One of the more memorable statements made about David Bowie at his death was that he was constantly reinventing himself. And I think we all recognized the truth of it. As soon as the world had given him a certain identity, he would turn around and be someone else.
It’s not an easy character trait for the people around you. I felt a pang of recognition, how often loved ones have told me, First you were this, now you are that. Can’t you make up your mind?
No. If it comes to following life’s path, making up my mind would mean standing still. I might step onto a conveyor belt and let it carry me to the end. But that’s not the way I want to live. To me, life is not about establishing an identity. It’s about responding to what shows up along the way.
I chose this photograph from my recent trip to Norway as an illustration because, at first glance, you might think you were looking at a sheet of ice. This is actually moving water: waves breaking on the shore. Because I used a very long exposure time, you can’t see the separate waves or the movement of the water. It all merges into one image.
When we look back on Bowie’s life, we don’t see a series of disjointed identities. We see a life capable of making adjustments and responding to what happened to him.
I hope that when people look back on my life – or on their own lives – they will see the same thing. A life capable of responding to life. Living with fluidity.