Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love
It’s been a long week. Popular culture took a real hit this week with the death of David Bowie, and then actor Alan Rickman, both aged 69, both from cancer. Each in his own way created beauty with their art, and will be sorely missed. I take solace in the fact that all of the media attention will pique some curious kid’s interest, and he or she will visit a record store, or seek out a film, and be inspired to create art of their very own. Not for money, not for attention, but just because.
I’ve listened to a lot of David Bowie this week; I’ve always been a fan but for some reason an artists’ death always causes us fans to dig into their body of work, and to reassess it. David Bowie’s endless, restless creativity left us all a huge catalog of music (and film) to explore for decades to come.
Death is a constant part of life, and it’s been a bigger part of my own personal life recently (not just the loss of artists I’ve never met, but a funeral last week for a friend’s mother, another funeral visitation tonight, and on and on…) I guess I’m at that age (mid-forties) when death becomes much more real, as my generation begins to lose parents, relatives, friends, and others at an increasing rate.
There’s nothing we can do about it; it’s one of the only true inevitabilities in life. Death makes us all realize that we need to take time to focus on life. And more than anything else, our lives are shaped by what we love.
…Which happens to be the title of this beautiful song by Odyssey, a little-know Motown band from the early 70’s, when Motown’s chart domination was in serious decline, and the label moved from Detroit to Los Angeles. It spun off a new label, Mowest, which tried but ultimately failed to recapture the Motown magic. ‘Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love’ comes from this era. It was featured (and gave title to) a great collection of Mowest songs released by the always dependable Light in the Attic label.
It’s suddenly seeming strange that I’m marking the death of David Bowie’s death with a completely unrelated song.
I guess that’s very true, but the fact is I’ve been listening to Bowie all week. (Have you?) and this song’s message has been resonating with me a lot these last few days. What shapes your life? What do you love?
Oh, one more thing: F*&K YOU, CANCER.