“Who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million stars… I Do”

Whatever this will end up as, it has been playing in the back of my mind starting Thursday a week ago, since hearing of the passing of Chris Cornell. More specifically, since hearing, seeing, FEELING the reactions of hearts I love, aching for this particular loss. And the aching of my own heart too. “He was one of us.” Words spoken to me, that resonate so deeply. One of us, has been too many of “us” for me on a personal level, and I understand completely (not at all) why.

I’m not entirely sure about what I’m writing. I’m not writing about suicide, death, depression, or loss. Except, that’s a lie, because I am a little bit somewhat writing about all of those things.

The words in my heart are about how fucking short life can be, and how I don’t want to let any more moments, or love, pass me by, and how I won’t just take opportunities, but will make them, because pause buttons were pushed, one that led to me losing myself, and forgetting almost everything I knew, and I stopped being alive for years. And one which ended up being pushed because it was the “right” thing to do, (never fully pushed?) the path as it was meant to happen, the unfolding to lead to a (something) deeper understanding, and learning, and now pause is over (?), (my) arms are thrown open, are there to catch, to be caught by… (re-interpretation/appropriation)

And they (words in my heart) are also about how love is, I think, the most important thing. But how it isn’t in and of itself, enough to save the life of one who chooses to not live. Which doesn’t inherently mean chooses physical death. Also, this isn’t, and is, about how it (love), and life as a whole, don’t look at all like I thought they would.

Love, which I used to think would come wrapped neatly in glittery purple ribbons,  and be punctuated by things forevery, and accompanied by grand gestures, but turns out to be without regard for the construct of time, and sloppy, messy, complex, (in its simplicity,  familiarity, comfort, and warmth), while wrapped in glittery purple ribbons, and accompanied by (beautiful, thoughtful, loving) simple gestures (that mean everything in the moments they are needed, especially when given without being asked for). And is able to navigate that which at first glance appears to be unnavigable, if that is the choice made.

Life, that I have always been told must follow a linear path, but instead is laced with switchbacks, and hairpin turns, stops, and starts, and is washed out by tide’s coming in, and then revealed in a new form, by tide’s receding.

(I sit, and stare, and think, and dream, and sing, and float to there, wherever that may be… , as I seek the words I want to write. And were you sitting next to me, you would see the beginnings, and middles, of so many writings… to be gotten back to, when they are ready. If they are ever ready. Maybe it is less {in this moment} that I want to write, and more that I want to speak, or sit in {silent} conversation.)

“One of us” as I interpret it globally,  is one of the artsy fartsy type. Us sedately hyper, hyper-communicative, introverts, who lay it all on the line, and play it close to the vest. Who pour ourselves in brilliant neon, onto the canvas best suited to our chosen medium, except sometimes we’re muted pastel. Or black. Or white. Or invisible ink. One of us, the (un) lucky ones, who create, or burn inside out, for the lack of it. One of us who feel, and feel, and FEEL. Even when we say we don’t. If we create, we FEEL! Us; those who seemingly have a choice to go inside, get down and dirty with the everything we feel, or to not. So then we drink, a lot. Or do drugs, a lot. Or find a “zipless fuck”  and a hundred more after it. To numb. To escape. To hide.

Sometimes too, we go inside, while creating, and drinking, and doing drugs, and finding a zipless fuck, and thinking we’ve got answers, have a handle on things, Or we go inside while creating, without drinking, drugs, or zipless fucks, and do have answers, and a handle on things, and then… what we thought we knew as certainty, isn’t, and we remember that even concrete crumbles, and steel melts. In some instances, that’s a terrible thing, and in others, its exactly the way its supposed to be, perhaps even intentional, and beautiful.

But Chris Cornell though… his departure is one (of many) that sends me deep into a variation of my life long deep think of “why.” Not why did he commit suicide. This why isn’t that why. This why is about why we “rise”, or “fall.” Which is not a statement of judgement, or about better than, worse than, higher or lower on any scale. It is just words to depict going one way, or another.

As I have spent hours thinking about this writing, about Chris Cornell, about the ones who create, and depression, and suicide, or pseudo-cide (addiction) (which is not to be confused with pseudocide, a death, faked) I think of my own journey into the very deep dark place from which I at times didn’t see an escape, and at other times didn’t give a fuck about escaping from, alive. (I did not try to commit suicide, just to be clear!!) I think about the fact that from the outside, Chris Cornell had so much more to fight his way out of the dark for, than I.

This is not melodrama, and this is not victim mentality, this is; write that shit down on a piece of paper in 2 columns, and see what it looks like, from the outside. He had a wife who loves him, kids who love him, THE career he always wanted, friends who love him, fans who adore him, fame and fortune, IMMENSE talent, access to every imaginable resource because, money,  and blah blah blah stuff. I have my daughters, and friends who love me. And family who do too, of course. I have had so much more than so many on this planet, and I KNOW it, but on paper, reviewing the 2 columns, I would have picked Chris Cornell as the one to come out ahead. Alive.

