David Bowie: The Passing of an Icon

When I woke up this morning my first thought of the day was this: Bowie1

“OMG, what a totally SHITTY dream! Bowie dead? WTH!!”

I went about my business. This state of bliss lasted a full hour. Then I got online. The shock & grief has hit me all over again!

I’m not crying my eyes out like I did yesterday, nor am I strangling my poor cat with hugs (at least not yet, but that’s probably coming!). Yet, I feel such a VOID. A tremendous sense of loss I have not felt since my own parents died in 2008 and 2009.

As an empathic psychic intuitive, Sunday night I felt it. This SHIFT. A sudden change in everything. A sudden change in the energy field of the entire world. I turned on the TV and didn’t see anything earth shattering occurring so I turned it off and my husband and I went to sleep with me telling him, “tomorrow morning there will be some terrible news.”

Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, I had felt it. A tremendous disturbance in The Force.

My husband’s standard reply to my psychic forecasts is always, “yeah, whatever.” He rolled over and was snoring within five minutes. I laid there wide awake until well after 2:30 AM just knowing the next day the world would be forever altered.

I woke up the next morning and after checking on my family I felt a slight sense of relief, yet I also felt something was OFF. Definitely VERY off. I felt odd. I felt like a stranger in my own home. Suddenly, everything looked different to me. It didn’t look like MY house. These items did not feel like MY things.

I carried out my usual morning routine and it was during my cup of coffee a sense of grief suddenly and inexplicably overcame me. I called my favorite uncle. He was fine and happy to hear from me. He said if he died he would be sure to let me know immediately. He would, too!

Then I began my work day, which always begins with me going into my email and then checking my messages & the groups I administer on Facebook. My usual morning continues with doing readings and performing candle work. Afternoons are used for creating works of visionary art on commission and working on future deck and book projects. That is my day everyday in a nutshell.

The morning of January 11, 2016 would be very different from any morning I have experienced since December 9, 1980, which, until 2009 had been the worst morning of my entire life ~ the morning after the evening John Lennon was murdered.

That day, despite my wonderful dad staying home to help my mom break the terrible news to me, my parents forced me to attend school. I was a senior in high school at the time. I wore a Beatles t-shirt, one of many in my collection at the time. My t-shirt was covered with every Beatles button I owned.

The experience was surreal. The halls were 80% empty. I had a substitute for every single class. Complete strangers were walking up to me in the hallways expressing their sympathies and giving me hugs. I cried the entire day in front of everyone. The next day I was sick from all of it so my parents had no choice but to allow me to remain home where I mourned John in private.

On the morning of September 20, 2009 at 9:35 AM I received the phone call to inform me my father had just passed. My family had been all dressed and literally on our way out the door to attend church. Instead, we drove to his room at the nursing home where he had been living out his final months suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. It was there I hugged and cried over the corpse of my father who had worked two jobs most of his life, but in between always found time to take me to the park where he taught me to play baseball and tennis.

September 20, 2009 was the most difficult morning of my life.

My dad was my HERO. He always put me first and made great financial sacrifices to send me to college when he himself never had any education beyond the sixth grade level. He had been a laborer his entire life, but he never complained. His nickname for me was, “Mi Tesora,” which is Spanish for, “my treasure.”

I took his death very hard, obviously. I still miss him and always shall. That is a void that will never be filled by anyone or anything else.

I also have an artistic, and in a way, a professional father.  A man whom I never met in this reality, yet he taught me what it Bowie2was like to be fearless. To be true to yourself.

To BE yourself.

He taught me about the possibility of personal reinvention, which I carried out on myself in 1996 when I realized the academic career I had chosen for myself was clearly not for me. I have been living my reinvented life ever since and enjoying it immensely.

David Bowie showed me that reinventing yourself was not only possible, but in some cases it was the only thing to do in order to evolve and continue on your life path.

There are three musicians I admire more than all others combined. No one else even comes close. John Lennon was one. David Bowie is another. My favorite is Paul McCartney.

I never got to see John perform, but I was blessed to see David perform three times and

My daughter & I with me in my 1993 tour t-shirt with my daughter wearing my 1989 tour t-shirt. This is my favorite picture of us.

Paul five times, the latest being in 2012 when I had the ultimate pleasure of taking my child, then 14 years old, to her first Paul McCartney concert, which she enjoyed so much that she cried ~ and she isn’t a huge fan by any stretch of the imagination. I told her I was taking her because I knew it would be good for her soul. She protested a bit, but at the concert I watched as tears of happiness streamed down her face. When it was over I asked her, “Now, wasn’t that just the best darn thing you’ve ever seen?” All she could do was nod. She was still overcome with emotion.

All three of these people have one thing in common other than music: they were (and are!) all icons. An icon defines an age, a state of being. The Beatles defined a generation. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that statement in print.

As for David Bowie, he was making conceptual music videos a decade before MTV was a gleam in anyone’s eye. You most likely will be hard pressed to find anyone to argue with the statement that Bowie fathered the music video revolution that redefined music and performance.

These days we take music videos for granted and many are honestly downright irritating, but back in the early 70’s, for Bowie, videos were a conceptual art form before anyone even knew what a music video really was, except for The Beatles, of course, who also broke ground with music videos back in the 1960s that were not straight performance pieces or psychedelic lip syncing exercises.

Here is his first, actually from 1969, entitled “Space Oddity,” which he would later recreate as a studio performance video in 1972 as his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.

As you can see from the “Space Oddity” video, Bowie was so far ahead of his time that it scared people and caused many to misunderstand that his Ziggy, Thin White Duke, and the other characters were just that – characters. David Bowie was an artist who was merely acting out his own intellectual constructs. He was the ultimate method actor. He lived his characters and through him his characters lived life.

Facing his own impending death, Bowie wrote and recorded what he knew what was to be his final album and final videos. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer around eighteen months ago, but only his inner circle knew.

Leave it to David Bowie as the consummate performer to transmute his death into one final piece of Art, the video for the song, “Lazarus,” named for the man whom Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

I feel the title of the song is quite telling. It’s Bowie’s last message to the world.

“I may be physically gone, but I have left my mark. I shall never be forgotten. My fans will remember me and keep me alive in their hearts. Future generations will discover my work and I shall continue to live on. Now and always” ~ message received 1/12/16.

It is in that manner that David Bowie will continue to rise from the dead over and over and over again as his work is rediscovered by many.

In the words of another icon, “Well we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun” ~ John Lennon.

I am by far no expert on world culture or even music, but I know one thing. When musical and cultural historians look back on the year 2016, I believe the defining moment has already occurred.

The passing of an icon.


~ Nefer

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