I must worry now, I guess, that when I listen to beautiful music, someone will die. Or they will try to. They will move towards death, or be moved. It will come towards them. I will see sunlight filtered through the wood, I will see the blues and the greens and the golden glow in technicolour hue, and they will inch down the passage.
I wonder sometimes why I can be overcome like that. How can you go — in a moment, a slim and nothing moment — from your state of natural equilibrium, your relative comfort, your composure… from all that, straight to faithless, haunted. There is nothing, and then there arrives a brutality on your senses, a loss. A crumpling. With just a string, or a whistle, you fly back there, and the light filters through the wood, and there are blues and greens and that straw-gold glow, and the song finishes, and your friend is no more.
People try to convince me all the time that there is a veil around me, that I am awash in the light and love of my ancestors. That we all are. That there is proof. That we can attribute our wins to those we’ve lost. That it was my grandfather, my great grandmother, who kept me safe, got me home, made me smile. People I loved, and miss. People that meant a lot to me, but who are gone now. And I let everyone talk, I laugh with them, I mirror their excitement. They tell me their stories, about balloons, about lights, or smells, or coins. I listen and I go with them and I hope they are okay. But I am untouched. I don’t see it. I can’t see my way to it, to any of it. It is not there for me. It just… isn’t.
But some days. Some days I wish it were there. I wish I could see it. I wish that I could be told there is cancer and I could feel assured that someone would handle it. I wish I could believe that there exists in this world, still, the quiet power of my grandfather. That my kind, little nana still sings her sweet songs.
Instead it is just us, and it is uncertainty, and it is the idea we will all be lonely one day, we will all be without our mum, we will all lose our dad. There is cancer and there is loss and there is beautiful music to store it all in.