Well, I’m about to join the club, and talk about David Bowie.
My earliest impressions of him were that he was… well… odd. I didn’t really think about him, otherwise. But a few years ago, I watched this interesting and completely random DVD compilation of interviews with artists, about creativity in general. I can’t remember what the DVD was called, so forgive me for not sharing a link of any kind.
Anyhow, there were a few artists who I was kind of looking forward to hearing from (most of whom unfortunately turned out to be incredibly boring), and then there was David Bowie. To be honest, I almost skipped his portion, thinking it would just be trippy and spaced out and… odd.
Boy am I glad I didn’t.
Everything he said had me wanting to jump out of my seat, wave my hands in the air, and shout YYYYYEESSSSS!!! at the top of my lungs. He was speaking things that I knew and felt deep inside, as a creator, but couldn’t come anywhere close to articulating at that time. By the time his portion of the DVD was over, I knew I had found one of my people.
If you saw me walking down the street, you would probably never peg me as an artist. I tend to wear light, natural looking makeup, and I’m usually wearing black. Not in an edgy, “look-at-me-I’m-so-hardcore-and-emotionally-damaged-but-cooler-than-you” way, but more in a “this is unobtrusive, easy to coordinate, and hopefully slimming” sort of way. I probably look like a cubicle-dweller, to be quite honest, and I’m an extremely conservative person in many ways.
But here I was, identifying with Ziggy Stardust.
I guess what I learned that day, and what I’m attempting (rather inarticulately) to say now is that, quite simply, you can never judge a book by its cover. Or by anything, really. It’s so important to listen to people, ALL people, and to give them a chance to reveal themselves. People in general are complex and interesting entities, and all of them have something to contribute, if you give them the chance to do so.
And if you listen, you might just find kindred spirits in the oddest places.
Here are a few of Bowie’s quotes that I’ve culled from various online sources, which all feel as if they could have come from inside my own soul.
“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.”
“Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.”
“As an adolescent, I was painfully shy, withdrawn. I didn’t really have the nerve to sing my songs on stage, and nobody else was doing them. I decided to do them in disguise so that I didn’t have to actually go through the humiliation of going on stage and being myself.”
How about you? Have any favorite Bowie quotes you’d like to share? Or have you found a kindred spirit somewhere you didn’t expect to? I’d love to hear about it!