’72 Seasons’ And The Tears Of Realization

i am sitting here crying. During these late hours (when the inspiration to write and create tends to happen the most) i began to cry, as i make attempts to get into bed. It has been waiting to come out for a few hours now, as i’ve spent so much time wondering what connects me to this song. In the midst of the countless times i’ve listened to this newly released song- two weeks before its album’s launch- it hit me.

Earlier i the evening i wrote this:

The song builds and tells a story and wraps you in, before even getting to the primary riff. Thematically, it’s similar to songs like ‘The Unforgiven’ (all three, but mostly the first) and ‘Am I Savage’ in that it takes on the idea that we experience a lot of trauma and sometimes we internalize that trauma, sometimes we enact the ‘sins of our parents/guardians’, or we can reject those things. The description of the album’s theme fits perfectly here, without saying much.

We’ve spent so many years enacting violence and trauma upon ourselves and each other; so many wasted seasons have passed. A new season has approached; we have the opportunity to plant seeds of whole, healthy trees that bloom healthy fruits.

i feel like this album is the chapter coming out of Hardwired’s pessimism. The pandemic has been a time to do a lot of self-reflection. Rehabilitation is another time to do self-reflection. i keep saying this, but i sincerely do feel that this is the period of Metallica, where their role is to simply be a messenger of light and unity. For me, this experience has been beyond music.

When i hear all of these songs released so far, i hear catharsis- especially ’72 Seasons’. i hear humanity working to break through the mess of… human-ness.

What i hear is, ‘WHAT HAVE WE DONE? We still have time to alter the course of our human experience.’


i know for an absolute fact that i will love this album. Something tells me it is going to be neck and neck with St. Anger… i do feel like this is a direct response to the work done to be better people, which you saw with the whole process of St. Anger.

This song contains levels of beauty, where any words i’ve written here won’t even cover.

As i said, any words i’d written wouldn’t necessarily encompass what it was i really wanted to say.

And then it hit me.

i am a child who internalized a lot of the trauma in the first 18 years of my life- those 72 seasons. i believed i was ugly and worthless, because that’s what i heard religiously. i was an incredibly shy kid who “chok(ed) on the stage fright”, as the song describes. i always had to be asked to raise my voice, and kept my eyes glued to the ground when i walked. The self doubt i had was staggering. i had friends, i played in bands; people may or may not have seen that frightened little girl beneath the layers.

Shot down
But what is done is done and done
Look back
No chance before this life began

Thinking about the trauma, abuse and assault i experienced as a child and young adult is not the thing that’s making me cry though- it’s the fact that i survived. It’s the fact that i have finally become okay, only in the past couple of years, with truly walking away. It’s the fact that i’ve increasingly become okay with understanding that there are those you love don’t necessarily love you back in the ways you truly need, but there are those who actually do, in their own ways.

It’s the fact that sometimes, the hardest part is walking away from that comfort of holding on to the trauma, partly because you don’t want to lose those people in your life who may have been the arbiters of it. Sometimes you live in fear of exploring a new world outside of this environment, because you don’t know any other life.

It’s the fact that, as you grow, some people still (and may) want to see you in that same, frightened place you were.

Wrath of man
Leaching through
Split in two
Wrath of man
Crash into
Point of view
Wrath of man
Wrath of man
Thrive upon
Feeding on
72 seasons gone

Wither under looming shadow cast
Slip back
Blinded by the ashes of the past

It’s all of these things, but i shed tears primarily because despite losing a limb, i have actually begun to grow another part of myself. In a funny way, being an amputee has been a blessing; not necessarily in a physical sense, but in a spiritual and philosophical sense. i still struggle with self-doubt more times than i’d like to admit- part of that definitely has to do with having a disability; and while i have days where i wonder and ask why i’m even here, there are other days where i can say, ‘You have survived,’ whether it’s a life-altering accident, or an abusive childhood.

While these lyrics are a clear reference to James Hetfield’s own experience with childhood trauma and self-doubt (and his active work to heal from these things); it wasn’t until the upteenth time i listened, when i realized how much i actually identified with what the song was saying.

These are not tears of sadness; they are revelatory tears. They are tears of acknowledgement. They are tears with the understanding that i (we) am more than my past. It is not only the past that shapes me, but every moment up until now does as well.

Every day, the gift of Metallica’s music becomes clearer.

About jamilah

i think about a lot of things, and sometimes i write about them.
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1 Response to ’72 Seasons’ And The Tears Of Realization

  1. Pingback: Metallica Fridays (no.32): Processing what i have just heard… | PROSTHETICS AND DRUMSTICKS UNITE!

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