Yesterday I sat on a bench in the middle of Covent Garden, the sun streaming onto the pavement and lighting up the ornamental flower boxes, people walking by like any other day. I took a deep breath and pressed play on ‘Dear Hate‘.
And I cried.
I cried my eyes out.
I cried for all the victims of the senseless terrorism in Las Vegas, the people who never get to go home to their families and loved ones again.
I saw you on the news today
Like a shock that takes my breath away
You fall like rain, cover us in drops of pain
I’m afraid that we just might drown”
Maren Morris – ‘Dear Hate’.
This time last year I was at Route 91 Harvest Festival and it was one of the best festivals I have ever attended. Music blasting from the main stage, whiskey in hand, dancing with some awesome people whilst the sun set on the Vegas strip is one of my favourite memories and one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. This year a few of my friends were due to go to that festival but for various reasons, fate stepped in and they didn’t go. Other people weren’t so lucky and it makes me sad and numb that this could happen whilst people were happy and listening to live music. Music is supposed to be healing, it’s supposed to speak to you, to make you get up and dance or just listen quietly, to feel something, to connect. Since the news broke when we all woke up Monday morning in London, I can’t stop crying every time I think about it. I absolutely love country music, these are my people, my family and I can’t believe this has happened. Facebook memories keep bringing up last year’s photos to remind me just how amazing a time I had last year and I can’t believe everyone who went this year won’t have these memories to look back on.
Route 91 Harvest Festival was the first time I left the UK specifically to see live music. Since then I have also travelled to Stockholm to see Brad Paisley on his Weekend Warrior tour. Seeing your favourite artist(s) in another country is amazing. Hell, seeing your favourite artists at home is amazing and you shouldn’t have to be constantly wondering if you are going to live to see the end of the concert.
I’ve been struggling this week. I feel absolutely heartbroken and have found myself wondering what’s the point, looking at things and and feeling like in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Well, no, I guess is the answer. But it’s hard. Thinking this way gets you nowhere. Life is for experiencing because you never know what could happen in the future. I refuse to be scared to go to gigs and experience live music – one of my favourite things. I refuse to be scared of exploring this wonderful world around us, seeing the beauty that’s there if you look. Instead I will hug the ones I love a little tighter, tell people how much they mean to me and try to spread love, not hate. So keeping doing the things you love, dancing round your kitchen to your favourite song, visiting that new city, suppporting live music, smiling at strangers and spreading love because god knows, the world needs it right now.
Just when I think you’ve given up
You were there in the garden when I ran from your voice
I hear you every morning through the chaos and the noise
You still whisper down through history and echo through these halls
And tell me love’s gonna conquer all“
Maren Morris – ‘Dear Hate’.