“I hurt myself today – to see if I still feel. I focused on the pain, the only thing that’s real.”
This is from a song written by Trent Reznor, the founder of the group Nine Inch Nails. A famous cover has been made by Johnny Cash later on and I don’t think you’ve missed it, especially the later one by Cash.
Musically I agree and think so myself that the melody gets to you and the song tends to get stuck in your head and I find myself going around singing it… What I also couldn’t get out of my head though, along with the song, was the lyrics. It’s quite a depressing piece and the message I must say I do not agree with.
If you feel under the ice this is indeed how you can feel but then the message needs to be how to arise from this darkness. So many songs are written in a gloomy state and then you deliver this to the world for everyone else to experience your pain. And it’s not really fair game I’d say.
So imagine you feeling great, you put on some music that actually makes you feel depressed. And it’s not even your depression. It doesn’t make sense to me.
But this is so common isn’t it, especially in the “art” industry; As long as it’s under the banner of being art then it’s protected by that very same banner and basically anything goes. And we worship it. It doesn’t matter that artist after artist commit suicide, we still glorify the music they leave behind not considering what kind of life they lived. If they take their own life then the life they lived cannot really inspire people to truly heal could it? I know it may sound harsh but that must be the most important thing right? To seek healing and then share with the world how to truly heal.
In the way things are now we tend to seek very little healing, only that which soothes us for a while so we don’t feel the pain any more. And maybe this is what Trent did as well along with the message of the song. He felt that he didn’t feel anything, so he needed to hurt himself to actually feel something. But it doesn’t sound right to go about it that way. And maybe this is the crux that we hurt because we do not feel so the way back then would be to start feeling again not start hurting ourselves.