The last time I saw live music I became part of a Cape Breton cèilidh

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A fresh performance is absolute in its inertia. It slows us down. It makes real no reality but the one we’re in, no company but the people we’re with, writes Arjun V.K. Sharma

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.First Person is a daily personal piece submitted by readers. Have a story to tell? See our guidelines atIn a quiet corner of my doctor’s office, I think about two things. One is the irony of waiting the painful wait my own patients usually endure. The other, the last time I experienced live music.

The trio on stage formed a motley crew. The oldest, a thin, sage-like man, had wisps of coarse white hair that encircled his head, similar to the lattice of a bird’s nest. He bowed a fiddle. The other two were younger, ruddier and stockier and seemed, perhaps, a little less sacred. Strumming guitars, half-empty beer bottles stood beside their stools and cigarettes were pinched behind their ears. They sang in English, and they sang in French.

Weeks earlier I made the discovery no one wishes to make. There were three lumps in my neck. Several smaller ones, I’ve found since. I knew what they could be. As a resident physician, I spoke them into being, into remission, into recurrence, every day with my patients: their balding heads, steroid-swollen faces and plastic ports bulging beneath their skin. I was afraid. But I kept all this locked up inside me.


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