puzzle started to take shape right in front of my very eyes.
I had listened to a lot of Bon Iver when Jeff was trying to get sober and I was trying to figure out the
mystery of my life. The music got me through his multiple suicide attempts, rehabs, my own humanity,
miles on the lakeshore, in solitude. You’ll see a number of my blogs named after Bon Iver songs,
because they perfectly sum up the winter of my life. After some time, it became a bucket list item for
me to go to a concert, and see the songs that held such a deep meaning for me in person, to commune
with other people, who might have in another lifetime, perhaps felt the same. I had purchased tickets
for a NPR show, but the Bon Iver portion was cancelled. A new album was released and a tour was
scheduled, but the tour focused only on the new album, which was a departure from the old music that
really defined a critical juncture of my life. Still, I saw there was a performance in Milwaukee, and I
could not pass up the chance to go, even if it would be less focused on the pieces that were meaningful
Imagine my surprise when I went to buy the tickets, and found it was actually a one night show,
dedicated to the ten year anniversary of one of the albums that meant the most to me.
The crowd was silent. The music transported me back to that place, where everything was new and
terrifying, and where I had once again found my hope. I recalled how completely shocked I was when
this journey started (Blindsided), when I felt the world was on my shoulders (Re:Stacks), when Jeff
relapsed (The Wolves, Act I & II), when I was worried we wouldn’t make it out alive (Skinny Love), and
when I finally had the biggest epiphany of my life and my recovery, that my uniqueness is not what
makes me special, but rather, my commonality is (Holocene) . I didn’t want to be greedy and expect for
them to play my favorite song (Holocene) because it was off of a different album, but imagine my
surprise when the encore began with those familiar chords.
“You’re in Milwaukee off your feet.”
It’s been three years since that spring awakening, and though sometimes it gets foggy, I can still see “for
miles and miles and miles.”