not in our stars, but in ourselves
While I fully accept that the following was coincidental, I nevertheless wonder at some other explanation: in the wee hours of this morning, sometime around 2:30 or 2:45, I woke up. For some time – five minutes? fifteen? – I tossed and turned, unable to fall back asleep. A bizarre, gnawing sense of something being wrong worked its way into my neck, shoulders, legs: a physical sensation of dread. Since I’m a slightly nervous person by nature (slightly!), I assumed it was nothing. I got up, took a drink of water, went back to bed, tried to close my eyes and fool myself into falling back asleep, but to no avail. Therefore, I did what any tech-dependent millennial would do: grabbed my phone to check Facebook and Twitter.
The news must have just broken, just around the time I woke up. My friends in other time zones, where it wasn’t the dead of night (or my insomniac east coast friends), were all reacting with shock and horror to the unthinkable: David Bowie is dead.
I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t listened to Blackstar until today, but what a gift for him to leave us. What generosity and grace must it have taken for him, knowing his days were dwindling to nothing, to conceive and execute such a gorgeous meditation on eternity (where everything starts and ends, you know). And of course, there’s plenty of other music to choose from. My personal favorite is “Life on Mars?” – since it’s more or less my life story:
His duet with Queen, too, is pretty damn good:
One of the few comforts available, in the immediate aftershock, is the outpouring of love, gratitude, and awe. There are a few shitkickers out there, sure, with dumb opinions about who is and isn’t allowed to mourn, and how much, and how visibly – but the overwhelming response has been one of deep love and loss. That’s a sign of how revered he was, as an artist and a human. It has to count for something.
I’ve been pretty sad about it all day, and that will probably continue on for a while (especially since I’ve decided to listen to nothing but Bowie), but he left us such riches and wonders. “I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share” etc.