My 13-year journey to Kurt Cobain’s Seattle memorial

Kurt Cobain’s unofficial memorial is a surprisingly peaceful place. The hour long pilgrimage of my morning saw city bustle and high-rise exchanged for families and their cosy homes.

Unlike the day before, the sun was shining bright and warm on on this small patch of grassy hill in the middle of typical suburbia. As I look out to a beautiful view of the water, birds chirp their appreciation for the day. The only other sounds are of the occasional car and passers-by.

There are only two park benches in this tiny space, and it’s obvious right away which is more important. A tree stands tall and strong behind it, the last home of Kurt Cobain (and yes, the place in which he ended his life) is visible off to the right but mostly obscured by a wall of tree and bush. On it are offerings: picks, coins from around the world, flowers and words.

His words.

“I hope you found Nirvana Kurt”
“Today I found my friends”
“One more special message to go. Now you’re done, and you can go home”
“Come as a friend”
“Come as you are, Kurt”

My own contribution? Your scent is still in my place of recovery. Because it is. Because his music shaped me. It made me write, it made me form a high school rock band, it showed me how to turn pain into beauty. My teenage angst might be gone but listening to these songs in good times or bad will always leave a smile on my soul.

I sit on the other bench. An overflow of respects have started to be written here too. An ache in my heart that began earlier in the morning has intensified now, thinking of the tragedy that too many people could be in so much turmoil, even amidst the beauty. Despite this however I was surprisingly calm, especially given I had been waiting 13 years to have this moment.

I have finally come.
I have come with dirty hair and no makeup.
I have come with the memories of intense self-loathing.
I have come with only love in my present.

I have come exactly as I am.

70 (short) thoughts from Coachella 2016, Day 1

1.Why am I in a car?

2. Oh yeah, I live here now

3. OH YEAH COCHELLA!

4. But first I need to find all the food

5. Look at me eating an Acai Bowl for breakfast at Coachella, damn I’m healthy

6. But not as healthy as those people doing group yoga

7. I bet they ate rainbows for breakfast

8. Maybe I’ll get my morning exercise in the form of the human foozeball table, or dodgeball…

9. Then again maybe I’ll just eat some more and dance to the bands later, because festival

10. TIME TO GET IN THERE!

11. All the staff are so excited

12. I wonder how much they’re paid to be this excited

13. Americans REALLY love random high fives

14. I’m excited but everyone just needs to chill the duck down for a second, the bands won’t even start for another hour

15. BUT ALSO OMG YAS I’M FINALLY AT COACHELLA

16. Oooh ferris wheel!

17. Naw, pretty flowers arranged in a giant ‘Besame Mucho’ sign

18. What’s even more exciting is that I can understand it. Lots of kisses indeed!

19. What’s that weird armpit thing in the middle of the field? Why are so many people lining up to get inside it?

20. Oooh pretty mirror sculpture, I’m going in

21. This is actually less exciting then I’d hoped…but a good view of the giant yellow chair sculptures

IMG_7415

22. None of my bands are on for a while so I’ll just follow the group around

23. They’re taking me to a lot of hip hop…I’m regretting following the group around

24. I’m hungry again, stupid Acai Bowl

25. PIIIIZZZZAAAA

26. Back to hip hop, sigh

27. Time for Miami Horror! Aussie Aussie Aussie!

28. Thank god they’re in a tent, It’s a bit crazy hot out there

29. I’m pretty sure my head’s on fire, wish I had a hat

30. “Sometimes, when all that’s left remaaaains.” I love this song!

31. I need more food, and water, god I’m dehydrated

32. Maybe I’ll find the others at Years & Years

33. Aw, this singer is actually adorable, he’s so happy to be here

34. Olly Alexander, that’s his name. He’s making me so happy for him

35. OHMAGERD NEARLY TIME FOR OF MONSTERS AND MEN

36. But first The Kills

37. They’re actually pretty awesome, I didn’t know them much before

38. Everything is better live

39. BACK TO THE OTHER MAIN STAGE. MONSTERS AND MEN, MONSTERS AND MEN

Of Monsters and Men - Coachella 2016

40. Wait am I seeing Bjorn?

41. Amazing dress, all white and tasselled and hippie

42. I actually cannot deal with how identical Nanna looks to Björn

43. And goddamn, can she sing. So can Ragnar. They’re both adorable!!

44. LITTLE TALKS!!

45. These guys are owning today for sure

46. And my friends just left early for ASAP Rocky, idiots

47. Wah Monsters are done

48. I really don’t care for ASAP Rocky…time to climb that weird armpit sculpture thing

50. YAS no line

51. Where the hell am I?

52. I’m sure all these T.V. screens in separate, tiny rooms are profound, but I’m a little creeped out!

53. But daaamn this is an awesome view from the top, Coachella looks so cool all lit up

Light it up!

54. And there goes Rocky, doing his thing, hope my friends are having a good time

56. Oh equality rant, ok Rocky, you’re alright

57. My friends!

58. Aaaand I’m following them again, I’m such a sheep today. Who the hell is Rae Stremmurd?

60. Oh GOD it’s THIS lot.

61. Nope.

62. That’s about enough casual misogyny for one night, somebody please tell these young girls they don’t have to put up with this shit

63. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM

64. I mean there’s only really one song I want, but I love it

65. OMG I JUST GOT HERE AND THEY STARTED PLAYING IT!

66. I WISH Daft Punk was playing at my house

67. And I’m starving again

68. And well pooped

69. Back to camp!…hope the car’s unlocked

70. FOOOOODDDD

34 thoughts from Coachella, Day 0

1.YAAASSS, we made it, and I didn’t kill us by driving on the wrong side of the road or anything

2. This is the campsite? That was easy

3. Oh no, it’s just the unmoving line to get into the campsite

4. Why isn’t this line moving? The other lines are moving. Foul play!

5. Why is no-one wearing a shirt already? Was there a dress code?

6. That’s it I’m changing lines

7. We should definitely have a chill one tonight, ready for the bands tomorrow

8. Maybe I shouldn’t have changed lines

9. YAS at the front

10. Carrying all your medication for the next few years makes for an awkward car search…

11. YAS now we’ve made it! Time to set up

12. …except we have nothing to set up

13. Wow everyone else has a lot to set up

14. We have a picnic blanket…maybe we should just lay that out to look like we know what we’re doing

15. Actually that made it worse

16. The neighbours are laughing

17. But we just dropped a ‘mate’ and now they love us foolish Aussies

The view from the main car camping lot

18. Yeah, we should definitely just have a  couple of quiet drinks tonight then get to bed

19. Except that we just got invited to play American drinking games

20. I WILL WIN THEM ALL

21. Apparently I’m queen of Beer Pong, this makes me very happy

22. Oh yay, new camp friends!

23. Who have invited us for more drinking games

24. Oh crap, shouldn’t have stood up again…well I’m drunk

25. And really need to pee

26. Wow, these camp port-a-loos are actually really clean and full of toilet paper

27. Where the hell did I just come from?

IMG_7410

28. I am less awesome at this Flip Cup game

29. But then again that means I drink more, so technically I’m still awesome at it

30.Damnit, broke the seal

31. Someone brought a slip-and-slide?

32. Fun fact: drunk people cannot set up slip-and-slides

33. Which is probably a good thing

At this point I’m sure I had more thoughts, but my memory cuts back in to this one:

34. Who knew sleeping in a car could be so comfy