The Starman has departed for his home planet. I can't imagine a world without David Bowie, but the strange thing is, he never was in my world, at least physically. So why do I feel the loss as dearly as I would my closest friend?

Maybe because even though I never met Bowie, his voice, his thoughts, his style, his different colored eyes, his music has permeated my life and become part of it, a marker as clear as any anniversary or season or journey.

It's not celebrity worship, although there's no denying his aloof sensuality, a male Garbo for the Moonage generation. Bowie was our white rabbit, racing headfirst down that hole into Wonderland and daring us all to keep up. If you grew up in the '70s or '80s, and you felt a bit different, a bit too skinny or queer or daydreamy or strange, Bowie was the one to tell you to go for it, to be more that thing that sets you apart, to embrace it, for in that acceptance is power.