Shine your light.

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It happened five and a half weeks ago.

I showered, dried my hair, and carefully got dressed.

When it was time, I went downstairs and crawled into the cab.

"Où allez-vous ?" asked the driver

"La Centre Bell, s'il vous plait", I replied.

"Ah, bon. Bryan Adams, n'est pas?"

"Ouuuui, Bryan Adams..."

I spent my teenage years in a small town in northern Ontario.

And by small I mean 800 people.

As in they had to change the sign when my family of eight left because we represented 1% of the population.

(I think that math is right...)

When I arrived at university in 1991, I was surrounded by a lot of smart, savvy big city kids, many of whom had grown up in Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa (or somewhere in between).

And they liked music like the Smiths.

Or Depeche Mode.

Or Van Morrison.

I liked Bryan Adams.

And Prince.

And White Snake.

And Madonna.

And Dee-Lite.

And Bon Jovi.

And Patsy Cline.

And Chopin.

My musical tastes took a lot of abuse.

I wish I'd been confident enough to tell them all to go suck on Summer of '69.

But I wasn't.

So I started listening to The Smiths.

And Depeche Mode.

And Van Morrison.

Because I wanted to fit in.

Which brings me back to Saturday, January 26, 2019.

The Bell Centre in Montreal was packed to the rafters.

All ages.

Twenty-five year-olds to my right, and 60 year-olds to my left.

And when Bryan stopped singing Heaven mid-way through the song, the entire audience, young and old, kept sing-screaming it at the top of their lungs.

And tears streamed down my face.

Because it felt bloody fantastic to be with people who liked what I liked, who loved what I loved.

Without apology or embarrassment or shame.

And here's the reason I'm sharing this.

(Thanks godzilla, the point!)

Bryan's new album, and most recent single, is called "Shine a Light".

Shine a light
Everywhere you go
Shine a light
Everyone you know

Let everyone you know.

Know who you are.

And what you love.

All of it.

Because we contain multitudes.

We are multitudes.

We can love Bryan Adams, and Prince, and Depeche Mode, and classical music too.

At the same time.

Love what you love.

Be who you are.

Shine a light.

Everywhere you go.

Me, pre-Bryan, exciiiiiited!

Me, pre-Bryan, exciiiiiited!

Karen Ward