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Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Simple Case of Symphony

Picture, if you will, two very different seekers of solace: one, a self-assured, independent, intelligent, deeply sad, upwardly mobile, academically accomplished, woman of colour.Used to, thankfully, and comfortable in, a Canada where both her own freedom and her own search for self-identity are both possible, (if admittedly imperfect) , possibilities, the simplicity and solace of a concert where one is simultaneously at one with, and yet apart from, others, is still a defiant miracle, despite difference.
She has still managed, despite her insane academic schedule, her absence of social life, and deep concern at an externally imploding world, to fit in a mentally self-stabilizing concert where LIVE musicians still exhibit skill, mete out meter in measured doses of self-imposed regimen, and remind her of how little she still knows, and will continue to know, as her time, age, and academic credentials increase. She hopes she always bemoans too little time and the absence of required knowledge in her continued attempts to make sane, impassioned, reasonable assessments of the collection of knowledge, hoping, in doing so, that the application of that same will mean the difference in an uncertain world. It is hard, sometimes, to imagine the instances where that is made real.

Picture, if you will, a traditional, deeply sad (although not outwardly so) older man; used to being presumed to be brave; used to being presumed to be capable, comfortable with, responsible for, and the reason for problems with and for, the aforementioned young woman. He, too, defiantly attends, surrounded by, apart from, and yet enclosed within, the cocoon of the love of the gift of music. He is troubled, hypersensitive, bothered by an absence of appreciation and opportunity for, this gift that has given him this balm. He stands guard as artist and hero, fierce in his appreciation for, recognition of, and thankfulness for, the health and safety and......a flash! My God...he prays he might sleep without thoughts of guns or bombs or dead young people. His music is now all the balm of seeking he made in all of the songs he sang loudly, yelled fiercely, played loudly....instead and in place of, Death. Music still helps him see his way through it.

Angry with himself for thinking it might be, he grows gruff in his speech; abrupt in his gestures....makes contact clumsily but without malice, aside from that which age and Death insist upon, as our movements falter, our hearts contemplate....and our minds give us three seconds to act upon, in a stadium full of people despite the seemingly insane possibility that snatching away a gun or a bomb might result in his own death. The expected bravado, turned inwards, made silly.....denied balm, with hanging head, inwardly weeping heart, the protective somewhat stern father having been denuded.......desparked.

Hypersensitive to the idea of bonking heads or making contact in a modern/ancient frustration made doubly frustrating by being misinterpreted or assimilated into excessive, somewhat combative, academic arrogance........the old hero is vanquished. The enemy is unclear, however.

Its name is Fear, and it has, for a time, destroyed them both, prevented them from speaking, made them both presume, caused them both to move uncharacteristically and suspiciously, and....denied them what they both loved, for a time: a shared Balm.

This is a tragedy. It is especially so, because it is in my country, and despite understanding every terrible thing, both unspoken, and spoken, instinctively, which leads two such different people to attend the same place, for the same reason.....

Alas....despite the beautiful accompaniment which neither was able to attend, together...

My voice is absent.     

I am wearied, and ashamed, at having been too busy to get there in time to prevent it....the absence, I mean. Shabba Ranks would understand.

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