Just before Christmas I stood in the newsagent on Leeds station. A wall of magazines before me, I worked my way through with familiar absorption. The spirit of my fifteen-year-old self alongside me. Another time, another newsagency.
The subject of my attention now, as then, David Bowie.
In 2015 the magazine covers heralded the upcoming release of a new album. More than forty years I’ve known the pull of connection and fascination with this creative genius.
Animated and inspired, the weeks pass and the album is released, his 69th Birthday. Last weekend striking posters, an artful campaign. More articles and reviews.
And while we were looking the other way… Sitting at this desk on Monday morning, literally as the announcement came through. 7am London time.
Shock, loss, sadness reverberated in me and around the globe. Tributes in 140 characters, heartfelt, a diverse audience. A scramble for media tributes. All the majors pitching in, everyone with a memory and an opinion.
My week filled with the sounds of Bowie. The piles of albums long gone, dipping into the back catalogue via a streaming service. I’ve surrendered to the desire, a need, to read, watch, listen.
Trips down memory lane. Not so much. Grief gives way to an exploration of what David Bowie ignites in me. For me, what has this life-long connection added to my life.
This is a glorious, enriching experience. It is also an acknowledgement that this is within me. I have taken in and integrated my Bowie experiences as they’ve come along. My life is all the richer for the influence and inspiration of this artist.
And then, a parting gift.
Watching a BBC documentary viewed some years ago, rebroadcast this week. Listening to a full length, all too rare, interview made available by Radio 4, I received new inspiration. The exemplar, the message, for me, right now.
I am in a new era of my working life, moving away from the solo, one on one nature of the past fifteen years. The vital element, and biggest challenge, for me is to let go and collaborate. To open up, share my ideas and receive ideas from others – to combine and be more than the sum of the parts.
David Bowie’s creative life was about collaboration and combining. Now, I see, hear, with heightened awareness how this graceful spirit was always in the lead and always collaborating. Inviting input. Right time, perfect combination. Not losing himself, or compromising. Elevating his own creativity to new heights.
There will be no new material from David Bowie. We have what we have. From the depths of my being, love and gratitude. Beyond words. For a life lived in full.
And for the parting gift this week. May I step up and pay this forward in my own creative work.
All original material copyright 2016 manifestmylife
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