A third of my country came together at the same time to celebrate the music of a band who are living legends in Canada. They came to together to say a heartfelt farewell to their leader: the storyteller, the thoughtful observer, ever the proud, but honest, Canadian, the simply lovely human being, who created the a soundtrack to our lives, our youth, our dreams, our fears, our joys, our sorrows, our goals, our culture, our community, our love for each other.
A third of my country. At the same time. And how many others out there? online? Is over the world? There are Canadians everywhere and somebody from everywhere in Canada. Loving their country. Missing it. But they are rarely there where they are because Canada wasn’t good enough. They are far away because it was so good, it taught them to love the whole, great big world. To try to understand and learn about each other. To accept and respect and embrace. Curious, compassionate, creative…and nice. Polite. Gracious. Those are the best qualities.
Thank you, Gord Downie, for showing us our strength in numbers, our power for the very best of things, if we want it. Such power. And such is the power of music, of art. It breaks down walls, it shatters barriers, it opens windows, and door. It always leads to more communication and connection, it always leads to some kind of love.
We don’t need any more added stress in our lives. No one does. It’s not healthy. It’s not good for you. Nature has plenty as it is, no matter how successful, no matter how rich. Don’t we see that, asks Gord Downie’s heart? Asks us all. And with such great love. Such generosity. Come, let’s raise a glass or two, to our lives, to our loves, our losses, our laughs. Let’s sing. Let’s dance. Wherever you are. Whoever you are. Whoever you voted for. Whichever country you are in. Anyone who is a Canadian, literal or in spirit. Spirit means a lot.
So, shall we just bury hatchets finally?
Shall we look in the mirrors that our greatest artists show us?
Shall we work together, finally, to simply create a better world for all, not just for you or for me or for us, for all. ALL.
Shall we embrace the very serenity that leads us to joy?
Imagine if a third of us did that? What could happen? What would happen? I wonder what The Hip think. I wonder what Gord Downie would say?
My heart breaks at the reason, I don’t want to believe it’s possible. But if it’s happening, if it’s going to happen like this, we damn well better listen, and learn and do something about it.
‘Life is precious’ should never have become a cliche. It’s a breath. It’s an embrace. It’s being here, now. It’s time. It is time. Precious time.
The Tragically Hip played its final show in the Man Machine Poem Tour at the K-Rock Centre, in Kingston, Ont.www.cbc.ca
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