Music has always soothed my soul in times of worry or sadness or made me laugh and dance in lighter moods. One way or the other, music has always been an important part of my life.
As I sat at my desk tapping my foot to a new tune from one of our many talented musicians in the valley, it occurred to me that I felt better than I had in days.
I have had a sadness in my soul for the children found in Kamloops, and for all the people that have had to endure such cruelty, devastation, and ongoing trauma.
This week I was to write an Our Town on a survivor, my friend Joe, who survived the sixties scoop and many other traumas at the hands of our government. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make him relive that in such a public way.
He was willing to do the interview, and as we have been friends for so many years, we went ahead and he told me his story from start to finish again for the record. I should say, that we also had his trauma counsellor involved, just in case he needed her. Turns out he did.
I have heard Joe’s story many times, but it churned my gut and made my soul dark and heavy for all that he has been through. We cried, and the only thing I could say was, “how can I support you?”
It feels like I should be asking more. But with our friendship, I know my support and love are what he needs from me. In the good times and bad. I will always be there for him.
Getting back to the article I was supposed to write. As I said, we did the interview, but when it came to writing it, I couldn’t write a thing. I realized that because he has told it so many times before, all he wants is for all of us to go forward, to right the wrongs and acknowledge them, together, and move forward.
To write his story would be to sensationalize it, and him, for the sake of a story. I won’t do that.
After the interview, we spoke for the next two days, as bringing it all up made him angry again. That’s not what I want to do as a journalist. I gave Joe the eleven pages of transcripts and told him to keep them as it is his story, not mine to tell.
After everything, I shared some music with him, to be specific some Mark Perry tunes that I happen to love. Then the laughter began, the tears stopped.
Music has the power to lift your soul. It’s the soundtrack of our lives, and it is powerful, at least in my life. I share it with as many people as I can.
I was on our radio station in Smithers for thirteen years, as a DJ, and I loved it. How many times do you hear a song, and know exactly where you were and what you were doing? For me, it’s many times.
Whether you play music, sing it, teach it, music is a gift. It reaches people and transcends time.
We are extremely lucky to have as many gifted musicians as we do in the Bulkley Valley, and I for one cannot wait until the live music, concerts, festivals, and bonfire get-togethers start again.
Music heals people, and we all need a lot of that right now.
Thanks, Mark Perry and Alex Cuba for making me and my friend smile, and feel we will get through these days, together, and with a smile.