Writers and Musicians

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Glancing from the stage into the black void created by the stage lights glaring in our eyes, I had the fleeting thought: Writers and musicians have much in common. We send words and music into the void without ever really knowing what impact, if any, they are having on reader or listener.

Our band, Stepping Out, was playing in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, at the Relay for Life, in aid of the Canadian Cancer Society, 10:30 to midnight, last set of the night, just one of a line up of local bands giving their time and expertise.

Three of us look a tad extraterrestrial in the photos a friend grabbed. While Tony and John, on drums and guitar respectively, look normal (normal being a relative term, of course, especially where drummers are concerned), Dave and Julie, fronting with vocals, and me, tucked away at the side on keyboard, boast an unearthly glow from the shoulders up with the stage lights full on our faces.

At least that’s how the camera saw us. Participants, too, I suspect, looking up at the stage as they circled the field, where the only light came from the luminaries lit in memory of lost family and friends.

And looking out, all we could see was darkness, only the whoops and shouts and applause from the dark field reassuring us that there were people out there listening, just as the only reassurance that writers get that their words are being read and having any impact is receiving those oh-so-welcome emails, and letters, and comments at readings and signings and chance meetings.

Next band gig: Another benefit, Saturday 21st June, this one in support of the We’ve Got Your Back project, at the People’s Pub in St. Stephen. Stepping Out opens this time, the first in another line up of local bands playing through the afternoon and evening. Drop by if you’re in the vicinity.

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