Saying Goodbye to a Poet, an Artist, a Canadian Son

“That Night in Toronto”

It’s hard to say what Gord Downie meant to so many in this country. It’s even harder to say what he means to me. Since news of his cancer and The Tragically Hip’s final concert last summer, I felt so moved and I expected to be called out.

“Did you have every album?”

“Do you know every word?”

No, but there are words etched in my heart, lyrics that make me cry – every time. There are songs that are a part of the fabric of my life and the life of a generation of Canadians.  And there is the way that somehow, with a magical force of presence and art,  this man, his work and his passing have brought us together.

I recently read Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone in which she exhorts us to “Hold hands. With strangers,” to join in moments of collective gathering.

“All of these examples of collective joy and pain are sacred experiences.” Brené Brown

In that spirit, Justin and I went to Nathan Philips Square last night and sang our hearts out along with a crowd galvanized by Choir! Choir! Choir! I cried my way through Bobcaygeon and belted out Courage. I was pulled into The Stranger and let loose in New Orleans is Sinking.  I did it alongside others wholeheartedly doing the same, each with their own soft spots and memories, each with their own Gord.  Every moment deepened my belief in the power and impact of sharing and art and the worthiness of making this your path.

The arts bring us together.

The arts send us home.

Sing Along… (Lyrics available here thanks to Choir! Choir! Choir!)

We get to feel small…But not out of place at all

It was in Bobcaygeon
I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves one star at time

Don’t tell me what the poets are doing… Don’t tell me that they’re talking tough.

It’s sad but true… I’m kinda dumb and so are you.

Sundown in the Paris of the prairies

Courage… it couldn’t come at a worse time.

Her son has gone alee… And that’s where he will stay

I’m moving fast.. On the path nobody knows

Learn more & Contribute – Downie/Wenjack Fund

I come from downtown… Born ready for you… Armed with will and determination… And grace, too.

No dress rehearsal … This is our life…

Picking out the highlights of the scenery… Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

The event was livestreamed to Facebook. For a time you should be able to find the recording here.

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