Today is off to a miserable start. I heard on the radio that David Bowie has died. Ziggy Stardust… the Goblin King… The Man Who Fell to Earth… the Thin White Duke…is gone. And even though since high school in the 1970’s I have never been quite sure how I felt about his music, I wept. The man was a musical maker of lyrical poetry. He could make you feel really really terrible… but he always made you feel. And he made me depressed as he led me through the Labyrinth… but he also made me soar… on the wings of a barn owl. It was about facing the darkness and finding your way. Finding the way out. Singing the Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby, but not actually singing it… making peace on Earth instead. Sometimes things are just so weirdly beautiful it hurts.
I dropped my daughter off at her middle school, and then Jody Dean & the Morning Team played this on the radio.
I wept again. Darkness is my old friend… I have lived with and through depression after depression. My own… my wife’s… my children’s… And it is a miracle I have lived this long without succumbing to the Darkness. It took Robin Williams. It took Ernest Hemingway. But somehow, the Goblin King always goaded me onward, to find the answer at the end of the Labyrinth. “You… you have no power over me.” And then I am okay once again.
I captured the dawn once again this morning. Once again I failed to truly ensnare the subtle reds and pinks and purples that were actually there. But there it is, anyhow. The morning has broken. The blackbird has spoken. The morning is new.
My heart is still sore this morning. The dog didn’t help when she spilled the trash to get at the napkins with bacon grease on them. We may have a dog-skin rug as a doormat later today. But David Bowie left so many words and ideas behind to comfort me. Is he one of those “neon gods we made”? Of course he is. But as the owl flutters off in the closing credits, we can take comfort in the knowledge that no one is ever really gone. And we can always anticipate some… Serious Moonlight.