Captain’s Log 6,124
David Bowie. Wow. Another master of reinvention has crossed over. As a Facebook friend said this morning, how lucky we were to have shared the planet at the same time as David Bowie. She was absolutely right.
With his amazing skills and willingness to be wrong or right. His willingness to just be.
I was talking to a friend last night about this very thing. Why do some people jump in and try stuff and other people only attempt what they know will be a success? It’s an interesting thing to ponder. I am a total risk taker. I am the person who woke up one day and went out to buy a mandolin because I didn’t have a mandolin. I didn’t know how to play a mandolin. I spent an entire summer learning. Trial and error. Frustrating. Rewarding. But I learned to play.
I took the ridiculous job of teaching history on a tall ship. I knew nothing about it. But I learned and struggled and became a very good teacher.
I rarely choose the obvious. How did an English major who became a folk singer and a youth minister and a composer/theater director…… how did that person become the director of a museum? I don’t know. All I know is every opportunity that has come my way has been a huge experiment.
And what about failure? I have failed far more than I have succeeded. But in each “failure” was a chance to build something new. From my failed arts organization in the Twin Cities to my disastrous careers as a research analyst and corporate event planner, I learned what NOT to do. I learned what NOT to expect from people. The failures were stepping stones to freedom.
Have I worked for the money? Ever? No. I worked for the promise of money more than once, but it never materialized. Lesson learned. It took me 60 years to land a job that pays an adequate salary, but not having a lot of money taught me how to save and budget. Even when I was the poorest person in the room, I was usually carrying more in my wallet than anyone there. I was also extremely happy because I was doing what I wanted.
I am not trying to compare myself to the genius of David Bowie. Never. I am merely relating what I know about being someone who thinks differently – someone who tries the angle that other people might not see. Somebody willing to fail or be ridiculed for being stupid.
So long, David Bowie. You with your quirky sense of artistry. And your odd eyes that bored into the core of everyone you met. You will be missed.