We’ve lost another amazing artist today. David Bowie was a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
He entered my world of relevance somewhere in the 70’s through the music my parents typically had rolling through the house. At that point, I had no idea who he was or which songs were his. I never connected songs to people until I discovered Weird Al. At which point, I only payed attention to parodied songs. Over time, I took note of which artist sung what songs. It really helped with being able to pick up 45s and cassette tapes of the music I enjoyed.
I had known David Bowie by name and song only for many years. I had no idea what he looked like until the movie Labyrinth. His part in that movie would make me look him up in magazines and books at the library. He struck me as a most unique individual. He had reinvented himself a few times over the years. When something didn’t work for him, he changed. He did that anytime he needed to.
What prompts self reinventions? Self-reinvention comes from the discovery of a problem through self-reflection. It was at this point in life that I’d started taking stock in who I am and what I want from life. This was the point in my life that I started actively looking for something outside of my grandparent’s Southern Methodist box of spirituality. It was at this point my father noticed my interest in non-western religion and spirituality and provided me with the necessary direction and literature to start my journey.
While I can’t say that David Bowie was THE catalyst that taught me that my life was mine to to follow whatever path I wanted, he was one of many. However, he and Freddy Mercury were the most eccentric and flamboyant ones.
I never met him in person. I never saw him perform live. I never was his [pick your social network] friend/connection. He and I were never pen pals. There was no direct communication between the two of us, ever. However, he was still an influential figure in my life.
I will miss him.