I saw my baby, crying hard as babe could cry
What could I do
My baby’s love had gone
And left my baby blue
What kind of magic spell to use
Slime and snails
Or puppy dogs’ tails
Thunder or lightning
Then baby said
Dance magic, dance Labyrinth
I was never a huge David Bowie fan the way I am of other artists, but upon learning of his passing I felt strangely compelled to share with friends and family the depth and breath of ways in which David Robert Jones Bowie have touched my life.
And, that is most remarkable.
How much breath and depth David Bowie provided.
As a singer, songwriter, poet, playwright, producer, painter, photographer, actor, model, visual artist, humanitarian, esoteric and so much more he transcended expectation and reality challenging the notions of creativity, gender, sexuality, sensibility and belief in execution such as audio, visual and most importantly in the simple reality of our own lives.
He spent his life walking the thousands of intersecting lines between breaking mere convention and being unique. And he seemed to always to do it gleefully across all mediums, platforms and displays an interpretative manner that is encompassing all its own.
The most important legacy Bowie left us was not his music or his acting or any of his other art, it was his attitude. It was his identity. If there is one, and only one thing we should take from his legacy it would be to approach the creative side of our existance in a way that embraces the lifeblood of someone like David Bowie… or other crafty freaks who stood up for themselves beyond their own artistic entities.
Bowie made it ok to be different. To draw from the unfettered exploration of one’s imagination.
He did what he enjoyed. Not because it was expected of him, but because it interested him. And that’s why he was so successful at the great range of artistic employments he had. The risk, for him, seemed to be becoming a cliche and thus he always appeared driven to push the boundries for himself. To try something new. To push himself artisticly in ways he’d never tried before. To express something he was thinking or feeling in a way that he, nor anyone else, had done.
And, it was that charisma that allowed him to end his life on his own terms, so to speak, by producing a recording that encapsulated that journey as well as part of his own farewell. it is sad, and eerie and a testament to his genius all at the same time. For those of us who watched from a distance it further accentuated what we’d always known: he was unique just being himself.
The point of loving David Bowie was not to prove you actually had a diverse love of art, it was of our connection to the specific execution of his art that touched your soul and thus made you unable to let go of the previously conflicting parts of it pulling you away from your innocent and curious youth.
My love of Bowie was, and will probably always be, out of respect for what he was able to achieve on his own terms. The things he did that spoke to me did so on a fairly simple and sincere level: they were fun. First and foremost and always. For someone who loves big, grand, epic art for the sake of art that wasn’t my attraction to Bowie (though, I hold him in super high regard for it). No, it was, for me, the fun parts of who he was that were attractive.
Hopefully, not that I have a little padawan on the way, they too will come to understand that being different can be special and will not be afraid to tap into their inner creativity. I hope they will not fear being judged for expressing themselves no matter how unique it might appear to some. I hope they will embrace their inner Bowie.