It’s a name that brings people to all sorts of memory. From the well-known Ziggy Stardust to the more obscure Thin White Duke, Bowie has always been beyond this fickle Earth in his character and manner. Visionary is a word that is often misused, but Bowie had a vision that he could only express to us, never explain. That said, I am by no means a devout Bowian. His passing has, however, been directly connected to the mood of winter so far.
Change is inevitable, sorry friends and foes. Sorry hardcore conservatives. Sorry hardcore liberals. Sorry to those that seek comfortability instead of growth, but change is always ‘round the corner. We may not like the results and fear the coming, but there is always something new on the horizon. The past couple of weeks have really shown that to me. In Bowie’s passing there will be new idols to fill similar roles. Like patterns on a plaid scarf, I feel that the cycle of time is pretty consistent with the occasional deviation and loads of different words for the same ideas and stories.
It’s been a nihilistic winter for all of this. Nothing matters. Yet, everything seems to matter. I’ve been thinking about the little moments in the day and where they branch to. That, in itself, becomes chaotic consideration. Between power outage adventures and bouncing between six credits confined to a three-week period, I have felt pulled in many directions. I will not be spread, however, not again. Minimal involvement focused into big efforts is the way to go for this dude.
I want to be more like David Bowie, in regards to his practice. The guy was consistent and creative. He was having ideas that no one else could really have and sticking to them shamelessly. Controversial, without a doubt, but full of great integrity. There were phases to his work, but they were self-contained and seemed to evolve one after the other. I want to pursue that kind of life, but blend it with literature.
Writing, however, seems subject to a lot of delusion fools that think they are superior or making themselves immortal with the work they create. Idealistic as that may be, it simply is not the case. The fact of the matter is that writing is a damn hard profession to find success in. I have glimpsed those who have found it, but my own plans are far more finite. David Bowie might be immortalized for his work, but I simply want to use mine to figure out some problems.
The nature of the arts is that they breed culture, tradition, and important dialogues on big ideas. I feel that our culture is shifting from the physical world to the digital one. This is something of a problem for the older generations that have not adapted as well as the younger generation that has no idea of the way things used to be. Perhaps that winter change is foreshadowing something big, or perhaps it is sheer coincidence.
I do not know, for I was listening to “Cat People” outside and writing poetry by firelight.
Austin Kirkham is a Senior creative writing major at The College of Idaho