Tuesday, 12 January 2016

RIP David Bowie

I was not a huge David Bowie fan but I have to admit that he was a pretty unforgettable kind of guy. He was devastatingly good-looking, lived a hedonistic lifestyle, was matter of fact about his bisexuality and created music that struck a chord with millions around the world. If he had passed you in the street you would have had to stop and gawp.

In an age of fabricated stardom- think silly reality TV shows where wannabes shout, sorry, sing covers in front of live audiences- a man like David Bowie was a rare thing. That sheer honesty of conducting one's life on one's terms is the sign of a person who knows themselves enough to ultimately only care about what they think. Don't confuse "I don't give a shit about what others think," with narcissistic, self-absorbed, ego centric selfishness. Those who live life on their terms however outlandish or colourful those terms may be, are fearless in their belief of themselves. They're the sort who possess and display an inordinate amount of courage. They're least likely to appear doe-eyed on your doorstep and beg for your approbation. They will probably never ask your opinion at all. What they will be though, is exceedingly charming and probably the life of the party. And they most definitely will have a disconcerting ability to see through the haze of bullshit that constitutes the average person.

There are few people in this world who have the courage to be themselves and to discover the life that was intended for them. We often hear about destiny being set in the stars but I do believe there are those, like David Bowie, who wrestle the sword of destiny and carve out the life they exactly want. It is possible but few will have the guts in their lifetime.

Reading the comments in various media on the death of Mr Bowie, the recurring praise is one of admiration for a great talent and how unique his music was. He stands out amongst the crowd because quite simply he was beyond ordinary.. He challenged himself and pushed the boundaries further away. He revolted against the norm and invented his own prototype. He purposefully went so far out into the (metaphorical) desert that he was forced to find the genius within himself. His music was inspired by anxiety, apprehension and loneliness. Artists can never create out of thrilling bliss; angst and sadness give rise to their opposites which the artist searches for and craves through creative expression. Miserable people leave a priceless legacy behind for happy people to stare blithely at.

All of us share a similarity with David Bowie- we too could take the chance to become extraordinary. It is worth remembering always: Tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est. The whole of life is nothing but a journey to death. - Seneca.

Photo copyright SvD.

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