I think it's a universal truth that everyone has that one thing--a person, song, book, movie, place--that they turn to when the waters get rough and navigating life seems too hard or hopeless.
What does an author do when their heart is too full to write adventures and love stories, when they are too distracted to edit and revise? Write about something else.
Music means something to everyone--whatever the tempo or style, it touches our soul in ways I'm not sure we always understand. Until something changes. Bands break up. Members die. People retire. And sometimes we feel the effects of it keenly.
Life is hard. It's bitter. It's smiling. It's angry and passionate. Life can treat you like shit but it pulls you in for a warm embrace sometimes, too. When you're an impressionable mind, a lost soul in a sea of people who don't understand you and don't care about the struggles you go through every day, it's nice to have something to lean on. A pillar of hope. Strength. Something to connect with. Since high school, that's what Linkin Park's music has been for me. I'm not sure I even realized how interwoven their music was in my life until the incredibly sad and unexpected happened.
A lot of people don't know who Linkin Park is or care about this Chester guy. They might've heard of Linkin Park but don't care about their music. Many people like them, others have abandoned them as their music has changed throughout their 20+ years in the biz. But they have been the one single consistent thing in my life for over twenty years and now Chester is gone. The band has been turned upside down and their future is uncertain. Though I cannot imagine what Chester's family and closest friends are going through, the lossI feel has been heartbreakingly real. It's seems so silly as I write this--being sad for a stranger I've never met and his loved ones--and yet tears trickle down my face. Chester Bennington will never write another song or sing another lyric. His band, his children...they will never see his smile or laugh again.
As an author, I have written with many of their songs playing in the background over the years. They've been the inspiration to characters and scenes and themes throughout The Ending Series and Saratoga Falls that would not be what they are without the sound and gravity of Linkin Park.
These are some of the songs have shaped both my life and the stories I tell.