This Isn’t About Chris Cornell

This isn’t about Chris Cornell.  It’s about me.

A few days ago while staring at a blank screen and listening to alternative 90s rock on Pandora something weird happened.  The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe played and a few songs later Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve poured through my headphones.

Using any excuse to avoid writing, I pondered the odds of two bands with the same word in their name showing up on a radio station so close together.  Then I wondered if I knew the meaning of the word verve, considering both of these amazing songs are so depressing.

Here’s the definition from dictionary.com. For the record, I did know what it meant and I’m certain the example sentence used is a personal attack on me.

verve

noun

enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit:

Her latest novel lacks verve.

Once again, to avoid writing a short story in a genre outside my comfort zone, I pondered my lack of verve most days.  While becoming my own (and dictionary.com’s) self-fulfilling prophecy, Pandora played another song.

This one had sharp teeth that mangled my heart, but I welcomed the pain.  This perfect auditory example of verve reminded me of how much I owe Chris Cornell.

Fell on Black Days

Years ago I listened multiple times to his album Scream while walking along a path in the woods.  That album unlocked enough talent in me to be able to finish co-writing a novel with a much better writer.  I loved the isolation of these walks with Cornell’s scratchy, soulful voice coaxing me to write like it matters.

During the last few minutes of my walk I always played Watch Out.  Not much makes me happy, but that song did.  I watched the following video for the first time today.  At approximately the 3:18 mark Chris turns to the audience and flashes the most beautiful grin.  I immediately began bawling because it’s incomprehensible to me that this man who exemplified verve is gone.

Watch Out – Live

This isn’t about Chris Cornell.  It’s about me and what an asshole I am for never thanking him.  I doubt he would have seen my thanks, but I should have done it anyway.  Carpe diem, people.  And while you’re doing that, do it with verve.

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