I woke from nightmares to find that David Bowie had died.
I’ll be over here playing my favorite albums and sobbing uncontrollably. Man was my fucking hero.
Edited to include some additional thoughts.
My first awareness (as a child of the late 80s, and thus with no first person memory of his earlier career) of Bowie was of his role as the Goblin King. Yep, I’m one of those people who could probably recite the entire movie start to finish including singing every word of every song. The only other movie I can do that with is Spaceballs. But I digress.
While it was no longer a real-time discovery, (being, as I said, a product of rather than a member of the generation that saw his initial rise to fame) when I did discover just how much else he had done, I found myself deeply conflicted. I love his music. Really. For a long time I had more of his music than of any other single artist. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the conflict between loving his music, being immensely, profoundly grateful for the way he blazed a fabulous trail into the fringes of society for curious minds to follow… and the reality that I also suspected that much of his brilliance had been the outpouring of drug induced insanity.
As time has gone on, I’ve realized that madness and wisdom are tangled up together in a conflicted passion that most of us will never understand. And that’s ok. Because on some level, he understood it and translated it for us, whether he intended to or not.
The outcasts, social outliers, non-traditional, non-binary, and everyone who wanders about in the realms of magic and mystery and madness…. David Bowie was our hero.