Why the Loss of Chris Cornell Broke My Heart

Just as I sat down to write this post, my most favorite male singing voice of all-time cut through my thoughts to tell me that, “To be yourself is all that you can do.” Was it more than he could do? Was being himself, being Chris Cornell, the man who wrote those lyrics, whose voice will be forever stuck in my head because I’ve never heard another like it, too much? It’s not up to me to wonder. It’s not up to me to make assumptions about why or how he died. I really didn’t know the guy. All I knew was his voice, his songs, from the time Black Hole Sun was being played at bush parties in highschool, to when I had every single word of his debut Audioslave album memorized, to now, when I find myself crying because a man I didn’t know, who had no idea who the hell I am, has died. “Drown me slowly,” that’s what I hear now. Maybe that is more appropriate for the occasion, maybe those lyrics are easier to handle right now while I’m trying to understand why my heart is breaking for someone I did not know but who touched me so deeply. The world has lost an incredible voice, and what’s worse, the articles are declaring it suicide. Suicide. This man, whose songs could cut straight to your heart, felt the only way to continue on was to not. I mean, isn’t that […]

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On Dogs and Cats, and Unfortunately, Death

“‘It’s dreadful, isn’t it?'” “‘What? Death?'” “Yes. It makes everything else seem so horribly trivial. He doesn’t look human. When you look at him you can hardly persuade yourself that he’s ever been alive. It’s hard to think that not so very many years ago he was just a little boy tearing down the hill and flying a kite.'” (Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil.) I just walked over to open my window as it was getting hot in my living room. I was all ready to start working; I had my coffee ready, a handful of stolen mini eggs from my kids’ Easter baskets had just been eaten, and all that was left was to let in some fresh air to counteract the effects of blind-less south-facing windows. And then I stopped. My dogs were sitting, or lying, in the sun, right outside the window. It was strange because they never sit outside that particular window. And so I looked again, closer this time. There was something else lying at their feet. Something black and fuzzy and – Oh My God!! It was a cat. Asleep….no, no, no, no. Shit. Not a sleeping cat. There was a ratty looking, but formerly fuzzy-looking, dead cat lying at my dog’s feet. It was black, just like them. Well, it still is black. It’s weird. I want to speak of it in the past tense because it is in the past tense, now. […]

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