Saturday, 16 January 2016

Life on Mars. . .

This blog post is a tribute to David Bowie - the Starman and Hero

It's taken me a while to knuckle down and write about the man because there are so many crazy good songs that he wrote himself or performed and it was hard to focus on one song in particular.  

I have written about Bowie's work in previous blog posts (see Space Oddity, As the World Falls Down, Modern love, The man who sold the world and Changes).  I will probably write a few more about him as I connect quite strongly with his work, including his most recent haunting album which the world has since discovered, was not meant to be his final one.

It's a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling "No!"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dreams
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Do you have random thoughts sometimes?  I often think that we don't wonder enough anymore because we've been taught so much to focus on content knowledge rather than focus on our curiosity and asking the right questions.  I think we don't observe enough either.  I mean, introverts have that skill locked and loaded, ready to go.  This is how I feel when I think about the opening verse, where we are lead to consider what the girl with the mousy hair is doing.  Are you the girl with the mousy hair?  Are you often directed to watch things that you don't want to watch?  How can we shake ourselves free from other people dictating what we need to watch and engage with?  Why is it that when we're bored watching something, or we're involved in something, we never tell people we're not interested and move away from it?

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

When we are subjected to shows that we don't want to watch, how can we tell the people involved that they're exposing themselves to things they don't need to or that they're acting in ways that they believe is right, but is actually based on the wrong information?  I've been thinking a bit lately about how people choose to portray themselves on social media and I think that they're very good at constructing a very fake online persona that is in fact very different from their real lives.  I say this with conviction because they are family members who outwardly espouse something else when I know their lived reality.  I haven't of course exposed their online fake life, I just shake my head and wonder why do people do that?  It makes me think that the craziest things that happen in life aren't actually that crazy at all because maybe if crazy things happen this way - then maybe there is life on Mars?


It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times before
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on

When did we get to the point where we write the films that people watch to distract them from their own lives?  I guess that happens when we have begun to master what we have in store for ourselves or have let go of the seemingly important things to embrace the true factors that will bring us our greatest joys in life and celebrate our purpose in this world.

Every time we go to write the film again, do we change what we wrote last time before we show them to the rest of the world?  What do we ask people to focus on when we ask them to watch what we have written?

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

The lived reality is often not what people want.  We would much rather live in the fake or illusion that is the online life because it's more exciting or fascinating than the daily mundane.  But I don't buy into this.  I'm a firm believer of creating the kind of life that you don't need to have a holiday from. I honestly believe that I've made this possible for myself, it's a daily set of decisions where I am grateful for what I have control over and who I choose to surround myself with.  Despite the harsh realities of life and how these have the potential to impact on your life, it doesn't need to overtake the plans and beliefs that you have in store for yourself, because we all know that there is a balance to be had with an element of unpredictability that we accept, rather than trying to manage - we can't control what we have no control over.

I hope that you understand, even though this will be a steep learning curve for most, be content and satisfied in what you have going for yourself.  For some it might not mean like much at all, it may not seem like much at all - but that's the glass half empty / half full argument all over again - always choose half full because it means you have something to start with, it means you're half way there.

Thank you Mr. Bowie for bringing your sense of wonder and perspective to the world.
See you on Mars :-)