So, I wrote this up right after Alan Rickman passed away, but — relevant to the post itself — I didn’t publish it, because it felt weird. Related: it’s messy in my head sometimes.
SB Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books described it as a “weird” sadness, and it is.
I keep tearing up because two performers passed away.
Alan Rickman and David Bowie: their talents both stolen from the world, their bright lights darkened, their hearts torn from their families. I’ve been sort of obsessively reading tributes, watching and listening to the legacies they left behind, trying to work out why I’m so saddened. The loss of an artist is always a reason to mourn, but I can only recall being this weirdly crushed twice before. When Mary Travers died, and when we lost Philip Seymour Hoffman to his own demons.
I just read a note, in the comments of the video below, from someone thanking Rickman for reading and replying to fanmail he sent when he was 13. The cynic in me assumes it was a toadie working for his publicist who mailed off a signed headshot… but then, what if it was the man himself? By all accounts, he was a good and gentle soul (Bowie, too, from what I’ve read), so why not?
It should not be such a brave thing, to reach out to the world for comfort. It should be the ordinary work of a day to say thank you, to say hello, to say, “Your work means something to me.” To tell someone you know you’re thinking of them, or to mention a passing memory to the person you remembered, even if it’s been a long time. It ought to be completely typical to connect.
And yet, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, at least for me, it’s hard to reach out, to place myself in the path of someone I’ve known, or wish to know, or want to acknowledge. (Extrovert problems: craving interaction and human energy, while simultaneous fearing you’re interrupting or intruding.) It’s a weird fear, a throwback to wanting a boy to like you back, or being hurt when someone wasn’t kind, but I am not a little girl or a fidgety teen anymore.
And so, I’m going to say out loud, the word that I’ve been rolling around in my brain for 2016: Connect.
Time to get over being afraid to reach out to the world for whatever reason, because I so love when the world reaches back. And to strengthen my resolve, I will indulge in the late, exceptionally talented Alan Rickman having a rather epic cup of tea. (Time to flip the table on my own reserve.) Maybe while listening to Starman. Because if anyone knew how to live life on his own terms, it was Bowie.