My Elvis died.


Another one of my heroes died this week, and it’s left a bigger hole in the world than I’d anticipated. I mean, people die. Even the stars we admire from afar. I’ve got more heroes in heaven than I do on earth at this point. Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Bing Crosby, Steve Jobs… Yet, it just seems so wrong that David Bowie isn’t still here.

Why him more than the others? It’s hard to say, really. I wasn’t the best David Bowie fan. I didn’t love everything he ever put out. I didn’t buy every album. I tended to pick and choose, more of a greatest hits than a B-side fan. I never went to a concert. I own a lot of his music, but I don’t listen to it all the time.

I think he was my Elvis. The one artist that won’t be replaced for me. It’s not just that it’ll be difficult. There won’t be another David Bowie. That incredibly elastic voice and personality can’t be replaced. We won’t see another Major Tom or Ziggy Stardust or Jareth or Thin White Duke. Not again.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mourn him. I didn’t know him. But I’ll never listen to his music again without a sense of loss and the impermanence of life. Which means his music doesn’t mean the same thing to me that it did. I can’t just fall in love with his croon and wonder at the hidden meanings to his lyrics. And it’s that loss that I mourn.

So good-bye, Mr. Bowie. I’ll miss you every time I hear your voice.

Rainbow Chasers: A Tribute to Steve Jobs (with a HONEOWP announcement at the very end)

This week, two extraordinary things happened. The first ever quadruple rainbow was photographed and Steve Jobs, visionary founder of Apple, passed away. In my mind, these two events are linked by more than the time period, however.

In an article I found about the quadruple rainbow, I found the term “rainbow chasers”, and that phrase has caught my imagination in a sort of magical way. I’ve mused about what it would be like to chase rainbows. It’s an actual job, too. Check out the Urban Dictionary’s definition. What a wonderful way to introduce yourself. I’d love to be able to walk up at a dinner party or a PTO function or really just about anywhere, shake someone’s hand and introduce myself as “Michelle Garren Flye, rainbow chaser.”

But in a way, I am a rainbow chaser. And Steve Jobs was one of the most successful rainbow chasers of our time. In his own words:

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Stanford University Commencement Address 2005

Read more:

So, in honor of Steve Jobs and the rainbow chasers who went before him (Walt Disney, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Einstein), I offer a new definition of a rainbow chaser: Someone who recognizes the joy of constantly striving toward the goal of perfection in their life and work. And in honor of Steve Jobs and the future rainbow chasers who may have been inspired by him, I designate my next HONEOWP Charity as Rainbows International Grief Support Organization for Children.