The new West End Cultural Centre feels like the old West End Cultural Centre. Sitting here, in the dark, with my father next to me and Hawksley Workman onstage, feels like the time eight years ago we did the same. Life has come full circle; my best friend-and-father beside me, my heart sung out on stage.

A Hawksley show is a world; a Hawksley show is a lifetime lived and died, short gasps and long, living sighs. I’ve seen enough to know. Maybe seen him twenty times; so tonight, I see he is in the finest form. More self-reflective than usual, though. Less jetfuel, more glide. Less a rockstar, more a scribe.

He wrote You and the Candles in the grips, he says, of politics and political angst. And yet, he found such beauty in it, found love in the heart of darkness. It is a song of songs.

There is much to be afraid of today, much to mourn. There are the attacks on science; on the bodies of women, and the lives teetering on the thin green line. There are pretenders playing politics. There is an election here, a budget there. There are those who believe in living, and then there are those who believe in winning. Partisans.

For those partisans seeking power, Hawksley gives a single challenge.

“Maybe they should make something lovely,” he says, in front of his three hundred lovers. “Because it seems to be working pretty well for me.”

Before you roll your eyes and sigh “naivete,” think of all the things that could be lovely. A bill drafted through sheathed swords and open ears could be lovely. So could a stand in a parliament, or a congress, born of humility instead of hubris. So could a budget proposal stripped of ideology and founded on logic, vision, true co-operation and a hope that we could figure this thing out, after all.

When empires are humbled, before the eyes of their people, then the truth will be like a parade.

I am neither partisan nor politician, but I’ll take up that call. My only goal in life, henceforth my lone ambition, is to make something lovely. And, once that is done, to do it again. 

You heard it here first.

Sorry I’ve been away, folks. Upon my return from afar I was slammed with work, both in my full-time job and my freelance gigs, and they have conspired to push me far beyond my faculties. I’ve been sleeping three hours a night and sleepwalking through the day. My suitcase is still unpacked. My cats have given up on me. I am an absentee mother.

Almost over, though. And ready for a real, long sleep.


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