BirdSong: A Tribute to David Bowie

Birdsong: A Tribute to David Bowie

I was instantly saddened on hearing that David Bowie passed away. Through the day every time I thought about his passing or heard one of his songs, my sadness deepened.

I’m not a stranger to grief, having already lost my father, aunts and uncles, best friends. But this sadness somewhat surprised me. Now, I am and have been very aware of David’s genius and unique talents for years. I was also in awe of his ability to dare to be different, and mostly, in awe of Mr. Bowie’s ability to receive extraordinary accolades doing what he loved, his way.

However, I didn’t know him personally. So, what’s behind my depth of sorrow? It seems to be something like this: I’m aging, and now some of the legends that I grew up with are leaving the planet. These legends serve as a backbone of what’s great in our world at this time, and remind us of what is great within each of us. Each generation has their legends, shared with the generations ahead and behind them. And fortunately, the legends can be shared for years to come, even more so given today’s technology.

And when a legend like Mr. Bowie passes to the other side, there’s sadness. And for me, it’s not because I really knew him, but more so, because I forgot to stop and realize the type of constant backbone he was offering in his living. It reminds me of a friend’s story. An architect friend of mine shared how she went to support New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She recalled that the biggest oddity she noted was there were no sounds; no birds. She said it struck her how she never really thinks about birds and animal noises, until there was a lack of them.

Today, we're without one of our birds, one of our sounds, one of our songs… the air hums with one chord missing. And so today, I stop to remember. And I grieve. I grieve the passing of Mr. David Bowie because he was a great example of allowing his uniqueness to launch his greatness. Mr. Bowie was educated and pushed society’s buttons, in a professional way, when he had something to say. And mostly, he stayed true to his art – and while he may have at times been different, he did it his way, anyway, and was well respected for his art.

Thank you, David Bowie, for now in your legacy, you again allow me to feel. To feel my own mortality, the sadness of letting go, and the urge to be myself and allow my greatness to shine through. While today I remembered, I also note this was not the first time you evoked my own emotions – you did so with your music, your acting, your dance. I thank God you were recorded, so with each song and movie, you can remind each of us of our own mortality, uniqueness, and greatness. Your legacy reminds us that we can legends, too. Moving others into their own greatness, isn’t that what great legends do?

Thank you, David Bowie, for being a legend, for being a song. Thank you for being you. RIP


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