Nirvana

I begin this year with music, as it’s much more expressive than words. Kurt Cobain is a guy who died more than 20 years ago, yet his legacy remains. Below are 3 of his songs with Nirvana, in an order that is not exactly random, following distinct steps that some of you might have experienced in your life.

Kurt killed himself when he was 27 years old and, while listening to his songs and reading about his life, beyond his drug addiction and his chaotic behavior, one can see a background disappointment with life, and his final phrase in his suicide note – “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” – brings into sight a person not willing to compromise, who can’t endure a life of nothingness. As I age, I begin to see that life becomes at some time a matter of endurance, a matter of being able to deal with all the rubbish the existence can throw into you and in your path, rather than a pleasant walk or journey. Kurt must have felt the same the moment passion and vibe faded away, and not being creative or emotional meant the end for him. This is hard to understand for people who are happy just “to be” or “to exist”. There is that quote sometimes found on the Internet that “You are alive, and if this doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what will”. Well, for some people, being alive is (was) not enough.

In psychology this is called identifying with a certain trait or ability or feature; you become your creativity, or your vibe, or your deeds (your art, your masterpiece, etc.). By doing this, you give up your complexity and become one-sided. By consequence, when you lose the part you’re identifying with, you lose yourself as an entire being (your life purpose included). Life becomes meaningless and some sort of suicide shortly follows (some folks don’t have the courage to kill themselves in one move, just like Kurt did, so they become addicts or alcoholics, depending on the available means of slow destruction). So the lesson we could learn from the life and death of Kurt is that it’s advisable or desirable to see ourselves not only through our role or job title or our accomplishments, but also honor our entire multifaceted being.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Lithium

All Apologies

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2 thoughts on “Nirvana

  1. I was never a Nirvana fan. Perhaps I was/am too old. However, I distinctly remember the day Cobain died. My son, who lived in Portland, Oregon at the time, called me and was just devastated. He told me the whole story in such a secretive way, like he had been an insider with Cobain. He was so very undone by the death, I began to question just how deeply into my sons own depression and confusion with life Cobains death would carry him. I changed my gears mid-talk with my son and went into a counseling mode, without sounding like one of course. Mom had always been a counselor to him so it was easy to slip into that role. I was glad I did it because I soon learned that Kurt Cobain’s suicide had dredged up in my son, his own attempts as well as all of the dark emotions, feelings and memories of why he had felt to end his life at the times he had tried and how he battled it every day. I knew all of these horrors already, but every time my son told his story, a few more little memories would creep out. A few more horrors he had endured before he became my son. I learned compassion that day for Kurt Cobain that has served me well in the years since as I have become aware of family, friends, celebrities whose pain was simply too deep and unreachable to try to work with or overcome.

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  2. Am descoperit azi, din intamplare, blogul tau. Am inceput sa citesc un articol, apoi altul, inca unul… si uite asa am ajuns la Nirvana. Din titlu nu eram sigura daca e vorba de starea sau de grupul Nirvana. Asa ca a trebuit sa aflu. Si inca o data m-am bucurat ca pe la vreo 14 ani am descoperit Nirvana. Pot spune ca mi-a fost stalpul de care m-am sprijinit cand lucrurile deveneau atat de urate incat incepusem sa cochetez cu ideea (acum cred ca mai mult melodramatic) de suicid. Si stau acum ca tuta in fata calculatorului si ma uimesc cum creatia unui om care in final a ales iesirea definitiva mi-a tinut creierii intregi atunci. Kind of ironic…

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