Monday, January 18, 2016

Farewell, Starman

Image courtesy of Elmar J. Lordemann (de:User:Jo Atmon)
(Own work — photography by Jo Atmon)
via Wikimedia Commons.
This is a week late, but I have been ill. I am deeply saddened by the passing of David Bowie. His existence was something I always just took for granted. I first discovered him as the Goblin King in Labyrinth when I was a little girl, and since then, he's always just...been there. And now he's gone. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

I first fell in love with his music when I heard Space Oddity when I was in 6th grade. It was hard for me to believe that that singer was the same guy I had come to know from his '80s work. I loved the song so much that I 'stole' the title for a poem I wrote; quite possibly my best work at the age of 11. I think I still have it floating around somewhere. Back then I was going by the name Stacy McCartney. 

I've always had a soft spot for David Bowie's earlier music, as well as his songs from the Labyrinth soundtrack. Labyrinth was the ultimate slumber party movie when I was a kid. Whether I was squealing and howling with my sister over how ridiculous Bowie looked prancing around with his big hair and tight pants (and even bigger bulge,) or cracking jokes about his alleged love affair with Mick Jagger (which seemed hilarious to us middle schoolers in the '90s -- back before the world became politically correct,) David Bowie was a bright spot in an otherwise dark and tumultuous time in my life. I learned to appreciate his artistry more once I grew older. Now he's an old favorite.

Something I've always had in common with David Bowie is anisocoria, a condition that results in unequally dilated pupils, although his was far more severe than mine ever has been. I always loved that I had that in common with him. I used to wonder how it affected his vision, if he saw the world the same way I did. But then, perhaps nobody viewed the world the same as Bowie. He was in this world, but not of it.

David Bowie still influences my work. One of the novels I've been working on is to be called As the World Falls Down, after his song. Perhaps I will dedicate it to him.

David Bowie's passing has resparked an urgency in me to create, to tell my stories and release them to the universe. My own mortality has been weighing on my mind lately. Despite the sadness his passing has brought, David Bowie has always brought me joy. And I would like to pass that on, to keep that fire going. Nobody will ever replace the Starman. But we can pay tribute to him by remembering, and creating.