I'm writing this because writing things down is the only way I've ever been able to process any of the sadness I've experienced in my life, and since David Bowie gave us so many beautiful words over his 51 (!) year career, I thought it fitting I might try to give some of my own clumsy words back to him.
I have always felt odd and out of place in the general world, though I've gotten better at faking an "I belong here" attitude as I've grown, though I'm still, at heart, lacking that connection with most. I was a painfully shy child who found solace in any creative outlet possible. When I stumbled upon the music of David Bowie I saw an older sibling figure, the leader of a cool club of weird cats where anyone was allowed in, as long as we promised one another to always be ourselves, and always have our fellow cuckoo's back. Bowie's flamboyance never seemed to me a cry for attention but rather an outward reflecting rainbow from the prism inside his sparkling mind. It was pure, unadulterated self that encouraged (and still encourages) me to be fine with being loud (er, stylistically or vocally), being bright, being strange.
Whether I'm dancing to his music (which I've done so sans an ounce of self-consciousness so many times over the years) or reflecting on my own tiny existence (which I do repeatedly, usually with "QUICKSAND" on a loop) I feel a warm, golden hug and see his smirk, always.
The news of his passing feels like a friend waving goodbye too soon, but I realize now we were so lucky to have had that friendship at all. We certainly didn't deserve him, and he didn't even belong here. After all, he was the man, the alien, the angel, the creature - who fell to Earth. For something as insidious and real as cancer to have claimed his life seems like a cruel joke, but the harsh reality of that inspires me even more - he was human, he was David Jones, and he took that and made it into the most beautiful existence anyone could ever hope for. What a trip to have experienced him at all, and for so many years.
Thank you, David Bowie, for pushing me to be authentic, to be free, to seek joy and to try to give that back to others. You were a burst of light across a bleak landscape.
Keep an eye on the sky tonight, he'll be The Prettiest Star.