Never, ever will I be able to understand, explain why or how I got to such a deep, dark depth, nor will I be able to understand, or explain, why or how, I am not there anymore, and why Chris Cornell hung himself to stop the hurting. And I could speak of karma, or of God, or luck, or being blessed, faith, lack thereof, dogma, or timing. I could speak of inner strength, tenacity, nature, nurture, biology, chemistry, or a million other things, that would all be supposition. Why did I choose what I chose, and why did he choose, what he chose. And this isn’t really about Chris Cornell, and this isn’t really about me. This is about anyone who has been where he was, and where I was.

Over, and over, and over, as I write this, I see 3 faces, and hear 3 voices, and think of these 3 souls I have been privileged to (some more than others) know. Each of these souls are ridiculously talented, intelligent, crazy, grounded, creative feelers, who have attained levels of success in their chosen mediums that most of us creative feelers can only (maybe) imagine. And each of them has been through some hell. Eerily similar hell, to each other, and me. Although 2 of them have been public about their hell, and by public I mean PUBLIC about their hell, I will speak of them anonymously because who they are, and their hell, isn’t important.

My thoughts about each of these ridiculously talented, creative feelers (henceforth to be known as RTCF), isn’t about their success. I know enough about how the world of artistic endeavors works to know that whatever the fuck luck is, (or is it blessings? – omnipotent omniscient Oprah deity “you get rich and famous, and you get rich and famous”) there is some element of that involved. The mystery for me is the why of each of them choosing to rise, instead of to fall. Which is not to say that they (2 of them much moreso than the 3rd) followed always, only a straight, and narrow path.

I can say I was a somewhat more than casual observer to the period of “don’t think I’ll make it to age 30 so, fuck it” of one of them. (Disclaimer: I didn’t know this was the thinking, until many years later.) But always in the midst of the crazy fun, there was a level of restraint involved. If “method to the madness” has ever been applied, it was then, and there, with that person. If “spiraling in control” can be a thing, I know the master of it. Bravest soul I’ve ever known, this one, thankfully no longer spiraling.

Another of them started to fall at a very young age, chose to reverse the fall, then got knocked the fuck down. Memories of conversation of almost 20 years ago;  a head-down, shoulders slumped, hands in pockets, heart-achingly difficult conversation, about the knock down, an ending of a something, and the why of the ending, like it was yesterday. And that conversation could have been followed by a not just a fall, but a plunge. Rise doesn’t begin to describe this story’s (not yet finished) end.

The third (beloved) soul, that I know of, has never even begun to fall. Not in the sense that I mean here. On the face of it though, would have been “taking candy from a baby” easy for this to be another spiral in control, if not fall. Rise, once again, does not begin to describe… Poised now to reach even higher heights.

Sadly, exponentially more are the faces of those who fell, than those who rose. I see them flashing through my mind, and I am grieved by the knowing that I am forgetting some (probably many) of them no longer here, taken either by suicide, or pseudo-cide become fatal. There are those too who simply slipped away, so lost in their pseudo-cide, they couldn’t be with those of us not following that road.

And I’m left with, WHY? And thank you to whatever it is that requires thanking, which sees me sitting here writing this, with my artsy fartsy, creative FEELINGNESS hanging the fuck out. All. The. Time. Instead of being still in the darkness. Or on the other side of it where the only pain is for those left behind.

1700+ words, and I still don’t know for sure what this is about. I know that since I started thinking about this, children were killed in Manchester, England, while they were at a pop concert. And wars are being waged in other countries by those shouting with bombs that their beliefs are what matter most. And a couple more artsy fartsy legends have passed way. 2 men were killed, and another severely injured, defending teenage girls from a “man” bullying them for their religious beliefs. Today an artsy fartsy guy, younger than me, died. Something about alcoholism, but, I think that wasn’t the exact cause of death.

Life is short. Love is love is love. Is messy.  Is complex in its simplicity. And I have no answers. But I’m here. I remember who I am, and this, who I am now, is who I always was. This was always my path. And choices made from places of fear, are never the right choice. And, irrespective of my beliefs about the hereafter, I care if another light goes out. More though than that, I care about the light that is still here, in so much pain, that it thinks it should be, not.

If you’ve read the above, and think you see yourself in it, this is not about you, except the you this is, in part, about. This is mostly about me, but not about just me, and not about me at all. And/Or Chris Cornell.


Linkin Park – “One More Light”

Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can’t keep
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

The reminders, pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need, oh
And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair
Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
Well I do