Mortality Versus Potential

Photo by Hubble Heritage

I was going to start this post – my first of the year – by wishing you a happy new year, but that seems trite, because, well, David Bowie died today. I hate the feeling as we age that the people we love are not immune to death. And because I cannot be trite, I am going to peel back the layers.

How strange to mourn someone you’ve not actually met, and how beautifully human. How lucky we are to have access to individuals and their thoughts, to be shaped by writers, musicians, artists. As children and adults, our interactions with our influencers are so real, it’s hard to imagine they too are mortal and become dust with the march of time. Ashes to ashes.

Death is no longer a stranger. He sat with his shoes kicked off during my youth, patient. But now he has begun to visit more regularly amongst the births and marriages. Life and death irrevocably intertwined. I envy the balm of youth sometimes, when ignorance shields you from the knowledge that everything is finite. Don’t we all want to cheat the laws of the universe?

Days like these a painful reminder of our own mortality. Our loneliness within groups, even at home, cocooned in a loved one’s arms. Life is an individual journey. There is no escaping that. When poor health or old age approach, this fleeting awareness of mortality becomes ever-present, creaking bones and translucent skin a reminder of what we want to forget.

And yet isn’t a flash of colour all the more beautiful when it is shrouded by darkness? The idea of boundless imagination, curiosity and passion is intoxicating. Here’s to embracing our oddities with grace, being authentic and having the courage to reinvent ourselves in the time that we are here. You don’t need anyone’s permission to be a supernova. Strut your stuff, own your choices, take no prisoners. Happy adventures, wanderers. Thank you, Starman.

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