I got to work this morning to find out David Bowie passed away. It was a strange feeling to learn that, like something of immense and indefinable value had been stolen in the night. I don't think that we'll ever be able to appreciate the magnitude of this loss, even those who were tremendous fans or those who were close to him personally, because one of the monumental achievements of Bowie's life and career was that he saw things that were invisible to the universe until he revealed them.
As such, I'm not really sure you can quantify the impact of his life and work. He created strange and wonderful things, ideas that inspired the people who inspire the rest of us. He found different ways of thinking about art, about life, about fame and the artifacts of culture that rise up around the people who dream for a living. I can imagine a few of the mysterious connections between the world we live in and the man who just passed out of our life--could Steven Colbert have existed without Ziggy Stardust? How many fantasy writers were touched by strangeness for the first time by the Goblin King? But I can't say that I see them all. He's too big for that.
And so I wish he had more time. Because I cannot imagine what five more years, one more year, even six more months of Bowie would have given us. I cannot imagine how he could have transformed the world all over again in that span, because he was rarer than a genius. He was, in his own way, a magician in the truest sense of the world, someone who changed reality with his thoughts and his words and his music, and even the geniuses he inspired cannot perform his magic.
David Bowie is gone, and that is a sad thing even if the world he helped make is wonderful.