Panorama of San Bernardino

Monday, January 11, 2016

Starman-my tribute to Bowie

Bowie has always been there for me.  Since before I was born. One of my favorite songs, "Space Oddity" was released in 1969. I came into this world two years later. By the time I was in elementary school, Bowie had morphed again.  He was Ziggy Stardust.  All theatrics. A precursor to punk.  Always a visionary, Bowie's music transcended genres.  He could do punk, pop, blues, jazz, New Wave, and alternative, all without missing a beat.  He influenced all of my favorite artists, Morrissey, Joy Division, Siouxsie, The Cure, the list goes on and on. In a way, he was perhaps my favorite artist.

I was a little girl when Elvis died. My mom cried by the swimming pool when Casey Kasem announced it. She was devastated.  Years later, I know exactly how she felt that day. My heart feels as if it has been ripped apart by tweezers and even though I didn't know him personally, I feel as if I have suffered a great loss.

In the last year, I have become obsessed with Bowie again.  I started listening to all of his work over and over and for Christmas, my husband got me a four CD set that I was making my way through. I say making my way through because I couldn't get past CD 2, the songs were that good.  From Space Oddity to Rebel Rebel to Suffragette City to Heroes to Rock and Roll Suicide to Ziggy Stardust to Young Americans to songs I don't remember having heard like Bowie's cover of Lou Reed's White Light/White Heat (you must listen to his version, you will be amazed and transported).

Last night about eleven, I heard Bowie had died and I did what only a true fan would do. I cried. Like a baby. I tried to sleep but couldn't and as I listened to his music and read the posts about him on Facebook, I cried some more. This morning, I woke up and put on my Bowie tee and despite the flu I can feel still inside of me, another reminder of mortality as if I need one, I muddled through and lit a candle and played his songs over and over. It was the only thing that helped.

And then I watched the music video for his magnum opus song Lazarus, from his album Blackstar (just released three days ago on his birthday on January 8th).  It starts out with the words, " Look up here, I'm in Heaven." For most of the song he is in a hospital bed, blindfolded, two holes for eyes.  But, toward the end, he rises up as if rejuvenated and starts dancing, writing, and creating. After the video/song was over, I looked up as if into the stars and could feel my the tears from the power of my Starman's message.

Life is short. Fleeting. We only have this now. And I waved a figurative goodbye. To Bowie. To my father.  To all who were here and now are gone. And I vowed to create and create until I can't no more.  That is surely the best tribute, maybe the only tribute, I can offer.

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