Monday, January 11, 2016

Process Stories, or R.I.P. David Bowie

Photo courtesy
This one's going to meander.  Bear with me.

A few nights ago, Mario and I watched the documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's on Netflix.  I wasn't feeling well and he thought a fashion movie would perk me up.  It did, but not in the way he intended.  While the bio of the store was fascinating, and I loved seeing all the designers and others who've worked with the store over the years, my favorite part, hands down, was the section on the creation of the holiday window displays.  (You can see them here).

The absolute joy in creation displayed by the entire display staff and all the artisans and workshops employed in making all those wonderful windows -- glass mosaic, luxurious upholstered animals, fantastic paper creations, ingenious woodworking, glowing copper birds -- was so obvious that it blew me away.  Would I rather be one of the profiled designers (a good number of whom don't even sew!) or one of these unnamed but very lucky makers?  

Maker, all the way.  They do stuff.

Another recent movie:  The Chef.  I wasn't expecting a lot, but from the opening scene, which showed the chef fine chopping herbs and vegetables to make a meal for his son, they had me.  It wasn't just a story about a chef, it showed the work.  

The work is what gets me every time.

Which leads me to this morning's very sad news. People who are immortal shouldn't be allowed to up and die on us. On the other hand, like I saw on Facebook this morning,

"If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."

Amen to that.  And even though I'm sitting here listening to Bowie songs with tears in my eyes, I'm grateful for so many years of wonderful music.  Kudos to him and to his family for being able to keep his illness a secret so that he could do his final work and leave us with a farewell song like Lazarus.

Only David Bowie could make a video to basically announce his own departure, and make us love him for it.  Only a true artist would spend the last months of his life creating something new, and working through his own feelings about his impending death in a way that could benefit everyone who listened to his music.

For him, it was all about the work.

I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.  

P.S.  Also this article.  


Anonymous said...

Amen, Karen, nice post.

Vicki said...

Sad day but he has left us with some wonderful music and memories.

Summer Flies said...

Sorry I'm late to this, I just saw it. I think it was fantastic that he could have his death private and with the same dignity he conducted his life. I've watched a lot of his old interviews on a retrospective and gee he was a generous, gracious, articulate and seemingly nice person. I'm so glad to have had him as part of my cultural heritage.

SEWN said...

Great post Karen. I still am at a loss for David Bowie.