There’s a fantastic Doctor Who storyline from when Tom Baker was The Doctor involving a trip to Paris and the entire history of the human race being threatened by an alien who is just trying to prevent his own species from going extinct… with a cameo from Monty Python’s John Cleese at one point, no less. At one point there is a bit of a glitch in time and it causes a sort of ripple, which is felt by both the Doctor and his companion, Romana. On screen it is shown by a sort of visual ripple effect, a shaking of the screen.
That shaking sensation is exactly how I felt when I saw the words on my phone this morning — David Bowie Dead at 69. I nearly dropped my phone. I remember the very first thought that I had when I read it. “That can’t be right, David Bowie can’t die!”
Of course I am well aware that the man that could have been Sir David Bowie (had he not declined knighthood) was a human of flesh and blood like me and that like me he had the possibility of dying at any point in time. But it seemed so sudden! How did it happen, I wondered. Why hadn’t we heard anything about this?
I started scrolling down through Facebook post after Facebook post, and nearly all of them were about David Bowie passing away — and this was at half past four in the morning when I was just preparing a glass of lemon juice and warm water, mind you — so I was barely awake. I kept on reading and reading and tried to come to terms with the fact that the man who had just put out a new album (that would be his last) and had celebrated a birthday was no longer with us on this earth.
I am heartened by the words of Dean Podestá, who wrote a moving Tweet about Bowie a day before his passing — remember this when someone tells you that nothing significant can be expressed via Twitter.
Every day we have is precious. Every cup of coffee we drink can be a mundane experience or something special, something to be treasured. Every opportunity to tell a story should be taken when possible. There may not be a next time. Kal ho naa ho, as the film says.