Today, as I write, it is my youngest child's 24th birthday. My oldest will turn 36 this year! The ages seem obscene..what the heck happened? There are 3 people on this spinning orb that I gave birth to, that are suddenly grown ups! They are living now in the years I seem to have been, just moments ago, years that are vivid in my mind..life changing events that each age they are now living, I lived only yesterday..
I have to wonder if the recent loss of someone I never met, never even saw, but who had such an enormous effect on who I am, has something to do with this shock of the passing of time. Oh, true enough, I KNOW I am getting old. I keep telling myself I hit the big 60 this year, how insane! I know everything hurts some days. I know my grandchildren joke about my lizard skin, and morsels of food now gets trapped in the wrinkles as I eat. My hair is dry and brittle, and because I have been extremely "frugal" the past while it is long, and adds to the knowledge I am no longer twenty something...I have a lifetime under my belt (no, I don't wear belts, I have enough padding to keep my clothes from falling off) and thankfully I can remember a great deal of this lifetime. But geez, really...it is already someone else who has moved into the spots I imagine I was in a moment ago?
Yes..it is the loss of David Bowie that has made such a massive impact on me. By now, most of you know, I grew up in a teeny tiny town, in a time that, perhaps, held certain "rules" those living my "young" years now, cannot imagine. I doubt a young person now a days has to hide record albums (hey, records are coming back in style) because their parents would go mad if they saw the covers, or read the titles, and certainly throw them in the garbage, not before a huge lecture on the devil. I doubt kids today will understand being told they cannot turn the Ed Sullivan show on because the Beatles are just a bunch of idiots that look like their mothers put a bowl on their heads to cut their hair (yep, really happened). I didn't develop my taste in music by what was on the radio, because all we had was bloody CBC, and trust me, they certainly never played Black Sabbath on our radio.
I don't know how I found my place in music. All I know is David Bowie was who spent hours with me, singing on my incredible mono record player, making me feel I was not alone, with my understanding I was different. The difference was...David had the courage to show the world.I didn't. The only time I felt at peace, was when I listened to him. He gave me a few others that never quite made it as far as he did, none who grew old with me, like Ziggy, T.Rex, Mott the Hoople, just flash in the pans, but pretty darn good music! I was almost alone with my love for David, almost...there was one special person who shared my love, one person who..although he was not around for a really long time, he was there for the important time.
Funny, I do believe there is a particularly important time when you are young, sure there are many ch-ch-ch-changes, but.. there is one time when you are vulnerable, when you are learning that growing up is not all peaches and cream, and you certainly are not Cinderella. I was ever so lucky to have Graeme. He took me under his wing...it was a really, really high wing, because Graeme was very tall, and I have never had the pleasure of being anything but short...He would sit and listen to David with me, he had all the albums, and in a tiny little town, Graeme had far more courage than I did, he was true to himself. Funny thing...now that I sit back and think about it, David and Graeme bore resemblances to one another, never saw that back in the day, and sadly, I know Graeme never knew what a difference, like David, he made in my life.
Why was I drawn to Ziggy? Because, I believe, he followed his heart. He didn't care what was proper, he didn't care what was accepted, he simply did as he felt he needed, when he needed. He didn't fit into the square hole, the round hole, the triangle hole, he was different, so he made his own space, and fit himself. Even back then, I knew this was what I wanted. I hate having to squeeze into the limited molds..And now, after decades of listening to the songs, watching the videos, and sadly, knowing that the one who lived his life the way I so wanted to live mine, is gone...I have reached the place in my life, he found so long ago.
Now I see there were so many, like me, who lived their lives with David's music, I didn't know that when I was 17..likely because I lived in the teeny tiny town. I suppose I would not have felt so different back in the day, if I had access to Google,LOL..But he allowed me to dream, and for that, I am grateful. Graeme, my friend, gone far too soon, and long before David, would just sit quietly up in his loft, as I plopped myself in his space, playing the Spiders from Mars, and Mike Oldfield's Journey to the Center of the Earth, over and over, I know I was lucky to have you beside me, during the important changes.
Is this how everyone feels, as they grow old? Did my parents have a David? I don't think so...I think my generation was the first, some had Elvis, some had the Beatles, some had Dylan, I had David. Do kids these days have David's? Sadly, I don't think they do. They have Justin Bieber, and Nicki Minaj, Do you think they will continue on into their 60's, changing, growing older with their fans? Yeah..kind of doubtful. So, I figure, the times were perfect for me. Technology was not rampant, music and books were the greatest forms of entertainment, and we were living in the time that gave us some of the best of both worlds.
I started this, not knowing that Graeme would join the "story", but, I am so glad he did...the sprinkles of stardust are formed by two incredible people, who lived life as they felt.. honest, and outside the lines. My life is a better place, because of both of them!