As someone who likes to write, I find it hard when I can't think of anything to write about. So I'm sat here at my desk, writing about what it feels like when there's nothing to write about - kind of like an exercise.
'Just write!' is common advice amongst writers, so this is how this post is going to unfold - I'm just going to write.
Two days ago I got told about the death of Adam Yauch aka MCA from the Beastie Boys. I couldn't let it go. My mind was clinging to it. Why couldn't I let the fact that someone (who I didn't even know) had made the transition we call death?
I can remember when I was in my teens and I was going through my Prodigy phase. I loved the Prodigy, they shaped my youth and they also gave rise to dreams of becoming a music producer.
My science teacher at the time (Mr Clarkson) said to a 14 years old Gav Whyte, 'If you can get a list of people who would like to go and see the Prodigy, I'll take you'. I easily got the list and the tickets were ordered. We went in a small minibus along with another teacher called Miss Farey, who taught Media Studies.
That gig changed my life. The pounding bass and the buzz of the atmosphere was something that I will never forget. The Prodigy were at their peak with Fat of the Land and they certainly proved themselves to be an excellent live act. I can remember looking to my left and seeing Mr Clarkson stood at the side of the venue whilst Miss Farey was at the front. There she grabbed hold of Keith Flint (Prodigy's front man) and he spat at her - all part of the rock and roll experience, I guess.
The morning after the gig, I remember waking up and looking around my room at the Prodigy posters covering every bit of the wallpaper. And this is what I thought, 'I can't believe I was in the same room as them. They were there at the front. I saw them'.
In an instant they became real.
That was my first experience of how we make others who we look up to larger than life.
They can do no wrong. We're in awe of them. In our heads they are gods. We want to be them. We will follow what they say, what they do and what they wear and copy them - not realising that we're getting further and further away from expressing who we are.
I can remember telling a mate how I found it amazing that the Prodigy were in the same country as us. That they looked up at the same moon at night. This blew my mind! Then my mate, who was a fan of Oasis, said, 'Yeah and the Gallaghers are less than an hour away in Manchester'. Wow!!
As time went on I stopped being 'starstruck' and got used to the fact that the people we idolise have their faults, just like we do. They were born and they will die, just like the rest of us.
And this brings me back to MCA.
I looked up to the Beastie Boys. They are great. In my head I had made them larger than life, like gods. Sounds silly - but I wasn't aware I was doing it. It was only until MCA died that I realised I had actually made them into something that was beyond life and death - and I suppose up to a point, they are.
Once again, death acted as a wake up call to remind me of the impermanence of this level of reality.
I liked this exercise, it was good.