Deaths and Other Surprises

Lemmy Bowie Rickman

What is it that makes us who we are?

In the space of a few days, the world has lost three wonderfully individual and very different men: Lemmy, David Bowie and Alan Rickman were all hugely significant in their own artistic spheres and massively influential in my own personal sphere, too.

It’s strange how the passing of three people I never met (though I got pretty close to Lemmy a few times), can have such an impact. And while I’m generally not one to cite this or that person as having an influence on my life or what I do, these particular three were all part of my life and helped me grow into the creative person I am today.

As a teenager, I thought it might be quite something to emulate the poet Shelley – write tons of beautifully romantic poems and then die young, leaving a huge body of outstandingly creative work to the world. Of course, I soon realized that dying young doesn’t really allow a whole lot of time for having fun, or being creative, so maybe that version is best left to Hollywood.

What always strikes me with the death of any great artist, actor or musician, is that usually they’ve done a hell of a lot of stuff. And quite often, that’s what made them great – that they seized their opportunities and ran with them, doing everything they could to explore their artistic interests, ideas and passions. And though I’m not planning to kick the bucket just yet, it makes me very aware of how little time we all have.

And so, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be doing a lot of writing.

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