Like many of you, I woke up to the news of David Bowie’s death on Monday morning.
Also like many of you, I never met David Bowie. I never even saw him live. But when I heard the news, I felt a strong sense of loss and disbelief.
I read a story this week where the writer stated she wasn’t even aware that Bowie could die.
It is an absurd thing to say. And yet, as soon as I read it, I realized I felt that way too.
It wasn’t because he was a revered rock star. It wasn’t even because his music was so good that I could never live without it. Well maybe, it was a little bit of that.
Bowie was a man from another planet, made of moon rocks and magic.
His songs were strange and beautiful and struck every chord in your misfit soul. Or at least, in my misfit soul.
I first encountered David Bowie in the movie, Labyrinth. Sitting in my elementary art class, I watched Bowie dance across the screen as Jareth in his wickedly teased wig, artfully arched eyeshadow, and his hard-to-miss codpiece.
We watched Labyrinth for years in art class. It was a movie filled with music, magic, and mischief. A perfect pick to entertain a room full of kids.
There is at least a five-year span of students that attended my elementary school that know every word to “Magic Dance.” We have our art teacher, Mr. Castenson to thank for that. Him and the mesmerizing man himself, David Bowie.
Bowie was a musician, an artist, a storyteller, and a visionary. He was everything we wanted to be, whether we knew it or not. He was the words we couldn’t sing. He was the guitar licks we couldn’t master. He was the costumes we couldn’t wear. He was all the rules we were afraid to break.
Bowie took conventions and norms and crushed them under his stacked heel.
Without him, our world feels much duller, much quieter, and much less filled with magic.
This week’s video is “Magic Dance” by David Bowie. May he rest in peace.