David Bowie.

It was a summer of discomfort, transition and growth in the northern city of Grande Prairie. Days were filled with intoxicating contradictions, a medley of heat wave, soul searching and extreme feelings of displacement, anxiety and uncertainty.

And I- I was fighting every single day to turn the negative into something positive. I knew that the shit I was going through needed to happen because there were things in my life that needed to be addressed, changed, and resolved.

I was ready.
I was grateful.

But I was struggling immensely to navigate through the waters to find comfort. I knew from my Yoga training, everything I needed was inside of me – I needed to let go of my attachments and find “my center“. On paper, I knew what was holding myself back, but I was frozen still in a puddle of anxiety.

I needed something- anything – to numb the seducing sense of failure so I could make it through the day.

As I was trying to dissect all this junk in solitude, I was fortunate that two friends of mine, Nate & Jay, saw I was struggling and intervened. The boys would call me on a daily basis and say, “come over to the house Kerri, bring your guitar.”

It took a lot of strength on my part to overcome the introverted walls I had built up, (and on their part, ALOT of pestering/ calling/ texting/ nagging/ peer pressuring! lol) but eventually, they succeeded.

They had no expectations from me. It didn’t matter what kind mood I was in, they were simply happy to see me show up. They gifted me with an unique space where I could be around friends – family, really – but not have to worry about putting on a show or pretending to be ok. It didn’t matter to them. Besides, they would be engrossed in the Xbox, watching old movies – you know- “boy stuff”. Fighting and bickering the whole time like true blood brothers.

I felt safe.

Some nights I wouldn’t even say a word- I would be absorbed in Instagram endlessly looking for quotes that would comfort my heart, hoping that the right combination of words would spark me back to life.

Some nights, I had my laptop or journal in tow, lost in another world where my thoughts drifted into poems, journals, stories and lyrics.

And magically, some nights, like a curious puppy, I would quietly pick up Nate’s guitar and softly strum, it’s six strings whispering words I did not have the energy to speak. I would rest my head along the curves of her body, and just play. Allowing my fingers to go where they desired, but somehow, they seemed to continually flow into the same chord progression.

In the most tender of moments- when I didn’t know how to cope, what words to say, or simply, what I was supposed to do next – I found the comfort I had desperately been seeking- all within an acoustic guitar rooted on my lap, the same chord progression moving my fingers and it’s partnered melody lighting up my imagination.

I began to find my voice. 

When the words failed me, when my shins quivered with anxiety, when I felt like a stranger in my own body- music was there to make me feel whole again. All I had to do is pick up a guitar, and let the music speak for me.

Rest in peace Mr. Bowie.

Thank you for your music.
Thank you for “Heroes”.

Forever in debt,
– kp


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