[Happy 66th to David Bowie]
His intention was always to embrace heroism, but on a small scale, in his own eyes. No fireman’s hatchet for him, no distinctive, transformative cape, no white stallion. With calm precision, magical equanimity and grace, he held gazes, held out his hand, held the broken pieces together. When sirens screamed in the street, he rose and strode down the hall to check that the baby slept, undisturbed by the wailing city.
A scar hidden under his dark beard, at the corner of his smile, belied the menace of his tall, sturdy frame. He never knew what hit him, or why. He raised his eyebrows when he told the story, heroically.
His version of derring-do, his quixotic jousting, was driven by the pleasure of the challenge, the glory of fighting City Hall. His heroics before the IRS, Unemployment, Social Security offices demanded that he scale mountains of rhetoric, redacting manifestos and espousing Man’s Inherent Right to lay claim to fair practice, fair price and the disabuse of power.
In his transformation from mortal to hero, he became the essence of swashbuckling gallantry. He was a warrior for chivalry, a paradigm of consideration, the guardian of other people’s feelings. No, please. You first.
If a hero is a man who would argue with the gods*, then a man is a hero who is doomed to lose that argument. The gods have no reasons, and a hero is not allowed to save himself. He cannot erase the writing on the wall, nor can he reverse the progression of a relentless, determined adversary. He cannot turn water into wine; he cannot change the weather; he cannot stop time. He can only glance up as the light fades and quietly, nobly, say goodbye.* (norman mailer)
INTENTION (noun) 3a: what one intends to do or bring about, b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
Bowie, Heroes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJmZHRIzhY