I move the stars for no one...
We have now spent one day without David Bowie in this world and I must admit, it does seem darker. I've been reading a ton of tributes over the past 24 hours written by musicians, artists, actors, TV show hosts, and my own friends. And it's beautiful. It's amazing. It's heartbreaking. Here's mine.I wrote a blog when Robin Williams died. It's not surprising how similar my reaction was when I read the news. This was another legend that shaped my childhood I was losing.A friend posted the report from the Hollywood Reporter saying David Bowie had died following a battle with cancer. It felt like cold water had been thrown on me. I shook it off and thought, "Impossible. He just released an album and video. My old boss is throwing him a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall, I just read about it. This is a hoax." I went to turn off my light but stopped. It was the Hollywood Reporter. That was legit. I didn't want to know the truth but I couldn't sleep without knowing. So I went to Google. It took a few refreshes but there it was. The truth. I was surprised how the tears came.Many of us are saying how it seemed Bowie was immortal. That's because it really seemed like he was. No one ever imagined a world without him or if we did, it was when he lived to be 127 and still looked AMAZING but finally decided to go back to the sky and give the Sorcerer's Stone to someone else.Doctor Who fans always ask "Who is your doctor?" Because the man had so many different personas, it's kind of like that for Bowie. Who is your Bowie? Mine is the Goblin King.Labyrinth is my favorite movie. Hands down. It has been since I was little when it first came out but I never realized how much I loved it until I kept watching it and it made me feel something different every time. It's meaning changed as I grew up. It's message about growing up but keeping your imagination alive and true friendship has affected my life so intensely, I can't help but feel like a warm butter is poured into my body when I press play. It's like coming home. So we felt watching it last night was our way of grieving because that was my David Bowie.I absolutely loved the Goblin King. He was the bad guy but I totally had a little girl crush on him. Even with his angled eye shadow, glossy lips, huge hair and feathered capes, there was something incredibly attractive about him and I think that's because Jareth was played by David Bowie.Bowie has this confidence, this commitment, to everything he does. He resonates joy with everything he performs. Every role I've seen him in, whether it is in film, television, or music, he is having the best time. And Labyrinth is marvelous proof of that.He commits so much to the Goblin King and creates this wonderful villain who you kinda wanna worship and be around. His offer didn't seem so bad to me especially if I got to wear that pretty dress and go to weird masquerade balls.He acts with the puppets as if they are real. In particular, I noticed a scene with Hoggle, after he rescues Sarah from the Oubliette, Bowie crouches down to Hoggle's eye level and really digs at him as he would another human being in performance that he's trying to obtain his objective from, which is, in this scene, pissing Hoggle off. Watching it last night, I just thought how fucking good it was. In every scene with the goblins, he speaks to them with no cloud of "This is imaginary". Bowie believed so hard in whatever world he had entered into that it comes naturally and makes you in turn believe that much harder that this creature, these high stakes, are all real.To not mention the music of Labyrinth would be an actual crime. It's just great. Like really really great. During "Magic Dance", I noticed my husband and I were both tapping our feet without being aware of it because no matter how many times you hear that song, it still makes you want to jump up and dance. The music is sophisticated for a children's film but still approachable for them. The lyrics have depth but the songs are catchy. I had every one memorized when I was little. I still do. I always appreciated it, even as a kid. They were some of my favorite songs. Except the Fireys tune. Those things are damn terrifying.From there, I discovered Bowie. My father, the master of music, shared with me all the great legends, including Bowie, which was an easy "Yes, show me more!" because of Labyrinth, not to mention Bowie's work was filled with costumes and makeup and playing pretend which is what I was (and still am ) all about.I found that his music is filled with stories. He made rock and roll theater. His lyrics are rich with characters and tales of their adventures. You crave to know more about Major Tom and that China Girl. Think of how many Bowie songs have been used in films. The the most telling of how brilliant his work can be is Moulin Rouge where "We Can Be Heroes" is skillfully placed into the medley between the two main characters and it sounds like written dialogue. I remember learning how so many songs I knew were written and performed by Bowie when I was first discovering him. It was mind blowing. It is mind blowing still. Listening to the radio yesterday, song after song that I love played and it flooded me with memories and warmth and heartache. Each song different in style, story, vocals. But I love every single one. Bowie's catalog is seriously remarkable.I don't have his all albums. I don't have all his movies. I don't know everything about him and I know there are bigger fans than me out there. But the beauty of it is that's not what his legacy is about. David Bowie means something different to each of us. Maybe it's just his music. Maybe it's just his humanity. Maybe it's his acting or fashion contributions or his work in the science fiction genre. Encompassed in all he did is the heart of it: he was a trail blazer. He kicked down doors and opened windows that were sealed shut. He explored everything he could. It's like he would see something in the distance and think "Huh. I wonder what that is. Let me go check it out" and then basically create a whole new sound most musicians wouldn't exist without.Bowie was the definition of cool. I mean, shit, the man had two different colored eyes and could pull off a suit like a motherfucker AND full face makeup and a jumpsuit like a supermodel. AND IT WAS ALL COOL. He let us other weirdos know it was okay to be different. More than that: it was awesome to be different. It was awesome to explore and create and try something new even if it wasn't mainstream. It was awesome to immerse yourself into multiple unique characters and still be comfortable with who you are as a human being. You didn't have to hide any more.Many have said it better than me. Most actually. The stories, encounters, experiences have been touching and beautiful to read. And so many of them feature a statement like the one Matt and I shared yesterday: I think Carrie Brownstein said one of the best things I've heard about David Bowie's passing.
It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire color is gone
We did. We lost the man who made magic and gave us the soundtrack to our lives. A man who surprised us all, as he always did, with his death from a battle with a disease that keeps stealing the best from us. A battle he did privately while making a whole new album because the man did not quit. He was always creating something new, something weird, something fascinating. His new album is once again something completely different and unique and intense and I love it. It is clear now it was his goodbye, the clever creature.I truly believe he was made of stars and has returned to them. The man who fell to Earth and helped us all dance a little more and appreciate our weirdness and express it without fear. I don't know what the world will be like without David Bowie. I know it will continue on a little brighter because of what he gave us all. But there will never be another quite like him.Thank you, Goblin King.