Monday, 11 January 2016

The oddness of grief

David Bowie is dead.

Did I know him? No. Am I grieving? Yes. It almost pains me to admit it but yes, I am indeed grieving.

The man was a huge influence on my life and I am incredibly grateful for his presence. It all began with a little film called Labyrinth. It came out when I was 4 years old so I never got to see it at the cinema. However it was always on at Christmas time growing up. I would watch it and we would record it on VHS. By the time it was on tv again I would need to re-record it as I had watched it so many times that the video was wearing out. The forest wouldn't be glittery any more and you could hardly tell that Jareth's eyes were different. It went out of print as a VHS for a while and when it came back my then boyfriend bought me a copy straight away. He is long gone but I still have the VHS even though I have no way to play it. I bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. I have the soundtrack on CD. I even have a copy of the script somewhere. I can quote it at will. Words from it were the first thing my now Husband ever said to me.

Like I said, I love it. I have been fortunate enough to go to the cinema to see it once. This year is it's 30th anniversary and there will be a late night showing on my birthday to which I am going. I know I will not make it through it without crying.

As a teen I discovered glam rock and bisexuality and discovered myself as well. Bowie and the others of his time were icons who allowed me to learn how to express myself. I owe a lot of my personality, don't give a dam style (and general love of glitter) to them. I also owe a lot of my eclectic musical taste to Bowie. If I loved one artist who worked in so many styles then surely it was ok for me to like folks from all styles of music. To this day, although I have a strong leaning tot he alternative, I love music from almost every genre. Artists like Bowie and Madonna are responsible for this.

In 2000 Bowie played at Glastonbury. I was a skint 18 year old and I have always regretted not being able to go. We watched it at home on the telly but it's not quite the same thing. I did always say though that he was the one celebrity I never wanted to meet because all I would be able to do is say "You're the Goblin King". Now I'll never be able to test that theory.

So yes, I am grieving. I am grateful that I got to be influenced by this man and I am grateful that I will be able to pass that influence on to others. He will live forever through his music and films. As a  Buddhist I have to let the loss go and just be grateful. But today I will wallow in sadness and that is ok.

So long Jareth.

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