Thursday, November 10, 2016

How the Light Gets In




I can't do this anymore.

Like election night, this was going to be a very different post. I was going to sum up my last day in Florida, which was subdued, but made much sweeter by the presence of my wonderful baby cousin, who smiles at everything she sees, and coos along when you sing to her. I was - and am - deeply concerned and saddened by the results of the election. But I had this day with my family, and it was still a vacation, so I decided to just relax and be in the moment. We spent the day at the pool, had a lovely dinner, and had a great time just being family. I noticed that everyone else at the hotel seemed subdued, too.

This morning, I was at the airport in plenty of time for my flight. The TSA was its usual self - confusing and a little gross - but it ran pretty smoothly, and I had plenty of time to listen to Hamilton for the 10,000th time, while sitting at the gate and wondering at how profoundly everything had changed in just five days. Suddenly, nothing seemed steady or certain anymore.

The flight was fine. Sunwing is all right if your flight is short and you want to go cheap. I tried to read my book, but I was feeling a bit scattered. One good thing - the new machines at Canadian customs made the whole ordeal take only a couple of minutes. My bag arrived almost immediately, so I hopped right onto the excellent UP Express airport train, and I was downtown about an hour after landing - which is good, as I had class to attend.

I sat through class, pretending I could muster up the slightest bit of interest in metadata standards, and had a few picky arguments with my professor. To my surprise, I found I was mad, angry at what I can see unfolding but can do nothing about. I stumbled home, tired and looking forward to being home. It looked like it would be a nice, quiet evening. It was a relief to be back on Canadian soil.

Then my mother messaged me, to tell me that Leonard Cohen had died.

I'm not sure why I'm so upset. Though I admired his music and poetry, and enjoyed quite a few of his songs, I was never a very big fan. Maybe it seemed sadder because he was such a profoundly Canadian figure, and his death chips away at my home, my safe and unshakable home. Maybe it was because his frank and perceptive words resonate so strongly in such a tough time. Maybe it was because I really liked his latest album, "You Want It Darker" - an album so relentlessly focused on mortality that his death is really not a surprise. Maybe I'm just tired. Whatever it is, something in me broke. I didn't really fall apart over the election. I'm weeping like a baby over this.

He was an incredibly special person.

We will miss him.

Here's one of my favourites:










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