Saturday, January 16, 2016

All things end, but art will never die!

This week has been a good reminder that all things come to an end. 


Text from my brother, the musician:
So sad about David Bowie.

Lu [my aunt] left this note on the
kitchen counter this morning.

When I read it I cried. 

Driving to work on Monday morning I looked around at the cars stuck with me in get-to-school traffic and wondered which Bowie song they were all listening to.  No one ever looks happy at that time in the morning, driving down 83. Maybe it was only my sad imagination that saw tears in our commute.

Guy on the radio:
I’m having a hard time letting go.
So I’m not going to.


Space Oddity inspired the first story I wrote that I have a clear memory of people liking.  This was in college. I wrote it in the freezing cold gallery in the Creative Arts Center where I worked, making sure the art didn’t run away. Looking back now, it was a pretty silly story. It was called The Edge, about a girl named Ziggy who lived in New York City and wanted to be an actress. She and her boyfriend stood on a roof, overlooking the city, listening to Space Oddity and talking about their deteriorating lives (all things I, in my bubble-life in West Virginia, knew nothing about). 

My classmates liked Ziggy. One girl even dressed up like her. There is not much more flattering than someone dressing like a character you created, no matter how silly the story may have been. 


Text from my brother:
He made it cool to be fucking weird as hell.
Whenever I’ve rocked some black nail polish
at a show it was because he made it
cool to be proudly weird.

I remember when we were younger
 and you started liking him.
I remember us having a conversation
about how great he was.
I remember you loving him
and he was always getting played
[in the bedroom we shared] 
and I liked a few songs here and there,
but then when he finally clicked and I was like
woah, this is a game changer.
I remember us talking about it.


That night, after work, I went and drank with a friend, swapping stories and drowning our sorrows in curry.  I wondered how many other people were eating sorrow-curry, how many other beers were being consumed in honor of the Starman. I feel lucky that he left us with another album. It's not often an artist can show you what it's like to know you are dying. 


Text from my brother:
I’m listening to Hunky Dory right now.
So much good stuff. 

That's one of my favorites. 

Moonage Daydream has always
 been one of my favorites.

Yeah. Not many musicians have one
iconic game-changing era.
He had like 4.

Listening to Bewlay Brothers
 right now.

Listening to Heroes.


It doesn’t seem fair that you could lose your favorite singer and one of your favorite actors in the same week, but as William Goldman so insightfully taught us, "Life is not fair, and it never has been, and it’s never going to be.” 

There are few casting decisions I’ve agreed with more than Alan Rickman playing Severus Snape. I always felt like the directors reached into my head and plucked him out. Sense and Sensibility. Dogma. Die Hard. Galaxy Quest. Robin Hood. Alan Rickman sprinkled our lives with romance, adventure, and villains you can’t help but love. Even if they threaten to cut you heart out with a spoon.


Text from my brother:
My friend just said an awesome thing
about how it’s kind of great how sad
we are because it’s like, look at how
much this guy [Bowie] touched the
lives of tons of people that he never met.
And he’d gonna be doing that forever.
The coolest.


This week has been a good reminder that all things come to an end.

But art will never die! 

I will love you forever, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

“You are wonderful.”

Thank you.