On the 18th of May, Chris Cornell took his own life, whether under the influence or not, ending one of the greatest voices of our generation.
So much of Chris Cornell's music was built around depression. Both living with it and wanting to escape it by any means necessary. I know so many fans that just appreciated the brooding aspect of all of it, but it's something that connected with me on an intimate level. I've fought depression in any number of ways over the years and I could link my mind with the messy images of life Chris brought to life with his lyrics and his always stirring delivery of them.
Chris Cornell knew pain. He channeled pain. He made art of his battle with madness.
God, it feels so familiar.
It's funny that the realization never quite punched me in the face until the world suddenly didn't have Chris Cornell. Already in a miasma with packing and moving, I found myself listening to song after song after song and just feeling the pain he felt everyday and in every word. He delivered those songs in concert often at an insane schedule. It's easy to see how such a thing could catch up with him. His history with self-medication may have been involved, but Cornell never stopped being a man that carried his demons on his shoulder.
He lasted 53 years with those monsters weighing him down. His loss makes me question my own fortitude, but at the same time, his life makes me want to create and thrive. Through the creative process I can find strength. If Chris Cornell's music leaves me one legacy it is that.