When we mourn people, we don’t mourn them objectively; we don’t assess their worth and mourn them accordingly. We mourn them for what they mean to us, we feel their loss.
Wild Eyed Boy
When I mourn the death of my grandfather and remain unmoved by the death of yours, I’m not judging my grandfather to be better, more important, than yours. I mourn him because I love him, because he had an impact on my life, meant so much to me. Because he touched me.
Mourning David Bowie isn’t to judge him as better than other artists. Mourning is a feeling, not a judgement, though the feeling makes me realise that he touched me more than almost any other artist I can think of. Mourning him is not to hero worship him, to see him as a flawless god, it’s to feel the loss of someone who guided me from afar through the dislocation and isolation of my teenage years, who opened doors in my mind, inspired me to create, to read widely, to experiment, to be free.
Thin White Duke
The fact that Bowie’s voices and personas were masks, not windows onto the person behind, is irrelevant. Voices and personas are the ways an artist shapes, crafts and communicates his or her truth – that’s the way art works. That art can communicate so truly and so deeply in this way, bypassing the literal, is where its power and beauty lies. It’s one of the greatest gifts we can offer each other.