Monday, May 22, 2017

Op-Ed - The Day I Tried To Live - The Death of Chris Cornell

My personal response to the passing of Chris Cornell.

For many it was a shock that the lead singer of Soundgarden/Audioslave committed suicide last week. As a fan of Soundgarden since the 90's and it's albums essentially being a part of my high school life's soundtrack I'm just sad. After Kurt, Layne and most recently Scott, it's just become common knowledge that artists that can convey the spirit of a generation can only carry that much weight on their hearts for so long. They call it demons. Maybe they are. Maybe it's feeling too much. As an artist and creative person myself, I know these demons all too well. It's ironic that bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and STP have always been the bands I've listened to while going through my own personal demons. Demons, they call them demons. Maybe it's depression. Maybe it's as hard for a person going through depression to relate to someone who hasn't as it is the other way around. I often hear the sentiment, I can't believe he did this, I can't understand why? But what if you can understand or know why? What if being creative, just doing something that's substantive and means so much to others is an artists way to offset the emotional burden of dealing with the realities of life that often don't support that lifestyle? What is the expiration date of someone who wears their hearts on their sleeve? Chris Cornell wasn't a super open guy. You know more than enough about Kurt, Layne and Scott's demons. Maybe that's what the most difficult part of dealing with the grief of losing someone like Cornell. We didn't know enough about his demons to pass judgement or get accustomed to the idea that someone like him could play a concert and kill themselves with an hour of leaving the stage. I admittedly burned myself out on the SuperUnknow album. I listened to it until it losts it's meaning or maybe til whenever I listened to it, it only reminded me of the bad times I relied on it as a crutch to get through. It used to sound like an apocalyptic album to me. But as an adult who has a million more experiences now, it feels like the last day of one persons life. Not a screaming collective. Never a burning building with a crowd of people. But one singular soul. Alone in a room. Alone with thoughts and the feeling that those "demons" will never leave you and every creative endeavor you've pulled out of your soul is meaningless in the effort to keep those "demons" at bay. Maybe that so called demon is the reality we try to tar over with all the meaningless bullshit in our lives. Politics, other people's problems, self destructive behavior, excess, food..etc...the list goes on. In the end we all die. No one walks out of this a winner. One can only hope, that our existence mattered. That much of the pain was worth it to get something out to other people that mattered. Chris Cornell, his voice, his songwriting mattered to me. I'll once again find myself listening to Superunknown this summer, just like I did in 94 when it was released. When I had lived a lot less. Like one of those days I tried to live.

No comments:

Post a Comment