Notes on the Journey

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie

David Bowie's death is all over the media today, as it should be.  A giant has passed from us and gone on to the next phase of his journey.  We are sad at our loss of him, grateful for being alive on the planet with him and being given the chance to experience the brilliance of his work while we were here, and inspired by his ability to continue expressing his brilliance right up to his passing.

He was a master, in ways that many of us are not.  He was not a big person physically, but he was indeed a big person in terms of his expression and his impact on all of us who knew of him or knew him, or received the grace of his work.  I particularly revere the creatively unique and expressive people we've been gifted with because I've always struggled so with my own creativity, uniqueness and expression.  David Bowie's ability to know who he was, embrace and accept himself, and then express himself out for us to learn from and enjoy was a rare gift of humanity for all of us to witness.  We have so few souls among us who are able to do that at the level he did.

David Bowie's death also reminds me that no matter how we manage to live, none of us are exempt from the seeming vagaries of human life.  Because of my own creative struggles, I can trick myself into a destination frame of mind about my own journey...if I could just express my creativity my life would be better, I would be better, I would be healthier, I would be more loved, I would be more accepted, I would be...fill in the blank.  Many of us hinge things on the result of something else.  And, it's such a misconception in terms of the way things work.  I know this but it doesn't stop me from going there, all to often.

David Bowie was beautiful, successful, wealthy, creative, expressive, loved, talented...on and on and on.  Those things gave him a rich and wonderful life, but not a life devoid of pain, heartbreak, loss, disappointment, sickness and all the other things we might consider negative that make up a human life.  None of us are immune to the full spectrum of being human, no matter how masterful we are in any area of who we are or how we live.  And, that's really the point.  I sometimes have difficulty remembering that we all came here to experience life in a body in all of its aspects.  And, some of those aspects rip us apart and bring us to our knees in despair and sorrow.  But, those aspects of life that temporarily destroy us, and from which we need to rebirth ourselves and rise again, are the ones that build our character and through which we learn who we are and by which we are deepened and grow in compassion and understanding.  They are the aspects that grow us and make us strong.

Nothing we do gets us out of anything.  We can't avoid life.  David Bowie didn't try to avoid life, he embraced it up until the moment he died.  He lived fully and he died fully, surrounded by those who loved him.  He showed us what a full life looks like and how to pass gracefully from this world.  He left us with a great legacy from which we will all be able to expand ourselves and learn from for a long time to come.  We will be uplifted by his work for generations.  We will look upon images of his beauty in awe.  He indelibly imprinted his vibration upon this planet and upon all of us who were lucky enough to be here with him.

We honor you as you pass from us, David.  We will not forget you.  On wings of angels!  Fly free!


  1. Beautiful, Trudy. I am heartbroken. He was my childhood. He was the inspiration to keep moving for those of us who felt we were from another planet to begin with. My mum spoon fed us Bowie from the time we were born, my brother and I. We knew the lyrics to Moonage Daydream before Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I'm pretty sure. She was a Bowie impersonator, looking much like him, so we grew up with Bowie as Mum. I was never prepared for Mum's death, and certainly believed Bowie would live forever--he was always hovering in my life (and now, tattooed on my arm). Thank you for the reminder--he was human and went through the heartache and lows we all reach as well. What a bloody genius. What an inspiration. I'm so grateful to have been raised on a healthy diet of Ziggy Stardust and to have been around to experience his light. And I'm grateful to have a friend that can put it all out there so eloquently. Thank you.