19th February 2018

Why I cannot yet listen to David Bowie’s Black Star album

I am not yet ready to be moved.

Why I cannot yet listen to David Bowie's Black Star album (c) Karinsieger.com
Why I cannot yet listen to David Bowie's Black Star album (c) Karinsieger.com

There is music that defines us and tells the story of our life. There is music that talks of our past and present. And there is music that talks of what we fear may be happening right now and of what may lie ahead. 

Even since the release of David Bowie’s Black Star album on 8th January 2016 I have been unable to listen to it. My intuition (is it my fear?) keeps telling me (or begging me), that something else has to be done first – like a little more living.

Music moves us, in so many ways.

Music can explain, offer shelter, a community.

Music can be the voice we do not have.

Music can intensify feelings until we burst and scream or sob.

Music can caress in the dark and lonely hours.

Listening to a piece about David Bowie on the radio shortly after his death on 10th January 2016, I became aware of a familiar shuddering deep inside.

I had noticed it before, since his death, when most pieces I hear about him appear to be accompanied by an extract from his song ‘Lazarus’ from his last and final album Black Star.

I have often thought about buying the album, or at least sampling it on YouTube. But I can’t – yet.

I trust my intuition, though I do not always honour it, and then pay the price.

Something is blocking me. And the message sounds like “not yet”.

It feels like, I am not yet ready to be moved by Black Star; because moving me, it will do, certainly.

I could speculate, whether this is a reflection on my relationship with my own mortality, and my own experience of cancer, and my uncertainty whether / when / how I might die from it, or not.

Perhaps avoiding Black Star is a way of denying these possibilities. On balance, I think not.

Perhaps part of me thinks this album is best listened to, when I, too, get ready to die (assuming I will have time). Again, I do not think so.

Every day I wake up I try and get ready to live and die the best I can. Often I struggle, just like the next person. Some days pass with a lot of focus, some days with none. That’s the way it is.

No.

It feels like I need to do a bit more growing and maturing on my own terms and through my own lived experiences.

I think the listening and feeling experience of Black Star will be powerful and will catapult me to a new position on my path.

It feels like I need to grow a bit backbone to make the very best of the impact.

Checking out the David Bowie website in preparation for this post, I noticed you can buy Black Star T-shirts. I have never bought such merchandise, and I am certainly not suggesting you should. But it was interesting to really tune into the feeling I had looking at the piece of clothing.

I felt an immediate pull and desire to put it on. The feeling was one of wanting to be enveloped and covered by safety, wisdom, knowledge, strength, determination, a celebration of individualism and growth – even when facing death, because that is what David Bowie and Black Star stand for, for me.

Part of me, and probably part of all of us, is yearning for all that, and yearning for a strong teacher and healer.

My feeling is, that I would want to be symbolically covered by the garment on the outside.

The music will cover inside, but the inside is not ready yet.

Then again, all of this may be a clever ploy to distract myself from the fact, that I am still struggling with my mortality, death and dying.

Who knows…

(Based on an article published by Huffington Post)

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Image courtesy of cdd20.

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