Minutiae #18 Heroes

When I was a kid/young adult I felt weird. I have no idea if I was weird but I felt weird. A square peg in a round hole, me on one side of the world, the world on the other side as though there was a piece of glass between us. I guess this is just being an awkward teen and not having any idea what your place in the world is.

Then one day Ziggy Stardust blew into town and changed everything. Over the years he brought Diamond Dogs, Scary Monsters, Aladdin Sane , and Let’s Dance. That fresh breeze of overt differentness of David Bowie became a lightning rod of approval for my own feeling of not belonging. I loved him, I loved him, I loved him. I overcame my insane shyness and danced and pranced in our living room to an audience of one (my adoring mother) while I sang so the world could hear.

“In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch
Sashay on the boardwalk, scurry to the Ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch
(There’s gonna be sorrow) try and wake up tomorrowIn the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch
Sashay on the boardwalk, scurry to the Ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch
(There’s gonna be sorrow) try and wake up tomorrow”

Sing some more, she’d say and I would. Quite improbably I felt unabashedly most like me when I would get all dolled up and lay out my best Bowie performances for my mother.

The heart is such a crazy thing. It seems miraculous to me that a complete stranger can come along and make a girls’ life better. Make her place firmer in this world by showing that weird was just a better part of the world we live in. If he could join the human race, I could too. If he could dance, so could I.

I read a piece the other day by an ardent, life long Bowie fan who exclaimed that he wasn’t one of those fly by night fans like so many are. He’s bought every album, watched every interview, understood Bowie’s art from beginning to end. He never got off the train.

I don’t think I got off the train but I was not that person who remained an overt fan for the rest of my life. When I heard that he had died I felt sad. But as the week progressed I found myself thinking about him, his art, his music, his family, and what a profound loss it must be to have this super nova be fallable, to have to face leaving much too early and how hard that must have been for him and for those who truly knew him and loved him.

I loved David Bowie the artist. His art changed my life, touched me, twisted my heart, shaped me, made me stronger, made me better.
My mantra to this day when I have to speak in public is “If David Bowie can do it, so can I.” and I step forward on to life’s stage and try and give the performance of my life. Like he did.

Now that he is gone you find out other things about him that I didn’t know. That he is aquiet supporter of animal rights, that he licensed his song Heroes to the producers of The Cove for very little, that he was an early advocate against the senseless slaughter of dolphins in Taji. In the end David (Bowie) Jones was a human being like the rest of us. He was mortal, but he represents to me the best part of being human…the amazing beauty, art, that connects us even if we don’t know each other, have never met.

I went for a walk this week and found myself crying. I had no idea why. Then I realized it was grief. Saying goodbye to someone who gave me strength through his art and helped a young kid join the human race (with occasional confidence). Thanks David.

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1 Comment

Filed under Random Musing, Uncategorized

One response to “Minutiae #18 Heroes

  1. I found myself playing the ‘Prettiest Star’ and ‘All the Young Dudes’ as I came home from a night of music and laughter yesterday – I was disappointed the musician last night did not pay tribute to David Bowie – my only complaint about her!
    As you, I was a major fan of DB – he came into my life at a time when I was extremely vulnerable and scared and excited all at the same time. Never knowing what may lie around the corner in all aspects of life – fashion for one! I never ever viewed him as being weird or bizarre, like so many. I just loved they way he morphed into different alter egos and pulled it off with ease. He was a Rock God, we were his puppets.
    I was happy to be one.
    I cried most of Monday and Tuesday – was quite shocked at my heart felt reaction to the loss of this icon – but it was buried deep inside my gut; the teenage years being the most influential formative years to reflect on. Like so many other things in life, you never know when things will hit you until they do.
    Lovely story Tessa, as always oxoxoxox
    Fran

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