Vid of the Week: Kurt Cobain

I'm thinking of Kurt Cobain as the "coulda-been-a" True Rebel.

As the years since high school have rolled on I have sometimes tried to remember why I love Nirvana so much. I have loved a lot of 'angsty' music over the years. Typically, though, I love angsty music the best when it points to the possibility of change and something better. The Clash and Rage Against The Machine are great examples of "Things are not okay so let's do something about it!" (probably my two favourite groups of all time.) For the most part, Nirvana (who I also consider amoung my favourite all-time bands) stops after "Things are CRAP!"

When I watch this video though and hear Kurt speak I remember why I, along with so many of my peers, was so drawn to his music and words. Nirvana connected to a place in me in my youth that felt so alone and disconnected. A sqaure peg being hammered into a round hole. My grade 9-12 years were 1991-1995, which were the prime Nirvana years. Kurt became a voice for many of us in crying out, "I don't want to just fit! I want to be able to be different and still be loved!"

Kurt was constantly in pain... the physical, I think, connected to the torment in his soul. Kurt himself locates his singing as coming from his stomach, straight from the pain he was feeling there. It was a connection between physical pain and the longing that he felt to find a place of home. There is such a deep sorrow I feel when I hear his words that "things are getting better" because of his marriage and the birth of his daughter. Sorrow because I know that eventually his depression and pain would become too much for him to bare. Less than a year from this interview, Kurt would take his own life.

I want to reach back and touch Kurt through time and space and give him the biggest hug. Kurt wanted so deeply to be connected, he felt it in Ireland as he had when feeling so alone as a teen. He wanted a place of family and a place of home. Kurt was never going to be able to reclaim a childhood that was torn from him as the relationship between his parents disintegrated. However, finding a measure of healing where we can walk forward through the pain of brokenness, is possible. I'm sure Kurt had people in his life encouraging him in that way... there is no blame to assign...

I want Kurt to still be here with us. For him, of course, and for his family, but for us too. We need examples of people who walk through pain and heartache and find a way to win that battle day by day. People who continue to remind us to love each other and welcome each other into places of home and love despite our differences.

The truth is though that those True Rebels are all around us. People who are fighting that battle daily and finding hope, joy, laughter and love. Many, many stories are like the story of Kurt, without the tragic ending. I just don't want the noise of the sad endings to be louder than the daily whisper of the stories that are still being told. Day by day. Stories of hope. Stories of healing. Stories that are full of pain and struggle, but also full of life and love!

The story that is 'all good' is fiction. Being a true rebel means writing a story of love in the midst of pain. I hear glimpses of that story in Kurt's words... I know it's possible to write a different ending.


(Thanks to UpWorthy for linking me and to PBS for creating the vid)

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