The news of David Bowie's death rocked me to my core - just like it did millions of people world wide, for many many reasons. For me personally, it was like a member of my family, sort of way out there in the outer family kinda relation way, suddenly died and I was left with this big hole in my heart and the loss of someone who, although I didn't know him in a personal way, was a huge part of my life. And when he died, it reminded me that I'm mortal, too and that one by one, the stars of my youth were fading and winking out, one after another.
I was born in the 60's but I wasn't a child of the 60's.
While I was in nappies and learning to speak there was a whole generation of people advocating peace and love. The flower power, make love not war, hippy generation. The ones who laid down in the streets in front of men with guns to show that love was more powerful than hate. The ones who experimented with drugs but didn't hurt anyone. The ones who staged love-ins and peaceful demonstrations, the ones who stood up against the tyrannies and injustices of war and bigotry and hatred.
That movement spawned some of the most powerful names in my memory. Martin Luther King. John F Kennedy. Mahatma Ghandi. John Lennon. Bob Dylan... And more, so many more brilliant, creative, talented and incredibly shining stars were born from that movement. Their artistic souls shone forth in a way that was truly realised by those of us who yearned for a better way of life, a new freedom. These souls blazed pathways and kept doing so until their deaths and beyond. Their legacy lives on. A few were murdered. Some died as the result of their behaviour. Many more went on to continue shining lights in the darkness and showing us the way.
And now they are all dimming, fading, going out one by one. And as their light fades and dies, I wonder who will be our new stars? Who is there to light the way for the next generation, for the world?
Or are we doomed to slide back into the darkness of corporate and personal greed and the worship of war, bigotry and hatred?
Whatever happened to love and peace? Where have all the flowers gone? Where are our heroes now?
Make love, not war.
They weren't just dippy, hippy slogans, were they?