When the Starman went back home

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Image: Pixabay

 

How could I help but listen to the alien?

To close my eyes and hear those songs, melodies that gripped some part of me and swept it up through the cool sky, through filaments of cloud, the haze of the atmosphere, filling my head with the scent of geraniums.

On still.

Through a comet’s tail, showered with the ingredients of the stars, until fragments of the universe snagged in my hair, shimmering over my skin – ripples in a storm of ice.

Other times, his melodies would burrow deep inside me, excavate my heart with a tumble of his voice, cause a pain so bone deep I was hollowed and fragile, frightened and thrilled I might shatter.

They told me today he’d gone home. I’d hoped he’d be able to stay, but everything in life, it seems, is borrowed.

I close my eyes, let the city’s heartbeat melt away. I hear him – that voice, that sweet, sad voice from another world.

And I realise.

He left a little of his world with me and when I need him, all I have to do is close my eyes.

***

Desperately sad to hear the news of David Bowie’s death today. This is the song I was thinking of as I wrote. A sweet, sad, aching rendition and a song so important to me when I was thirteen – I nearly played the grooves out of the vinyl.

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23 thoughts on “When the Starman went back home

  1. I almost fell out of bed when I heard it on the radio this morning. I’m not one for overly dramatic outpourings of grief when a famous person dies, but Bowie’s different. But then, he always has been…

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    1. I know what you mean. It was a real shock and the news has stuck with me all day. There is something different about him dying. He was too young for a start – younger than my mum. It’s one of the first times someone who belonged to ‘me’ has died. Someone whose music really played a part in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a lot of people feel the same way. And don’t think twice about the play – it may well have been poor, but in over 40 years of work, there’s bound to be a range of quality.

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      1. One of those rare artists who got things right – and very right – more than they got things wrong. Tin Machine was perhaps not his finest moment, but he had enough great moments for it not to really matter.

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    1. I don’t think he made any announcements about his illness. It is very sad – so young to die, too. That song is one of my favourites – his vocals are so amazing, so full of passion. He really feels what he’s singing – something many modern singers don’t seem to do successfully. Following a tune isn’t enough, you have to live it. He was unique and there really won’t be many more artists like him.

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  2. Though his life and music didn’t speak to me as much as to many, many others, I did hugely admire his talent to innovate and to create many zeitgeists, and as a musician I recognised his ability to create exquisite musical masterpieces in whatever genre he was exploring or exploiting. “Hats off, gentlemen, a genius.” (And ladies too, of course.)

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    1. He wasn’t to all tastes – and I’m not sure I would’ve liked him as a person – but he certainly had talent and was his own person, which in an age where so many artists resemble others, is quite a thing

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  3. There have been so many tributes to him in the past couple of days – many from those who consciously admired him, but others from those who just took him for granted in the way we the moon and the stars, but take them for granted, occasionally gazing at them in wonder, and then going back to our humdrum daily lives, believing they will always be there.
    Many of the tributes have simply mentioned his genius, and listed his accomplishments, but those which that have touched me the most have been the highly personal ones, like yours.
    It’s a beautiful tribute to a man who will always be remembered with love, by millions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane. It’s difficult praising someone so ubiquitous, so influential. I wanted it to be personal, but not too soppy and cliched – two things Mr Bowie was definitely noy known for!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What, kind, you say? Harrumph. Stuff and nonsense! Balderdash! No need to thank me.
        Credit where credit’s due. Jolly good piece of writing, old chap.
        I’m off to the club for a brandy and a cigar. Join me?

        Liked by 1 person

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