Where do we go when we die?
Some people completely disappear never to be again.
Others return for tea and advise in dreams and vision.
Some few remain a constant, eternal entity, in every thing.
Bugs. Reptiles. Flying creatures. Hot rod cars. And of course, Music.
Five years ago I was In a beautiful little town in Ontario, situated on an elbow of the Mississippi River. I was recording my last record album. In the company of friends old and new. In my memory, it was a cosmic week. Intense work, creation and a sparing match with expectation (but that is a story for another time). Somewhere in the middle of the sessions, late, late in the evening after the band had gone home, I was laying on my futon mattress that was my bed for the week. The futon was on the floor of one of the four isolation/tracking rooms. In the daytime it doubled as a damper for guitar amps. I was enjoying the light show that the cheap disco ball device was providing and, well, scrolling. As one does.
That’s where I first read the words “David Bowie has died”
Of course reading words like that sent me on a click and search marathon to trial truth and determine details. What had become of the Thin White Duke?
As it turns out, Bowie was also susceptible to human disease. Cancer had taken our Starman. It was devastating news for me. I had recently become a bit of an obsessive fan and was hopeful I’d be seeing him live. Alas, it would not be. Now, I confess, I wasn’t as big a fan as others I know but still… I was very upset by the news. Lying there alone on the floor of a recording studio, I wept. After messaging the folks I knew, needed to know, I fell asleep.I spent the next two days wanting and trying desperately to be able to sing like Bowie on a couple of songs. But of course, I could only manage to sound like me.
I’ve spent the last few days enjoying the fruits of Bowie’s labour. Last night I stayed up WAY too late with my bubble friend, watching the Bowie celebration. And here, now, at my kitchen table, listening to Blackstar, I have come to realize, that, for me, Bowie has not gone anywhere. As a fan, He is as ever present in my life. Perhaps even more so. I can go listen to Bowie any time I choose. His estate is regularly, releasing records from his recorded career. I can find his movies and television appearances in the endless, eternal internet. It’s comforting. I must note that I am sure it is not this way for all and I don’t mean to take away from anyone else’s disparity from the gap loved ones leave when they’re gone.
All of this has left me asking, “what happens when we die?”
I suppose it’s different for every individual on every side of the experience.
But it appears, that perhaps, so long as they’re in your “mind”…
They can live forever?
“You’re never who you think you are” – Bowie
Photo by: Jimmy King