Wednesday night a friend treated me to a wonderful concert at The Orpheum in downtown Vancouver. Beautiful acoustics in a beautiful space. Even Ben Howard commented on the privilege of playing in such a venue. We were sitting just one row from the back and while Ben Howard himself was only a speck on the stage, the neck of his guitar danced amplified shadows on the ceiling. The music was mesmerizing.
I actually wasn’t familiar with too many of his songs and I liked it this way. I was hearing many of them for the first time live, raw, unedited. Like this one:
I’ve been worryin’ that my time is a little unclear
I’ve been worryin’ that I’m losing the ones I hold dear
I’ve been worryin’ that we all live our lives in the confines of fear
I’ve been thinking about time too. Maybe because my mom wrote about time on her blog. Maybe because we attended a funeral today for a guy who was only 26. We’ve known him and his family for many years, having grown up in the same schools and church.
I’ve been thinking that time is a lot unclear. Days like today remind me how fragile and fleeting it is. How full of endings and beginnings, comings and goings that happen at unexpected moments. A mixture of bitter and sweet, like T.S. Eliot starts with in The Waste Land:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
But stories like Justin’s also remind and encourage me of people who don’t live their lives in the confines of fear. A recurring word used to describe his life was “free”. Today we grieved and we celebrated his short but full years, his larger-than-life attitude, and the hope that carried him through the fear.