Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance the Blues

I woke up this morning, like so many people, to the horrifying news that David Bowie had died.

My alarm clock is also an internet radio, and so when it goes off every morning, the radio goes off with it. Since the alarm is programmed to my local public news station, I wake up to something horrifying more mornings than not — as if the act of being awakened by an alarm wasn’t bad enough. But I digress.

I think I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that he’d had cancer, but it had never occurred to me that he wouldn’t be alive forever, in the same way it doesn’t occur to me that my husband’s ancient healthy cat won’t be alive forever. I know there’s a flaw in the logic, but I don’t feel it.

Today I’m feeling everything. Too much. And because I cannot express it half as well as my friend Paula Billups did on her blog today, I’m just going to share her post here with you (with her permission, of course). Click on the photo of the man to read the entire piece. It is well worth the five to ten minutes of your time it will take to do so.


2 thoughts on “Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance the Blues

  1. I’m currently playing ‘Moss Garden.

    I’d like to reproduce here what my writing friend Sam Snoek-Brown said:

    One of the most reassuring aspects of all of today’s tributes to David Bowie are the reminders of who he was as an artist. For all his theatricality and identity-shifting, for all his performance and persona, he was at heart just an artist trying to be his most authentic self, whoever that happened to be in any given moment. In interview clips, he describes himself as nervous about performing his art, but he was unafraid to experiment in his art, to push his own boundaries and, in doing so, to push our boundaries too.

    I had a moment this morning when I was reflecting on the grandiosity and glamour of David Bowie, his vision, his huge and multifaceted persona and the brilliance of the art that he produced. I thought, as so many artists often think, Why bother when there is such a person in the world? What could I really have to add? But David Bowie’s existence made bothering possible. David Bowie’s existence did not negate all other art but encouraged, inspired, supported all other art. And he managed to do so, for all his showmanship, without any real egoism. When I hear him talk about his life in film and music and theatre and fashion, I hear a kind of humility in his voice, a man who exists behind his art and because of it — but a man who puts his art first. I hear the voice of a man who was just trying to do what he does in his own way. And that’s all any of us can hope to do. It’s comforting, actually, and certainly inspiring.

    There are bigger Bowie fans saying more important, more insightful things today. But this is what I’ve been thinking about: Bowie’s gift to all artists in all media and genres, and especially to the genreless, to those who won’t settle for any one medium, to the brave individuals who challenge themselves and then challenge everyone else, and thereby change the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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