Monday, January 11, 2016

Death of a Legend

I woke up this morning to a number of emails, texts, and messages.

"Don't read the news," said one.  "Just go back to sleep."

"I'm so sorry," said another. "Are you okay?"

People I haven't spoken to in over ten years started reaching out to me.  Old friends, former co-workers.  Everyone, it seemed, saw the news and thought of me.

About four years ago, I wrote Bowie my first and only fan letter.  I didn't wax poetic or gush, I simply "dropped him a line" as if we were old friends.  I wished him and his family well.  I left out the fact that my cat was named Major Tom and that I often used the handle LadyGrinningS0ul online.  He didn't need to know any of that.

I'm struck now by the same feelings I had when I sat down to compose that letter.  What does one say to a legend? What does one say about a legend? Bowie was all I listened to for years. I had a Bowie shirt for every day of the week, I saw him in concert three times... and it would have been four, if my first car hadn't broken down.  Somehow, I always thought I'd get the chance to meet him.  Just for a second.

I saw him smoking a cigarette after a concert, once.  He snuck out a back door and was huddled by the side of the building, sans bodyguard, sans entourage. I was 100 feet away, just me, Meghan, and a random fan who had been searching for him.  The fan screamed his name at the top of her lungs.

I shushed her.

Because what do you SAY to a legend? What is the point of screaming his name from 100 feet away? The man just finished a concert - let him smoke his cigarette in peace.

That's the closest I got to meeting him.

And last night, during the New Moon, when the other stars are most visible in the sky... our Starman was gone.  Just like that.  Leaving behind more connections and memories than I could possibly begin to explain.

David sometimes ventured online, going by the name "sailor" in some forums.  So it was appropriate that this popped into my head after hearing the news:

Home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill.  
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, January 9, 2016

15 things I did in 2015...

15 Things I did in 2015:

1. Finally (with the help of a truly great doctor) figured out what was going on with my health.  Went on medication, and I have been gallbladder-attack free ever since! This man basically gave me my life back, and I am forever grateful.
2. Continued with the writing group! We've grown in number this year, been featured in the local newspaper, and we're beginning 2016 with big plans - we're putting together our first anthology!
3. Got my Masters Degree!
4. Got laid off (sad) and started freelancing (happy?) Not exactly what I had in mind for 2015...
5. Recorded a song
6. Sang Skinnamarink with Sharon and Bram (still waiting on the video of this momentous occasion...!) and got to catch up with Patti, Laura, and the rest of the SLB crew.
7. Met Judy Blume and Carroll Spinney!

8. Performed in Rocky Horror as Magenta twice - once for a reunion show, and once at PiCon!
9. Attended the Juniper Institute, thanks in part to my mom and a lot of supportive friends.
10. Completed some major novel revisions
11. Started writing for The Sparrows blog
12. Began working in education for the first time - if you don't count children's television
13. Finally got my passport (a trip to the Bahamas is happening next month!)
14. Went to NYC quite a bit! Saw Gentleman's Guide, and Hedwig... and maybe some other shows I'm forgetting?
15. Started a business with Sara (more on that later!)

Getting laid off certainly threw a monkey wrench into the works, but I think I still managed to have an okay year, even if some of it was stupidly stressful and my current bank balance is less than ideal. (Did you know paraeducators don't get paid over winter break? I didn't...until I saw last week's paycheck, oops!)

Hopefully things will be looking up soon!  I'll be back shortly with 16 things I want to do in 2016, and a resolution round up.