David Bowie, Lazarus, Blackstar, Life and Death

I have to admit right up front that I was never an avid fan of Bowie’s music.
Sure, I know all of the hits, like “China Girl“, “Let’s Dance” and the Iconic song duet with Freddie Mercury “Under pressure“: …but I wouldn’t categorize my fandom as “superfan” by any means.  I don’t have all of his records, cd’s or downloaded musical content.

movieMy very first recollection of Bowie’s work came by way of the movie “The Labyrinth”.
He played an amazing villainous character known as the Goblin King.  His music and strange vocals carried a mediocre movie into the realms of a cult classic.

David Bowie wasn’t your average, run of the mill musician.  He sort of did his own thing.  He set the trend.  His music was strangely weird and fascinating at the same time.  In 1969 Bowie gave us Major Tom in “The Space Oddity” which tells the tale of an astronaut leaving Earth and of his fears in a rather nostalgic and melancholy way.

Throughout his career he gave us odd.  He gave us artistry and creativity.  He certainly gave us something unique and rarely (if ever) duplicated.

But…
this isn’t really a tribute today.
This is a pondering.  And like all ponderings, I would like to ask questions that perhaps have no answer, but maybe, just maybe we continue to seek them out along the way.

BLACKSTAR Photo Jan 26, 8 18 49 AM
I find it rather fascinating that David Bowie kept his failing, terminal diagnosis of cancer to himself.  It is astounding in this day and age that something that was private stayed private.  What’s even more interesting is that although Bowie was given this gloomy prognosis, he set his sights on finishing this remarkable journey on his own terms.  Just two days after the release of Blackstar, Bowie died.  It was as if he had timed all of this, and everything went according to his plans.

Life and Death…
blackI have listened to Bowie’s last album “Blackstar”.
I have seen both music videos for Lazarus and Blackstar.  They are hypnotic, weird and yet oddly captivating.  Within these depictions of death, we find a man struggling with his own mortality and coming to grips with his own illness.  There is so much to ponder with this final release.  He certainly knew he was dying when he began work on this album.  He knew time was short.  Despite his prognosis, Bowie decided how his passing would be depicted to the world.  I do not want to delve too deeply into the symbolism and interpretation of his final songs, but I am quite interested in the final product of who each of us are…and what we leave wish to behind.

Making it Personal…
My personal interpretation of this final act of Bowie’s speaks to me on a much deeper plain than mere showbiz and pop culture.  The question begs to be asked in my own life.  It’s a question that currently doesn’t have a specific timetable like Bowie’s did, and yet keeps pounding on the door of my life.  It’s not a prideful question, or a fear of one’s reputation either.  In the purest sense…in the honesty of silence, when no one else is around…this question begs me to answer.  It’s really a two fold question that keeps getting kicked around in my head, and I still find myself falling short on the words that would formulate an appropriate answer.  Questions like: “How do you want to be remembered, and what sort of legacy do you want to leave behind?” float around my mind waiting to be explored, quantified and perhaps answered in slow-small doses.

Honestly, I don’t wish to take away anything from Bowie’s artistry and canvas that he has hung on its final frame and placed on his legacy (that is a stand-alone project of His life – not mine) …but within my own heart I must ask this of myself…and perhaps we all do.  I’m some what fearful to what the answers might be, because it can be far too revealing even to ourselves.  “What am I doing with my life right now that matters?”  “What can I leave as a legacy for my children and for the world around me?”  “How is the world better because of what I’ve done to better it around me?”

From a Christ-driven relationship perspective, I also know that I do not live for myself, thomasbut for One who has given us all grace.  I live for One who holds both life and death in His hands, and in Whom everlasting life can be found.  I find that my “Lazarus” in this new life, in the hope of eternal life is completely and utterly found in Christ.  This isn’t some sermon I’m writing, or a persuasive speech, this is just how I feel and what I see in my life.  I know hope exists.  I know peace exists.  Everlasting love and life also exist – in Christ.

Silhouette of hiking man jumping over the mountains at sunsetWhere ever you live.
Whatever you do.
If you are facing grim prognosis’ in life…know that this life is only the beginning.
We can grasp onto a life that is eternal and will never run down or expire unlike these bodies of ours.

Something more to ponder today.

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