As I’ve worked through the seven stages of Bowie grief this week I have been pondering how best to respond to the departure of the Great One from this bardo. (I may have done the stages out of order; I hit Depression earlier in the week, then Anger after listening to one too many shallow “tributes” from people who had no idea what they were talking about.) And today I think I finally reached the last stage, Hope/Acceptance, and found the right attitude, which goes something like this:
Yes, the singular human being we call Bowie is gone. But the spirit of Bowie will be with us always (not unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi). He was one of the most recorded, most photographed, most documented people in the history of the world. The art, the evidence, the inspiration is all still there. And more to the point, a little bit of Bowie lives on in every one of us who loved him.
So. It is our turn to be Bowie now. And it’s going to take all of us, because we can’t do it as well as he could – maybe not even a millionth as well – but if we all work together, we can at least take a shot at it. And that means, starting today, being the most creative, confident, generous, and glamorous version of yourself.
Start that project you’ve always wanted to do but been afraid of. Or think of a new one and get cracking. Give your self-doubt a rest, and when inevitably it rears its ugly head again, think of David – who always and above all else believed in himself. If ever you find you can’t believe in yourself, believe in the Bowie that lives inside you.
And when I say glamorous, I don’t mean wear glitter makeup – though by all means do that if you want to – I mean hold your head up, put your best face forward, and walk out proudly into the spotlight that is the world. Help others to do the same.
David would have wanted it that way.
This was excellent, Bill. Maybe perfect! Very insightful & poignant … made me cry again over the loss … it’s been a few days, because mostly I just force myself to stay in denial. I think that’s why I can’t/don’t listen to Blackstar: I just don’t want to think about him being gone.
He was always an inspiration as an artist and as a human being.
Yes, I love how you put it, let the thousand Bowies bloom.
pasted the last few paragraphs onto FB, giving you full credit of course, unlike what Bowie did to Stevie Ray.
I’ll be channeling my inner Bowie in front of a couple hundred baseball coaches tomorrow.
On the road to healing, and now your excellent words and call to action help me gain perspective. I’ve lost total track of time lately — the stages — but I shall aspire to that which you state so eloquently. Thank you, Bill, from the bottom of my heart.
Like many musical artists I live vicariously through you, Bill. Bowie did not impact my musical world in my formative years, let say it was Bowie-in-reverse. I took the Isley Brothers-James Brown fork in the road as a youngster instead of the Beatles-English Invasion turn. though I did trace back down the road and took that waltz down that road much later in my life that led me to David Bowie. His constant reinvention has been astounding and body of work amazing on the Picasso scale. I will embrace my earlier artist roots and follow your recommendation to explore my inner Bowie. Maybe it will rekindle those embers that was a part of my youth…Thank you brother, Bill. I am humbled by these events that marks the beginning of our new year..