Monthly Missive // August 2021

You put your hand into the fire and it burns you. This is one of the first lessons we learn, whether the fire be literal or metaphorical. But here’s

3 years ago

You put your hand into the fire and it burns you. This is one of the first lessons we learn, whether the fire be literal or metaphorical. But here’s the thing: this lesson is incomplete. Sometimes, the fires that burn us feel damn good and are worth the burning. When you read this, you all probably had different fires spring to your mind (I’m the firestarter, twisted firestarter); whether it’s an ex, a relationship so intense that it fills you with pleasure as you’re consumed, a “bad” habit that lets you make it through another day, or an artistic passion, the examples are everywhere. Sometimes, too often perhaps, the things we need are also the fires that burn us the most deeply. I have a few such fires myself but perhaps the biggest and most intense one is music. It’s why I listen to sad music when I’m sad or angry music when I’m angry. It’s not just about “a fitting mood” but something deeper than that. A flame can be burn low and then it burns for long or it can erupt into a powerful conflagration which doesn’t last the hour.

So I listen to music to stoke my feelings, to let my emotions over-take me, to cleanse myself of them. It doesn’t really work; the problem with trying to burn out your feelings is that they have endless fuel, the lumber of your life, and they will continue to burn, regardless. So the relief is temporary and that’s fine. I get a few hours or days or, if I’m very lucky and the music is very good, weeks of relative emotional solace following a really powerful episode. I let an album overtake me and I cry or scream the words out for the world to hear or dance until I can’t dance anymore and something feels abated, sated, and cleared. The fires burn low and the embers gather at the bottom, for the moment un-stoked until a wind comes in from the outside world or the inner passages of my mind to relit them.

But, as I’ve said, they’ll invariably be relit and so the cycle of discovering new music is born. You see, just like any drug, music has diminishing returns. Sure, some albums grow better with time, as your fondness for them grows larger with each listen through. But even for those albums, something of the excitement invariably disappears. I don’t feel the same way as I did originally when I listen to something like Yes‘s “To Be Over” or Blind Guardian‘s “Noldor: Dead Winter Reigns”. Sure, those tracks still move me, sometimes incredibly so. But it’s not the bursting, impossible to contain excitement feeling of yesteryear. For that, I have new albums, new amazing tracks and sounds, new bands which set my insides to feeling like the center of the sun. And that’s what I’m always working towards and looking for, to find the next lightning strike that will set the fields of my heart ablaze, for the next album that will make me sweat with excitement.

Which is, at the end of the day, the fuel which burns behind the blog, for me and for the rest of the writers and editors. And, I suspect, for you as well, if you’re reading this blog often. Something draws you back because we’re your fellow pyromaniacs, always ready with a new flavor of matches to perhaps kindle something within you. Well, here’s August’s little fires. I hope you enjoy them. Let’s burn brightly together, shall we?

P.S. thank you so much to everyone who wrote to us with encouraging words following last month’s Missive. Your support is immensely appreciated.

Eden Kupermintz


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Eden Kupermintz

Published 3 years ago