First…here is a link to the lyrics of the timeless song by David Bowie. Just to get you to where I am.
Webster University here in the St. Louis area does a regular movies series at Schlafly Bottleworks. Last night they show the documentary by D.A. Pennebaker, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. It was quite an experience for me as I had never seen David Bowie perform during that era.
I like Bowie’s music. I have his greatest hits on my iPod (yes, I still have an iPod). But I had never really made a point to pay him much attention. I knew he was influential. I regarded him highly along with The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and others from that era. But I just clumped him in with those I had deemed ‘gods among men’ in the history of music. So I had no idea watching this live performance of David Bowie as the character Ziggy Stardust would have impacted me so deeply. I took quite a bit away from watching this film.
- I realized how much of an impact Bowie had on 80’s music.
- He had such a powerful stage presence. Even today he can’t be touched. And he had no back up dancers, no background video, no one else but the band. He carried the performance alone and like no other.
- Fashion trends that were big in the 80’s he was doing in 1972.
- Songs today just don’t have the lyrical content and depth as back then.
- No lip-syncing, no auto-tune, all natural, all talent, all art.
- Story-telling through music and performance.
- Costumes, but classy, relevant, not over indulgent, not pointless, not gaudy.
- I had no idea the young girls swooned over Bowie like they did The Beatles.
- Bowie’s music spans the generations. As I look around the room there are young and old here enjoying the show, young and old who know all the words.
I realized at one point during the performance for the song Changes, that I was being profoundly affected mentally. This place where I have found myself has left me wondering what I am doing, and what am I to do. I realized that not only does something need to change within me and around me, but that I am changing, I have changed, and that I can do nothing about the fact that changes are occurring. The first line of the first verse says:
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets.
I realized that I am living that right now, and have been for quite some time. Longer than I care to admit.
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test.
For years I unknowingly (until now) was this man described in the second part of the first verse. Always reaching for what was next, or what was naught, and now as I turn to face me, now I see the fear, the insecurity, behind the wall. I wonder how I got this far, I do wonder how others must have seen the faker. And now I am no longer too fast to take that test. And that test is hard.
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But the days still seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.
With the second verse, after the first chorus, I notice that the influence that I have in my world, the world that I perceive to swirl around me, is just that, my circle of influence. The ripples fade within arms length. Nothing I do is impactful enough to remain, and so, yes, the days still seem the same. And those within my reach regard me as anecdotal at best, because they too struggle to ripple their own world.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, if you aren’t changing then you aren’t growing. And so I guess I have realized that while I am tired of building character through struggle, I am still changing. Now I can let the changes happen to me or I can control the changes. My choice. So I decided to start with self awareness, and situational awareness. In other words I have decided to be more aware of my influence (or lack thereof) in my immediate environments. That includes social environments as well as my work environments. It may even mean that I must take more action to affect these environments. EEK! I guess if I don’t Fill In The Spaces, who will?
Finding myself means examining my place in the small world that surrounds me. Examining the impact that I have on the people who walk through my world while examining their own. Being aware of how my world, and the worlds of others, impact me and how I react to the impact.
However, I have got to be ready to go wherever time may take me. And whenever time may take me. Mainly because
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time