It’s only forever, not long at all.

The generation that grew up with Labyrinth mourns David Bowie.  There are enough tributes and a Lazarus video as his epitaph and so I am not going to eulogize. But I do want to give voice to his legacy. You see there will always that frame of a Goblin King dancing with a badass heroine in a romantic white dress. His music echoes and stays behind.

“It’s only for ever… not long at all.” ~Jareth, The Labyrinth

That work of art, that line you penned, that spray on canvass, that photograph, bears witness to a mortal world and oddly, carries on. It’s quite simple. Create. And live forever. Much like the one who made you in his image. Be utterly besotted with life, and then immortalize the transient moment with a song. Or a poem, the Mona Lisa, the Taj Mahal, a lightbulb invention, something new-born and tendered to the world.  Or better yet, live a wild and expansive life and walk the earth like it’s never been walked before. Then you become larger than life itself.  My father was 33 when he died.  But his wild self-portrait hangs in the bar. And so despite being merely 5 when he passed, I keep a memento of a larger than life father who immortalised himself by drinking with a boob for a nose.  Genius sticks around.

downloadOur shared fortune is death. What lies ahead is that one day, my time is up. And I keep forgetting that things pass. I neglect that I am quite- finite. Somehow, that distinction blurs, even when all around me, nature screams of impermanence.  My own body dares me to notice the lines on my face akin to decaying leaves. The leaves become red, and then brown. They dry up, and one day, will vanish.

And so, when the fiery David Bowie unexpectedly dies, I am shaken. Shaken from a day-to-day where time passes and yet I imagine no sand trickling down the hourglass. Shaken with an urgent sense of decaying leaves and the sands of time. And so I write with an acute need to live large on paper. To fill more pages with a life story. Some enchantment. Alchemy. Or genius that just sticks around.

Do you need a prod? Do you need a little darkness to get you going?” ~Mary Oliver

I say walk this earth, and spend your life with gladness. Bear witness. Write more poems. Paint your portrait of aliveness. Be a mother. Find the language for passion, and pain, for spirit and for hunched up in a corner too scared to live. You’re in the labyrinth and you have 13 hours to solve it. Dance the tango of life and death and do it like a goblin king or a badass damsel in a romantic dress. This life should explode with meaning. Fill the shadows with as much light as you can muster. And leave a blazing trail.

“It’s only for ever… not long at all.” ~Jareth, The Labyrinth

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