What Am I Listening To?


This song changed my life.  I feel guilty setting my meager words against this masterpiece. When I hear music, I contemplate what inspired it, and the talent that the artists have to create.  Avenged Sevenfold has been one of my favorite bands for almost a decade.  I impulse ran away to Vegas to see them with my best friend.  That trip changed both of our lives forever.  She left a bad relationship, and I came home and got pregnant with my baby – who is named after the guitarist from A7x.  My surprise baby made me realize how little control I have in my life.  A tryst with my ex-husband celebrating my return, after fighting for weeks because he did not want me to go to Vegas, brought me my laughing butthead.

I can laugh and note the irony that I found out I was pregnant 6 days after he had a vasectomy and I triumphantly proclaimed “TWO IS ENOUGH FOR ME! I AM DONE!” 3 kids is nothing easy, but I consider myself blessedly overwhelmed.  My separation and divorce is a blessing, too, because in the freedom of the kids going to their dad, I have found myself again.  I don’t feel guilty for admitting time away from the kids is necessary for me to recharge.  I have accepted that for me to be an amazing mom, I have to be an amazing me, because the two are inseparable.  That is my light inside what could be darkness.

When Jimmy overdosed, A7x fought through that pain, that loss, and ultimately this album – The Stage – was born.  This, to me, is what coming through pain is like.  Any mother knows that the pain of childbirth is nothing in comparison to the joy of holding your newborn, and that perspective gets me through.  I tell myself, if you hold on, if you seek the light in the darkness, there are no limits.  It is difficult to remember that sometimes, because my nature is to fix problems, and I feel pain deeply.    Jimmy was their brother, it took them years to even replace him as a drummer.  They loved him, and in their love for him, they decided to persist instead of giving up.  Their new drummer, Brooks, has breathed a life into them that has made them transcendent.

They did this album against all “reason”.  Their first song for the radio is over 8 minutes long.  They’ve been panned in the media for meager album sales, yet anyone I have played this song for has melted as their mind explodes.  I will admit, I have a huge crush on Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  His efforts to bring reason and logic back into our society cannot go un-celebrated.  His speech at the end of this song summarizes every pondering I’ve pondered with an eloquence and intelligence I could only dream of rivaling.

When all else is falling apart in my life, I say to myself, “How can I be anything but happy to exist at a time when a song like this exists?”

Did you know that Einstein said for science to thrive, a religion must embrace the cosmic perspective?  Did you know Einstein said the only philosophy that he could see ever leading to the preservation, expansion, and proliferation of science is Buddhism?  Isn’t music the very harmony of science and nature?  The marriage of logic and mathematics with instinct and creativity?  Isn’t that the very nature of nature?  Water is bound by the laws of physics as much as I am.  Isn’t it incredible that a human mind could give us that information? That the human mind and body created this song?

Maynard has been stressing the role of the artist is to guide and create.  To me, an artist is the parent of creation, as I am the mother of my kids, as I am a mother towards everything, because that is my nature.  I read that Mother/Mama/Mom is a variation of the primordial sound of existence, it is where Om originates.  My obsession with Jung makes me smile at this beautiful, simple connection, and my obsession with Jung was fueled by my love of Maynard’s music.

Music turns me into a small child, gazing with eyes wide open, jaw slackened into a dazed grin.  My heart races at the guitar, and my blood becomes a gentle rainfall of feathers.  My spine becomes electric pulses of rhythm, as I cannot help but be devoured by a band making the sound of creation.  I see beauty in chaos, because chaos is creation. I see beauty in logic, because logic is order.  Chaos is a catalyst, and everything logically follows order.  I see random as never random, because everything I have ever done, is a blessing, like my surprise baby.

I’m ever grateful to the band that set the path to bringing me my son.  I’m grateful for the song that changed my life.  I hope you give a listen, and let me know your thoughts.

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