I will never know what it was like to lose Bowie as a husband or a father or even as a friend, yet here I am, one of the many thousands of people who loved but never knew him, distinctly poisoned by loss.
“Along with anyone who’s been awake during the last 45 years,” as my dad puts it. As for why, I think Amanda Palmer says it best:
A hole has been cut in the universe. The Earth’s energy is off-balance, as if some critical element has been removed. A man who as much proclaimed himself inhuman is dead, ultimately mortal, like the rest of us.
In creation myths gods may die, leaving in their wake a sense of devastation and loss. The world that they created and governed somehow goes on.
Music lost a god this week, as did fashion, eccentricity. A figurehead of rock ‘n’ roll and weirdness.
Often in these myths the death of a god entails some second coming.
I don’t expect we’ll have another Bowie, in my lifetime, if ever.
It’s not like me to soliloquize like this – much less to make public what are essentially irrelevant personal thoughts. I like to tell myself to save my breath, keep my feelings private, and ultimately squash them entirely. I like to moderate how I’m perceived for what I think or how I feel.
This is, therefore, an exercise in what Bowie stands for to me, more than his musical presence: self expression. Standing before whomever comes your way, unapologetic for what you are.
However undeniably sappy – and some might say unwarranted – this post may be, I get to express it. It’s how I feel. Thousands of people feel Bowie’s death, some much more than I, and plenty have been vocal about it. Even though I didn’t know him, never met him, wasn’t alive when he started changing music, I feel his passing, and I’m adding my voice to the thousands of others. It changes nothing. It harms no one. It’s an exercise in futility – but in expression, and if Bowie exemplified anything it’s that expression can be powerful, magnificent, ethereal.
There is a hole in my universe.
My world goes on – with the memory of a King and his influences in stone.
You will be missed, Bowie. May I hope to live half as unabashedly and authentically as you.