There is one damn song that can make me break down and cry
Monday morning. 0615 hours. Following the morning constitution walk with the pup, I’m building the fire because the damp has come back to my home in Twin Peaks. I’m unplugged in the morning. I don’t know the world beyond the confines of the Thrasher Homestead. My phone pings; a text from my husband.
Hubby: Did you hear that David Bowie died yesterday?
I open Google and look, and look. Swiping through news articles, press releases, twitter feeds. Praying, hoping it’s a hoax – as is the norm now in the age of internet news. Six different sources later, I know the truth. I respond to my husband.
I sit in front of the fire and just cry. I think about how I thought that with the new Twin Peaks series filming we might have seen Mr. Bowie in the thick of the NorthBendNeck land where I live. That won’t happen now. It feels devastating.
Then I worry about the others in my life that love Bowie – my brother, Aaron, my daughter. I wipe my tears and see if they know they know. Yes, they are “gutted” as my brother posted. I feel their grief and mine is multiplied. I’m weeping again. Thinking about not just these two loved ones, but all the memories Bowie’s art has been a backdrop for in my life. Too many to recount here. But they span my entire life. I told a friend that Bowie was my Art Messiah. He truly was. I looked forward to every song, performance, interview, and campaign.
I check in on my daughter, who is crying along with me. Just days before we all were celebrating his life with the release of his 25th record release. Most notably since she was big enough to be in the kitchen each year she’s baked a cake for David Bowie’s birthday, this year was no exception. I give her small condolences that she’s not alone in her grief. And it’s real grief.
But, no time for crying. It’s Monday. There’s firewood to be stacked. Laundry to rotate. Dishes to be done. Poultry maintenance to done. And youngest son has a doctor’s appointment.
Youngest son sits at the breakfast table while I tend to the damn dishes, my mind whirling with memories of a show in Southern Germany in a tiny, ancient venue that Bowie played. The one and only time I’d seen him live. Son asks me if I’ve heard about Bowie. I tell him, yes. He can see the sadness sweep over my face.
“Oh, I’m sorry I brought it up,” he said. I reassure my son. We talk about Bowie’s work, his importance in my life, in so many people’s lives.
En route to the doctor’s office, my favorite local radio station, KEXP, is as gutted as the rest of us who know and appreciate the width and breadth of Mr. Jones’ work. They are playing a Bowie remembrance. I begin to cry. Singing The Jean Genie and Suffragette City, remembering, and crying along.
But, life continues, yes. Wipe the tears and pay for the doctors. Drive kid back to school.
Back in the sanctuary of my writing studio, I commiserate for awhile on social media with my friends who are stunned. Then while watching the videos for his latest release of Blackstar (the LP of which I have on back order because I took too long to order because like my daughter, I thought Bowie would be here forever), he’s scribbling his latest opus in the music video, scribbling, scribbling all off the paper and onto any surface that will take his art. It was time to get back to work, with the inspiration to push my art much as Sir Bowie did.
I write. Many, many words. Many more words than in many days. It’s a good thing. One good thing on this very sad day.
Hours later from the moment I heard the news that The Thin White Duke had passed and I still feel like fuck. But, I’m coping, because I remember that art lives on. That David Jones is dead. His family grieves. His friends are missing him. But, David Bowie is still alive. He lives on in his art. The music we all dance and grieve to today. His performances in Labyrinth, Twin Peaks, and countless others live on and inspire us.
Thank you, Starman, for the gifts you gave us. May we all inspire to be as prolific givers of ourselves as you were.
P.S. FUCK THAT BITCH CANCER. Ugh. She steals everything beautiful from my life.