You Saved My Life
Years ago I would go see Ani and focus on her guitar. I play a little guitar myself and love to watch Ani play. It’s magical. But this time was different. This time I stood right at the edge of the stage. The whole audience was behind me, something I hadn’t experienced before. I could hear them. Singing. Laughing. I watched a woman sit on the floor and start writing in her journal.
Ani isn’t on the radio. She isn’t someone you go to see on a Tuesday night just because you had nothing better to do or there was this one song you liked. Ani DiFranco is different. She’s not even real. She represents something for her audience that you can feel: You’re not alone. Over and over that’s all I could hear. No one actually said it, but it was there.
The boy standing behind me, drinking too much, singing too loud, I thought of his story. I thought about why he knew all the words to so many of these songs. I thought about the times that he felt alone in his struggle. Perhaps he was bullied. Perhaps he struggled with depression. Perhaps he came out and his friends or family abandoned him. And in those moments, Ani was there. And so last night, he was there too. To celebrate her.
I thought about Danielle and Sarah. The way Sarah held back tears through most of the show. The way she looked at Ani begging for the chance just to say thank you. The way Danielle held her, grateful for her life. Grateful they had both made it through.
Because sometimes it’s just really hard.
Last night wasn’t about music. It was a celebration. For Danielle and Sarah. For the boy behind me. For the couple in the balcony. For us all. We made it. It’s okay. We’re not alone.