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Dear David Bowie: A Thank You From Yet Another Odd Kid
I thought about immediately taking to the keys last night, upon hearing the news of David Bowie's passing, but I thought against it. When people don't have time to process things they end up creating these jumbled messes, that don't come out as tributes. They're more akin to shocked streams of consciousness, where neither the reader nor the writer can properly put things into place. After further inspection, I realized that Bowie wouldn't have wanted a proper tribute, because as a champion of all things individual, he valued the pure ideals of hope and art over everything else. I guess the sadness stems from the knowledge that anyone can fall prey to the sickle of cancer, and that just doesn't sit well with us, because if it can get Bowie...where's the hope? But that's not the point, it never was. So the following, is a mis-mosh of thoughts aimed at the cold blooded bummer we're all feeling today. So here is a letter, a bit out of sorts, but exactly what I wanted to say. David Bowie, you are more than a musician to most. You are someone who gave every single person on this planet permission to be themselves. The idea of creation can only go so far as the brain will let you, and for some reason, Bowie, your brain just went a little bit farther than most. From early in your career, you were constantly pushing boundaries, as if to say, "Hey world, you can be whatever the hell you want to be, except boring." And that sentiment always spoke volumes to me. As a kid who was never on the right side of anything, it was an incredible feeling that someone who came before, was brave enough to blaze the trail for the rest of us. Especially considering the societal implication of being an alien at the time, you held down the fort, creating a legacy that nobody would ever touch. I wore glittery makeup and strutted around like I was from a different planet too, and sometimes people would say, "Huh. There's a touch of Bowie in you." I could only be so lucky. Bowie, you never let gender define you. You didn't let society define him. You didn't even let yourself define you. You were utterly unique, do you know how valuable that is? You, and only you, were created from space dust and glitter, roaming the earth among us mortals, gracing us with your presence when when was worth so much more. You stand as the singular voice in a world full of people who couldn't give a shit about being themselves, and you made that cool. You made individuality and sense of self cool. Could you imagine a world without that? Without you, almost all of our artists today either wouldn't exist, or they'd be infinitely more boring. From the 70's onward Bowie provided all people with something otherworldly, something that anyone could sink their teeth into. You know, when your parents and you are mourning the same genius...that person was completely transcendent. It didn't matter what race, nationality, gender or creed you were...you were a David Bowie fan, because some people just can't be ignored. And though the world tended to criticize and marginalize your efforts, nobody ever said you weren't talented. The true heart of an artist takes a beating, and with every single hit, you came back stronger, better, more creative. There was nobody like you. Nobody before or after you will ever touch you. The mark you leave on this pitiful world makes it a little more brighter, a little more glitter filled. You took the music of yesterday and splattered it with technicolor. The rules of the passed were smashed to smithereens, and Bowie, you had the sledgehammer. No musician ever, could dispute the raw influence of you. In fact, I would say that no person who has ever come across your music could dispute your raw influence, and we are forever grateful. You see, without someone tending the gate of creativity, none of us would ever have the courage to open it. Now you're tending another gate, somewhere high up in the stars, where you always belonged: because Bowie is not from this planet, he can't be. He can't be mortal. And that's the hardest part. You see, he isn't mortal. He never was. He's now off to another place where he can really shine. He's the spaceman after all. The world changed when this man picked up a microphone. And in the halls of Gods and monsters, Bowie will sit atop a shining pedestal of stardust, waiting for another trip to the moon. On behalf of all people, musicians and freaks alike, I want to extend this fervent and sincere thank you to our very own alien: Mr. David Bowie. Returning to space must be an incredible feeling, and we hope to someday meet you there. It took me a full 12 hours to realize that I was experiencing the stages of grief, and that I should give myself time and all of that...but you never gave yourself any time right? You never stopped for anyone. You accomplished more in your 69 years than most of us could in three lifetimes, and for that reason, I will continue on. I will not stop to cry or hold my breath. I will sit at the desk, cry on the keyboard and continue my journey. "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." Until then, I'll be holding down the keys, making sure that whatever tears that fall are not in anger or sadness, but celebration, that our world could even begin to hold such an incredible talent, spirit and genius. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. --Tess