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A Special Thank You

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Dear Metallica,

You. Are. Fucking. Amazing.

I’m writing this as I sit soaking in the tub after returning from our 22 hour journey home to NJ from the most magical location on the planet this past weekend, Orion Fest. I am overflowing with love, light, knowledge and power of heart, body and soul, and you played an extraordinarily large part in that. Through your music, you have inspired me to travel, to have adventures, to meet people and grow myself, and of course, to always have a FUN TIME. I have met some of the most beautiful, pure, friendly, compassionate people on tour with you, and these bonds have endured through the years stronger and stronger with each interaction, each imprint of love that we leave on each other when we get so full of joy and understanding that it spills out over our bodies, our lives and everyone and everything around us.

I’m not alone, and these words aren’t just mine, they occur to me sometimes because it’s what we’re ALL thinking, how we who may have been rejected or forced out at some time have found family, people who accept us and love us not despite our flaws but because of them, and not to leech our strength but to build it and help eachother grow. Orion Fest is my family reunion, a celebration of life and love and harmony and all I could feel this weekend was unending bliss coming from all sides. Sure, there were negative moments but we persevered, we conquered the odds and triumphed gloriously.

I made more new connections, felt more at home, alive and healthy than I ever have at any time in my entire life. I understand so much more abiut life and the world, and if ypu don’t believe change can happen like that, then there’s a lot of ground to cover, and even more that we need to talk through. Because change can happen in a day if you open your heart to love and happiness, and embrace what gives you joy in life.

I have seen the living God inside of us, there is no man in the sky, no all powerful single deity – we are ALL god, we are all light, we are all the same being split into fragile minds that yearn to be one again. God lives inside us and the power of knowing that and accepting it and feeding the light in your heart with love and understanding is incalculably powerful. You are prophets of love and rock and you have shown me the way to inner peace.

Kirk, You shred like no other. You power up my soul and energize me with so much raw life I feel like a lightning rod, a conduit of music flowing from your hands and strings to my heart. You rock so hard. Your children will be beautiful and wise because of your love and dedication. The best to you and your family. Thank you.

James, You make my hips shake like a madman, you thump the cage of my heart and make it vibrate with harmony, the warm center of my musical rollercoaster. You keep things playful and your smile spreads like wildfire. Your wife is a bombshell and I’m so happy for both of you. Thank you. (and thanks for the shout out to Jesus before A Love Supreme! His name is Brad, I met him before the second set started and we became fast friends. He treasures that moment and his legacy will be truly eternal in the halls of Um lore)

Robert, Your rhythm links us all together, you fill the tiny cracks and make songs into a perfect mesh, blending and seamlessly transitioning moods with the light, quick, steady and powerful hands of a master percussionist. I hope I get to try your ribs in person some day, and so much love to your family.

Lars, You are an animal. You are the Rocktopus, an eight armed beast at the helm of your kit, synchronized in syncopations and trills and lightning fast fills. I throw the horns of RAWK as a salute to your driving rhythm and try to hit every beat as it courses through my body and soul. As a drummer I am in awe of your talent, and I hope to one day play with even a fraction of your skill. You are strong and kind and you will find true love some day. Thank you.

Kirk, You are my favorite. I don’t wish to incur jealousy among bandmates, as I love all of you, but KH you are the architect of our dreamscapes, the composer of such raw beauty the like of which I never thought I might experience. Your words spark my imagination and set my soul afire with new thoughts and dreams and ways of thinking and viewing the world. They are beautiful, and not always perfect, and that’s ok because they are even more powerful for their imperfections. Your lyrical stews have brought many a tear to my eye, be it of the pain I feel through you, wistful sorrow, or ecstatic joy, each tear is memorable. You also make the weirdest, coolest noises with Lucy and your other guitars and make every song so special. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Guys, I had the closest thing I have ever had to a religious experience this weekend, and it is in NO small part thanks to you. You, your crew, Jefferson and Kevin, Chris M, Steve B and everyone else that keeps the hot and heavy train of Um from derailing, and all who bring us aboard to come along for the ride. You are all beautiful souls and thanks to you I can say things and make my heart spew forth truth and honest love and compassion like I have never known before.

I learned so much about myself this weekend. I learned so much about life this weekend. I am building connections and strengthening them, and I’ll keep doing it, because it’s all our circus and I want everyone to know that. I want everyone to know this love and light is possible and tangible and real and all you need to do is make conscious decisions every day, right or wrong, make a choice and understand what it means. Think about how it will make those affected feel and how making them feel that will make you feel, and when you know what that is, through empathy or experience, you can discover the right choices and do your best to better the living world around you, every day.

I hope this reaches you, I hope you know how much I care, and thank you for guiding me to this point. I was telling people Metallica (or the ‘Ca as we call them) is like church, but I never expected this and I couldn’t have, but I cherish my newfound understandings. I have been morose and melancholy for so long, unsure and hesitative, making mistakes but never learning.. all that is over. It’s a whole new world for you and me, whoever is reading this, yes, YOU! Be the love and light you want to experience in the world and we will evolve together and live in harmony.

Finally to Akash, Leah, Michael and John, you are some of my oldest friends and you have helped me more than you will ever know. Your love keeps me rocking, and with all this love I will do great things. It’s a miracle that I have had you in my life for so long and that we have been able to grow, both together and apart at times, but still come to the same conclusions and dreams. I love you, and so many others who know who they are (and if they don’t I’m telling them soon)

Orion Fest will go down in my personal history as the moment I became a true human being of light and love, the start of a change in the weather that signals great things to come. I am breathing easy, I am thinking slowly, I am dreaming with focus and purpose and it is the greatest, cleansing, nourishing feeling. Thank you.

PS: I got laid, too! And damn was she cute, and damn was it good (and safe!) Monday morning of Scamp was never sweeter.

PPS: Don’t ever change your name, I’m pretty sure it’s a magical incantation for instant good times, and boy do I freaking love good times.

\mm/ Forever

Love,

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