Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Man who fell to Earth

I said it before, and I'll say it again, I hate January.  This January has been particularly brutal. Both privately and in social media. Privately, our family has had its share of stressful events. Then, there has been the seemingly endless onslaught of cancer deaths in the entertainment industry.  Yes, cancer takes lives everyday, and these passings are mourned privately within families.  The recent deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman have caused a stir in social media that I have never seen.  Many people frown upon the addictive and sometimes destructive nature of social media, but I have never seen a more beautiful outpouring of the collective consciousness on this planet.  For that, I am grateful to be a part of it all, because, I like so many am mourning.

Both Bowie and Rickman hit very hard, but Bowie in particular has ripped me to my core.  January 9th was the first year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.  This was a very stressful day for me and I was genuinely surprised by how much it shrouded my thoughts and feelings.  The next day, my husband woke me with the news of Bowie's passing.  We are both huge Bowie fans, having grown up in the height of his many changes. My husband in particular was saddened, as he had seen Bowie twice in concert and more aware "age wise" of his emergence on the music scene.  My first introduction to Bowie was MTV.  The first video I saw was Changes. I was immediately mesmerized and terrified at the same time by his Ziggy Stardust persona.  Of course, that concert footage was from the 70's and by the time it aired for the world in the early 80's, Bowie was already onto other incarnations.  I then saw him in Labyrinth and fell madly and quietly in love with him.  Yes, I was among many who wanted Sara to stay with him in the Labyrinth.  It would be later in life, as an artist that I would meet Toby, the baby that Sara fought so hard to rescue.  What a thrill.  I followed Bowie throughout the 80's.  I dare say, he grew more handsome with age.  He was certainly a hero of mine, both musically and artistically.

Perhaps, that is why it is why his passing is so hard on so many.  It is never easy when your heroes die.  I dare say, the older I get, the more I will see this.  We all will.

Last night, I read a very poignant article about Bowie's last days.

It described his work on his final project Lazarus, which has been seen as a good-bye note to everyone.  While a public persona, Bowie was intensely private about his illness.  We are only finding out that his death was due to liver cancer.  The article discusses his project and his courageous battle with cancer.  In the days following his death, I wondered if he had chosen treatment.  This article confirms that he had and the unfortunate side-effects one experiences.  As I read though this very difficult timeline, I began to reflect upon my own battle.  We were both going though cancer at the same time, and likely suffered many of the same side-effects at the same time (hair loss, etc).  This of course brought home his death even more for me.  I cried all over again, feeling as though I had lost a friend, as I had lost so much of myself during treatment.  Watching the Lazarus video was very poignant.  I felt his pain, his sorrow, and his need to express everything he had within, because time was escaping his grasp.  Seeing him leave us though the wardrobe reminds me once again, that death is a doorway.  Our time is brief.  While the stars look very different today, I am grateful that the man who fell to Earth touched and influenced so many with his beauty, talent and strength.  Bless you, David Jones, David Bowie, Lord Byron, Ziggy Stardust and the many, many personas you shared with us.  We will love you forever.

Art image by Patrice Murciano