it is that there won’t ever be anything truly new of his to listen to, just “discovered” stuff, things he didn’t see fit, for one reason or another, to release at the time. And part of it is a strange anxiety that this music I love so much will lose relevance, become sort of another Beatles: “Sure it’s important, but….” And yet it’s still bigger than that. Who he was mattered to me, too. At his best, he was creating things out of such an authentic and beautiful place, and saying things that nobody else was saying, and with such humanity and kindness. I strive for that sort of self-expression in my own life. And at the same time, he made mistakes– albums that so clearly lacked focus and passion. Arguably, even his worst albums still had a few decent songs (I have a somewhat shameful love of “Glass Spider,” for all its goofy mythology and general silliness), but they lack a certain sort of intrinsic heart or fundamental honesty or something like that. And those are the albums I just don’t listen to. If they cycle past on my random play mode, I listen to a single song, but I never open the whole album and play it start to finish. And that also feels like it gives me license to stumble, too. I know that may be a bit silly, but there you go.
The other thing that I’ve read, and that resonated with me, is that he’s simply always been there.
I don’t need to know
know where you are,
only that you are
safe in this world.
Then I’ll be content
to get on with my life.
Eat, drink and sleep,
Look up at the stars.
He’s always been out there, living, creating, and that’s always made me happy, I guess. And now that’s gone, as well. All these pictures on my wall are of someone who isn’t with us any longer, whose family is devastated, whose friends mostly didn’t even know he was sick, and the whole thing just breaks my heart.
So. This is still not the piece I wanted to write. The words still aren’t there. Others have still said it better, and maybe in time I will find my words. For now, I close with love on ya.