Lift the Silence

“Take me to that place, where music sounds good again,” sings k.d. lang, and she did, she does. The sound two nights ago filled every inch of the auditorium, every pore in the room, and she took us there.

And all night long, and the next day, walking with other Edmontonians who’d come out to Lift the Silence, the refrain went on and on in my ears—take me to that place, where music sounds good again. That place where it is enough just to be alive, where facing each new day with a smile comes easily. That place where walking through dewy morning grass in bare feet is the purest pleasure, one worth getting up early for. That place where walking anywhere, the feeling of elastic hamstrings with each bounce of step, is the purest pleasure.

Take me to that place, before. Before I knew it wasn’t always enough to try hard, to pay your dues, to be kind and good. Before I doubted the motives and authenticity of our leaders. Before I knew dreams could be shattered and rupture us wide open and leave us raw to the elements. Before I watched that happen to my children, and my friends’ children. Before I knew about neurological or mitochondrial damage, before the stranger in the mirror, before we were orphaned, before we broke each other’s hearts.

Before I knew some who heard the music and loved it completely, only to have it silenced in a moment by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or by some runaway cells that moved in and took over.

Before I knew the music could morph into cacophony, go quiet, even stop altogether. Before I knew some who panicked in the silence, and left us forever.

k.d. lang took us there the other night, not back to before all that—that’s never possible— but somehow, to that place where music sounds good again. And maybe the echo will be enough for a while again, for most of us at least.

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