The Constellations Sighed, the Constellations Cried

A year ago today.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes without the man who gave us back our Canada…in song and praise and self-deprecating humour. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes without the killer whale song being sung. “All we hear are the rusty breezes.”

Gord Downie was a treasured poet. His laconic words gave Canada a mirror with which to reflect our true selves back upon us. The whole while we swayed hypnotically to his band’s enchanting rhythms, unaware of the profound impact they would place upon our hearts and souls. Our boots and hearts. Because, I’m sure, we thought we would have him forever…giving us back our unending ever-unfolding story as he aged out and joined the constellations at a much later date than October 17th, 2017.

Downie somehow became our identity, as we ourselves were never brave enough or certain enough or confident enough to choose one and lay claim to it ourselves. He told us who we were and we listened. And now he has been gone an entire year, taken too early.

I miss him so. I miss his untold words, though I’ll never hear them.

Gord Downie is missed today and always. We’ve been a year without our Mr. Canada. We are un-anchored, un-tethered.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Downie. Canada loves you…

“And Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain…”

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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