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beer cold and a mental hold

The other day, I was raising my beer in honor of Chris Cornell again. It was a night out with the partners and my fellow associates, and Audioslave came on. I started mouthing the words to "Be Yourself" - as one should - when the partner noticed me and gave me high-five. Two seconds later we were both air-drumming and banging our heads to the song, while simultaneously mourning Cornell's death all over again.

Some griefs we never really get over, huh.

And then over the weekend, I started listening to Mac Miller. Coming clean here: I'm not a big fan of hip-hop, even though I've tried so many times to really get into it. It's just a matter of preference, I guess. But I do appreciate a good track every now and then. So I'm always pleasantly surprised when I come across a song, and an album even, that truly captures my attention. The Divine Feminine is what got me the last two days. Another confession: I'm a casual Ariana fan. "So Into You" is my perpetual perk-me-up/gusto-ko-lumandi jam. I cried after the Manchester bombing. I tried following Big Sean because of her ("Best Mistake" is fire, okay.) I fangirl over her and Pete Davidson, and watched all his SNL videos because of their crazy, whirlwind engagement. Oddly though, I never really got into Mac Miller even though I kind of liked "Favorite Part." 

Which is something I now regret, because I realize now how much of an artist he is. I guess what I appreciated about him as I waded through his tracks on Spotify is that his songs aren't just words. He experimented with instruments, he played with different genres, mixing together jazz and soul and hip-hop. He spoke simply, but surely. He was no singer, but he lets his heart warble through the pain to seek bliss, albeit temporary. And, I guess, what made me keep listening was this: even though he had his demons, it was evident that he fervently believed in love. I listened to The Divine Feminine and heard a man who just wanted to make a woman happy. Maybe, he thought, by pleasing you, I can please myself. And what greater satisfaction is there than by giving, and seeing someone receive you, fully, unconditionally?

How sad that the demons in his head had to take him away. I respect Ari's decision for walking away - and I will always root for any woman who has to leave behind someone they love dearly if the relationship is taking a toll on their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. But, I also can't help but feel sad that he couldn't handle it on his own. Everyone was rooting for him. He deserved more time.

Him and Chris, really. 

And everyone else. We all deserve more time.

How lucky we are to have their music to keep us going, when the artists themselves failed at it. I hope we all manage to wade on through, to swim it out, to keep walking, until one day, without us realizing it, we bump into a sense of purpose. A state of mind that will truly, fervently have us believe that life is meaningful. Or not even that - just the general assurance that hey, life isn't bad. Maybe that should be enough. 


Off to a hearing. Do I know what I'm doing? Yes. Do I really know what I'm doing? No. Did I just spend half an hour preparing a playlist composed of Cornell and Miller songs instead of replying to an e-mail, just to get me going through this day - nay, this week? Maybe. Do I need more beer in my life? Absolutely. We do what we have to do to keep going, right?