‘put on your red shoes and…’

imageIt feels like the world has just lost a family member.

Collective grief for an artistic legend.

I can’t seem to shake off the heavy hearted feeling. The want to weep and weep for someone I never knew personally, but whose voice and face are so familiar and so, so comforting.

Perhaps it’s that he stirs up memories of childhood in the canola fields of Switzerland. His family lived down the road in our sweet, French village. My imagination dreamed up how the pop star’s home existed near by. Surprisingly, my imagination did not include any plush, kitch additions…my imagination decided it looked just like our home, only with David Bowie and his family in it.

Perhaps it’s that my generation grew up at awe of his Goblin King prowess. My cherished video copy of it was taken to every sleep over to watch with sparkly eyed fear, wonderment, love and humour. And I can’t wait to watch it with my son, who already understands that “rocks are friends”.

Perhaps he reminds me of my regular imaginative, empowering exploration of costume as a child. My three favourite people to dress up as and to spend my day being were David Bowie, Zoro and Strawberry Shortcake. I could be my very own hero, just for one day.

Perhaps he reminds me of my wild and free years as a youth – his songs an inspiring soundtrack to dance, dress, dream and be.

Or that dance-magic time I slipped into his concert and had my mind blown by him being him. By who he is. As he is. At each stage of his life and of his creativity.

Perhaps it’s that he encompasses creative expression, and being yourself – through your ages and stages – playing, creating, expressing. With grace, integrity and with dignity.

Perhaps it’s because he died a similar death and age to my father. And I feel for his family to loose the great man in their life.

Every little aspect of what he represents and stirs in me makes it a sad day.

I am sure he, his music and his death stir and represent unique memories, feelings and thoughts in each of us.

And this is why his music – new and old; images and videos of him – young and old; and his lyrics – across time, are slipping respectfully out of shops, out of homes, all over social media and t-shirts and tote bags today – across place.

“Because my love for you

Would break my heart in two

If you should fall into my arms

And tremble like a flower”

Thank you to a creative legend that reminds me to express, dance, create and be myself, without fear, at every stage and age of life.

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