young girl swinging on a tire

Last night, I listened to music.

We listened to a wonderful local artist, Rich Batsford.

Rich did beautiful things with a piano and an earth’s worth of tender imagination and talent.

He held us focused, and let us drift. He did what music so often does. Centres us. Sets us free.

At one point, Rich suggested we listen in a particular way.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Let the busy mind go.
  • Listen. And listen deeply.
  • See what you see.
  • Remember what you need.


I saw my dad. Not dying. Not sad or in pain. Joyous. Laughing.

Not one time. But a bundle, blurred together. The giddy laughter. The light in his face. So many moments.

Giving me a whizzy. (Our name for swinging a kid by their arms. Possibly outlawed in all sensible countries by now.)

Watching me read. His eyes a deep, dark milky way of quiet bewilderment and love. He was not a bookish sort.

Holding me tight when I was sick. The cool, cotton comfort of my head curled into his chest. The sound of his heart, pulsing hot against my fevered ear.

Making me laugh.

Stopping me crying.

Making me giggle with the most goober of faces.

His ridiculous smile.

All this. In a moment. In a swirl. All these tender joys, in a fluid river of notes.

Oh, yes.

I listened to music.

Listened deeply.

And, somehow, she listened to me.