When the music started I sank into my seat in the dark. It only took a second for my heart to unhinge from its axis. From there I was free.
There’s something very liberating about going to a concert alone. I saw Luka Bloom play two weeks ago. It’s the treat I give myself every two years when he tours. Twenty years later and I keep going back for more. There’s something so soothing about this Irish man. If you’re open to it, his music is like a soft caress.
So there I was, being caressed and soothed. Metaphorically and figuratively. And suddenly the wall that holds in all my neat piles of chaotic emotions simply collapsed. Right there in the darkness I had the permission to feel anything I goddamn wanted to feel.
So I bawled. And as the show went on I laughed, beamed, applauded, and then cried some more.
Music doesn’t mess around like that. Unlike the written word with all its complicated symbolism, music is a pure force that injects directly to our senses, bypassing all the analytical brainwork. It’s also the reason I’m envious of musicians. God, how I’d love the power to move people like that.
Luka moved me from Love is a Monsoon to As I Waved Goodbye. He took me all the way from The City of Chicago and over Diamond Mountain. And when he sang I’m On Your Side, I was slain. This song about solidarity, about supporting the ones you love, this was the moment of my undoing.
I see a warrior who’s walking in light
I see poetry and songs sung true
I see courage in the darkest of your nights
I see armour of love draped around you
I saw you almost not go
I saw you breathe deeply and know
Black dogs whisper lies
You, you are ancient and wise
I pretended Luka sang it for me. But he sang it for all warriors, for anyone who is struggling towards the light.
The good thing about a Luka concert is that it isn’t just about sobbing to myself in the dark. For two hours on that Saturday night the world seemed bigger. And sharper. For two hours I remembered there was a world beyond my own inner cosmos. The universe expanded in one glorious crescendo.
And then the universe contracted again as the house lights came on. Back to reality. Back to being the exhausted 41 year old mother of two young children. The wall went up. I armoured myself for the grind of existing.
But as I stepped into the cold night, I felt a little warmer. And I carried out a pocketful of courage.