Where does inspiration come from? Creativity? Passion? Strength? On this day of reflection after the loss of David Bowie, I must pause and revisit these questions. Not for answers, but to acknowledge that finding intention in my life is more important than understanding the why of it.
David Bowie was bigger than life to myself and many others. He lived his art, breathed his creative passion and endured through sickness with strength, continuing to give to us what we all desperately crave: Pure Love.
I had an uncle that, when I was still in elementary school in the 1980's, introduced me to my love of music. I remember when I got my first Walkman and started taking it to school. I went to a small Montessori school that let me sit alone to do my work and I would listen to tapes over and over again. Some of my best, most focused reading moments at that time were probably when I would take the cassette out and scour the fold out for the lyrics, rewinding and playing songs over and over until I had the whole album memorized. All for the simple pleasure of being able to sing along with the same passion and expression as the musicians.
I'd labor on getting the intonations just right. First I remember doing this with the Police's Synchronicity album. There was also Madness, the Selector and the new bands tossed into fame by the new TV station called MTV. But shining over them all was Bowie. His emergence with his Modern Love album was for me my first introduction to his music, but of course, he'd been at it since before I was in diapers. Even without the help of the Internet, I soon learned I could backtrack into his already amazing career.
When I was nine years old I didn't really grasp the depth of the lyrics; what was modern love anyways? But I remember feeling the passion even so. Others of my peer group used to say how weird he was. I agreed, but I also felt something inside me that was akin to that strangeness.
I didn't know or understand the complexities of my home life at that time. I couldn't of foresaw the turmoil that was about to be unleashed on my siblings and I, but I now believe it was through music and the sanctuary of strange and weird that got me through.
Looking back, I truly believe that through listening to other artists delve into their own dark places, strange diversions and curious perspectives, I was given permission to explore these same avenues in myself. It is there, deep in the universal consciousness of the unknown that inspiration lurks, creativity pulses and passion purrs. They all lie just under the surface of the understanding. Strength comes from letting it all flow through you.
As we loose another illuminated artist from this realm, countless more continue flowing, giving and sharing. What he has left behind for us all to bath in is a beautiful reminder of a life lived well. He was tapped into the pulse of human experience; one only read his lyrics to know that.
Thank you Mr.Jones for your graciously artful life. You gave so much of yourself through your expression so that we could have the opportunity to see that possibility of expression within ourselves. I imagine your are now absorbing back into the source of it all, feeling pure love, pure light and stepping through the door, floating in a most peculiar way, and the stars look very different today...