Check out my mostly lighthearted, creative interpretation of Open Thought Vortex’s July faith theme–through my lens as a diehard Pearl Jam fan. Part memoir, part concert review, and part tree (i.e., the roots of my living philosophies, my rings of growth, and plenty of sap). Thanks to OTV’s editors for tolerating this long-winded nostalgia fest. ❤

Open Thought Vortex

By Stacia M. Fleegal

TW for brief mentions of physical and verbal abuse

I decided a long time ago that art is the source of my faith—in humanity, in beauty, and in the possibility for transformation. The first piece of art I ever connected with was Ten, the first album by Pearl Jam, which has been my favorite band for 25 years. On April 29, 2016, I saw my ninth Pearl Jam show in Philadelphia, where the band played Ten front to back in its entirety while I had a kind of multilayered awakening about who I was, am, and might become. Stay with me here.

A large contingency of Pearl Jam superfans refer to themselves as The Faithfull, after a Pearl Jam song of the same name. Another large contingency cringes at the term. I hover in between, as I’m wont to do, because I’m a superfan but…

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