David Bowie and the Six Degrees of Separation
In pondering David Bowie’s passing this week and celebrating his life and work with the rest of the world, I’ve been reminded of my own David Bowie story -- my David and Iman story – with its six degrees of separation.
Do you know the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation"? Wikipedia defines it this way: “Everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”
My David and Iman story definitely proved this theory and it’s a sweet memory with a great lesson:
When I first moved to New York City from Los Angeles, I spent my first month staying with veteran Broadway actress, Enid Rodgers, who was a lithe and youthful 86 at the time. She was the epitome of New York City — and she lived on the top floor of a storybook West Village apartment building. We had breakfast on the rooftop every morning amid her riotous garden of summer flowers.
I met Enid because the son of the actress Caroline Lagerfelt was in my preschool class in Los Angeles. Caroline, a beautiful friend, generously arranged my introduction and stay with Enid.
Within the first week of being there, Enid’s close friend and neighbor invited me to accompany him and another friend up to the Essex House on Central Park South. The neighbor was designing David Bowie and Iman’s penthouse apartment, and he had to go check on some work that had just been completed.
So, there I was in Iman and David Bowie’s home-to-be, surrounded in plaster and and paint, marble and wood. I was both seeing and hearing the stories of how the place was being transformed by Enid's wonderful neighbor-designer, to their specifications.
The Bowies, of course, were not there, but the space already had their feel, — at least in my imagination — and I enjoyed thinking of how they would inhabit this amazing new home with their collective creativity, love and family.
Standing in this famous couple’s living room overlooking Central Park was an unforeseen and unique experience -- one of the many welcoming moments New York gave to me.
It was a gift too: it reminded me that we all are truly connected to one another. Here was a glimpse into another life that was vastly different from my own, and yet familiar and even recognizable -- though I never met them personally.
In that moment, I was reminded of this: In truth, there is no separation.
When I told this story to my musician husband, he remarked, “Of course. Think of how you are one with your audience when you perform. And think of how you are one with David Bowie and his music when you listen.”
Absolutely. My husband's comments were perfect metaphors for the truth of an eternal invisible thread that connects all of humanity and binds us together.
I think these kinds of experiences serve to teach us of that oneness.
I grew up dancing to David Bowie, and he is one of my all time favorites. I celebrate his onward journey and the enduring beauty, energy and intensity of his work, its innovation, deep creativity, and let’s be real: its total danceability!
No degree of separation there!
David Bowie’s wife, Iman, posted this poignant quote on her instagram page,
"The struggle is real, but so is God."
And then she also commented: “Rise.”
I love Iman’s communication of her faith. It connects me yet again and I feel that oneness.
With love to David Bowie, Iman and their family …