I woke the same as any other day
Except a voice was in my head
It said, "Seize the day, pull the trigger
Drop the blade and watch the rolling heads"
One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
(I might make it)
The day I tried to live
Words you say, never seem
To live up to the ones inside your head
The lives we make never seem
To ever get us anywhere but dead
-Soundgarden, “The Day I Tried to Live”
Pretty chilling to look back on these lyrics today. The day Chris Cornell no longer lived. A sad day. A confusing and scary day. A day riddled with nostalgia and mortality.
I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot lately. The impermanence of things and people, and how that relates to my life.
I got a phone call a few months ago. My father was in the hospital having undergone emergency surgery. I grappled a lot that day for understanding, and those that subsequently followed.
Then came more news. A friend was diagnosed with a rare brain stem tumor. More stories of former coworkers embroiled in their own fights. Memories of friends, family and mentors affected by cancers beyond their control came flooding back. Talks with friends about depression and fear re-entered my consciousness.
Tears. Disappointment. Futility. Fear. Resolve. And still….hope.
Understanding that people present themselves in one way, but may be struggling very mightily to find resolution and compromise in their own lives. I’ve always felt a morbid fascination regarding lives cut short, particularly those who are artistic and crave creativity.
I read a particularly poignant post from an artist that I admire earlier today expressing her fear and understanding that to be a creator of art and music is to lean over the edge often. To live out all these emotions and depths of despair, emoting that realness in front of others regularly, and how coming down from that is a deeper plunge for soaring to great heights over and over again. Riding those crests of creation and destruction for the sake of their art. To be present and deeply IN IT, then to come back to earth after the performance is over and still have to deal with the reality of a personal life when you’re not on stage.
And aren’t we all on stage at some point? Putting on a show of sorts. At work. Within circles of friends. Even at family gatherings. Wearing masks and putting on a brave face when we’re scared out of our minds.
Life is difficult. And confusing. And sometimes so illogical and heartbreaking. It is terrible and wonderful. It can be breathtaking and overwhelming in all ways. And yet, it is still yours.