Outside the world of instant communication, David Bowie was still alive in my world, the day after his death. On our road trip, drought parched Karoo scenery assaulted my field of vision, myriad deaths surrounded me, brown grass bereft of life, skeletal antelope, warthog brave with hunger grazed on bended knee. Bowie was still alive in this world, his death had not changed the shape of the day. A dung beetle slowly rolled her ball across my path, David Bowie was still living somewhere out there. He was still alive (in that parallel world) that night when the star crazed sky stamped the pettiness of my existence into Karoo dust. Looking up, so aware that we take ourselves far too seriously. We are dust, unto dust we return “Ashes to ashes, fun to funky”. The next day I woke from a dream fragment pulling endless shards of broken glass from my mouth. Unable to speak, fearful. Morning coffee tasted no different in a Bowieless world, it should have.
The news crashed into my morning, somewhere on the road between Kimberley and home. Loss jolted me to a place in reality where I did not want to be. Tears dried in the hot wind, fruitless sorrow. A dust storm grew on the horizon, the landscape turned apocalyptic, remaining so for hours. Dust swirling in this new barren world.
This is not the mere end of a mortal man. This is the end of a creative force. I wept not for a stranger, not for the songs, not for the music. I wept to be in a barren world, I wept because ….. because I can’t find the words, but he would have.
I loved the way that he challenged convention, that he pushed boundaries. I loved the fun, the humour, the mischief, the creative genius, the towering intellect. Still he would not want us to take our grief too seriously.
In the 90’s I watched a documentary about David Bowie, he spoke of different ways which he used to stimulate creativity. One of these was to take cut out words from a newspaper and pull out a few randomly. I used this method and loved it. I still have my word envelope somewhere.