I went to a lovely concert last night at the Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club in London. Singing and playing were Liv and Braden, better known as Tragedy Ann.
I had met this marvelous couple two years ago, as they graced the stage of the London Music Club. That evening I felt our conversation in my heart, and I’ve carried them with me ever since.
Yesterday I saw Braden and Liv in the hallway before the music started. There were hugs and many light words.
I sat in the front row, way to the side of the massed instruments and the two singers. Early on, Liv was introducing a song inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit, and by “a book we were given”. I smiled back two years. Within the walls of the London Music Club, I had given them a copy of Jodiette: My Lovely Wife, the book I had written about my dear wife Jody. She died of lung cancer in 2014. “Is she talking about Jody’s book? Nah … must be some other one.”
Except it wasn’t.
From the song Velveteen:
There’s a tree
Not too far from home
Waving leaves like it knows me
I know such a tree. I wrote about it, and about hearing Jody’s voice there, hours after she died. The bare branches trembled.
I’m waving to you, Bruce. I shelter you. I protect you. I’m here, husband. I will always be with you, cheering you on.
And from Tragedy Ann’s Facebook page just now:
We had been tweaking Velveteen for a long time before starting to perform it live. Inspired by a story read to us as children and a book given to us as adults, we wanted to touch on the nature of lifelong love, loss, and doubt.
Thank you, my friends. We move each other throughout our days and years … you and you and you and you and me.