When I told a co-worker that I was going to see Ozzy play a reunion tour with Black Sabbath, he made a comment about Ozzy not having much left in his brain that hadn’t been fried by excessive drug use-- had I seen The Osbournes? And I said something to the effect of: A person is more than their cognitive ability.
I’m not a Sabbath fan, I went as a favor to my husband, and because I was curious to see what Sabbath was like. And most of it was about what I expected. Four guys on stage playing rock songs, with some lights and no choreography. Sure, they played War Pigs, Iron Man, and Paranoid. Ozzy’s voice was weaker than it probably was when he was younger, but not completely shot. We got what we paid for.
But seeing Ozzy, he made me so happy and left me so inspired. Here he is, an old man, but still up there, making his art, performing for us, and doing what he clearly loves. It was less about how he sang the songs and more about his spirit of gratitude and love for his work. It was the way he talked to us between the songs, it was the way he clearly loved his bandmates, it was the way he allowed himself to be himself for us- at times silly, and always a performer. He ran across the stage- and watching this moved me, because it was as if I was watching an old dog. I say this in the best possible way- the way you have an old dog, for 14 years, and the dog is filled with such loyalty and love for you that even though he has arthritis and is deaf and full of lumps he still runs (slowly) to you because this giant love is greater than the pain. And that is what I saw in Ozzy. He is giving us everything that he has to give. He is being his whole self for us and with us, and he is filled with gratitude and love.
He told us: Thank you for my life.
And my response is: Yes, Ozzy, Thank YOU, for my life. For making your art, for being all in, and for sharing the essence of your humanity with us.
So I left the Sabbath concert feeling inspired, feeling full of joy and hope, feeling excited to make art. Because Ozzy is an artist, and a hero, and a human full of gratitude.