It was a different kind of week of sadness, more global, more visible, and at the same time more introspective. We lost two influential artists: first in David Bowie, who timed his goodbye album to drop two days before his death, and then barely had time to catch our collective breath before Alan Rickman passed. Both at the same age. Both of some form of cancer. And then we heard the stories about Celine Dion’s husband and brother dying of cancer two days apart, also in this week. There were so many reasons to feel empathetic heartbreak it was hard to do anything other than wallow in memories and remembrances. Ache for the children left behind by their fathers’ too-early passing. Part of how I worked through it was reading many of the tributes written about the two. Max Gladstone had a powerful essay at Tor about mourning that concluded:
Mourning is a tribute. Mourning is an affirmation of self. Mourning is a battle against the end. Someone passes, and yet remains, and returns, through memory, through work, through fingerprints left on clay.
The interesting thing about honoring these specific two men’s lives, though, is that they left such strong signposts of hope. Rickman said, “A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” Bowie, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” I’ve saved those quotes as images for the future because they are useful reminders, in the same way Anne McCaffrey’s passing was to me, that the people who mashed up two of the iconic ways I’ll remember these men were on the right track. We can remember, but we must move forward. Let’s Rock!
I’m toying with the idea of a multi-book review based on Bowie’s Top 100 Books list, of which I’ve already read a startling number… and have them in my book shelves. I also read an interesting article about habits neuroscience has confirmed make people happy, as well as an article that affirmed the value of decluttering as a path to de-stressing.
None of these things led to much progress on my stated goals for this round. I started fiddling with plug-ins for my blog to improve my book listings. I found a group of authors who are poking my brain in different ways to produce a story that would be part of a new series in a new world. I spent more time editing Gayla’s latest. I wrote 100 words on The Builders, and averaged about a mile a day walking. These are all micro-movements in the direction I want to be heading, but for a week that was emotionally exhausting and included a heavy work load… well… I’ll see about getting back on my writing horse tomorrow.
In the meantime, I encourage you to see how my fellow ROWers are doing with their goals, and I’ll report back next week.