I spent yesterday evening at the Passenger concert here in Vancouver.  It was idyllic. I was sitting in Stanley Park on a warm day, close to the ocean, at an outdoor concert with people who'd been affected in some way, like me, by a boy and his guitar.

To say Passenger (Michael Rosenberg) is a poet, is to sum up a gift and talent that is too vast and deep to describe.  I had been thinking for quite some time now that Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan were getting on in years, and I wondered who was going to carry the torch into the next generation of folk music.  I was a little worried there would be no one else to listen to.  Thankfully, along with Adam Cohen, Michael has come to save the day.  Most of the pieces he performed were his own writing, though he did give us a bit of Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel.  Without a doubt, Michael is the only artist of his generation who should be allowed to perform The Sound of Silence.  It was stunning.

On a personal level, Passenger's music has carried me and led the way through all of 2014.  His poetry was there in the early months at the beginning of a deep sorrow and has journeyed with me to last night, when there was the last letting go.  I am deeply grateful for his gift.  And Michael, if you ever happen to read this, when I get to the place where I can afford to gift a painting, you will be at the top of the list.  I feel I owe you at least that. :)

Part way through the evening, he dedicated a song to all of us trying to make a go of it as artists, and he specifically mentioned painters.  It was a moment I won't forget and I knew it was the turning of yet another page to a fresh start. The leap into this full-time career as a painter was affirmed yet again.  He sang and talked about love and light, about scaring away the dark, and cutting through all the noise to get to what matters most.  All tasks that have been handed to the poets and artists of this world.

So much from last evening touched on this journey of mine, especially this thing that has been calling for so long and has finally found some room in my life.  This troubadour with his guitar, as he has been telling me all year, told me again last night that there is a place for me and what I do, there is hope, and there is power in small things.  As it turns out, sitting in front of the canvas is no small thing.  We artists are the peacemakers of this world.  Love and art are the universal unifiers after all....

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