Brief 52: David Bowie & Virginia Woolf: Learning to Live & to Die

Dear writers,

David Bowiewe need idols. But why and what for? Are we not real, not realistic enough to know that our lives do not match the lives of the stars? Why should they not touch us? Their light shines on us. Just like the stars in the dark night sky. We look up when we are lonely, or in love. Not just sailors out in the ocean need the guidance of the stars.
It doesn´t matter if the stars are lightyears away.
See how strong their light must be to reach us on little earthy earth, so far away. Sometimes we feel small and far away from guidance. Sometimes we have no sense of direction. Then we look up – to the sky or to our idols. To the great great musicians like David Bowie or to great great writers like Virginia Woolf or to great great painters like Georgia O´Keeffe.

blogbrief-53We ask them: „Tell me, what is it that I feel? What can I name it? How can I endure it, how can I stand up to that crazy stubborn love in my heart or to that numb anger? Give me a phrase, a melody, a picture for my yearning.” Like Sternthaler I am holding up my apron to the sky. Stories, songs and images are the gold I collect. When I feel low or when I feel high, I take a piece of that gold and buy myself a ticket into my dream life: Then I dare to write. I dare to express my love. I dare to grow and change and be me.

Because the greatest gift stars like David Bowie give us, their fans, followers, readers is their message: Dare to become yourself, dare to stand out in the crowd, dare to love, to live, also to die. Indeed, from our stars and idols we also learn something about dying.

virginia-blogbrief-53Virginia Woolf published dozens of great great books and then, in 1942, aged 59 she walked into the River Ouse with heavy stones in her pockets and drowned. What does that teach me? Is it bad to learn that suicide is a real option? It is not the worst option. In Virginia´s case: Luftwaffe-bombers cruised over her house and a Nazi invasion seemed most likely. Her head and heart were bursting with pain. So it might have been the appropriate solution for her to walk into the river. But it is not suicide I learn from this part of my idol’s life. What I learn is this: Sometimes hard measures are necessary in life. You can dare to execute them.

And what can we learn from David Bowie’s death? Maybe this: Life is long and intense. You can invent yourself many times over, you can be not just one but many personae, you can also move between the more male or more female parts of your identities – up to a high age. You can make music, write, sing, dance, speak to the world, and when you get old and sick, deliver yet another creative work and then die quickly. Which reminds me of the Yoga blessing „Satnam“. My yoga teacher said: „Say a long SAAAAAAAAAAAAAT followed by a brief NAM. ’Sat’ refers to living, breathing, creating. A hopefully long, creative life. And ’nam’ stands for death, the ending, we want that to be quick.“ (And be reborn into a new identity?)

What a piece of wonder: Two days after his last CD was published David Bowie died, at the age of 69.

bowie-star-blogbrief-53Live an intense life and then let go.

Change many times and always give your best.

Dare to be eccentric, dare to speak out, dare to commit bold acts.

Thank you, David Bowie, thank you, Virginia Woolf for being those guiding stars in my own and in many peoples´ lives.

In diesem Sinne wünsche ich uns allen ein erfülltes neues Schreibjahr 2016!

Eure Judith W.

PS: Eigentlich wollte ich Euch über die Kompaktkurse der nächsten Monaten schreiben, geeignet besonders für SchreiberInnen von außerhalb von Wien: Writers Tricks, Short Story, Frei geschrieben Intensiv, Collage Dream Writing, Poetry, Mindwriting zum Frühlingsbeginn und Sachbuch schreiben. Aber David Bowies Tod hat mich berührt und zu anderem, in einer anderen Sprache, geleitet. Letztlich geht es dort wie da, darum, sich frei zu schreiben 😉

AKTUELL IM WRITERS´STUDIO

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