Revelstoke is aglow with colour, lights and shapes as we wander hand in hand down an alley, a blanket of rainbow-hued umbrellas bobbing above our heads.
The September Luna Festival is an enchanting evening of art, music and magic. Planned for over a year, the art installations last only one night and then they are gone.
This is an evening to indulge my reverence for beauty and creativity, sharing every second with my companion.
“Let’s take a break at the Rumpus Beer Co.” Steve says. “I want to try Fred’s new beer. We can come back out later.”
I am appalled at my beer snob’s twisted priorities.
“You go then but promise me you’ll meet me at the Mountain Sound concert. I’ll save you a seat.”
I gorge on the exhibits: the life-sized bear made of tire rubber, Michaelan-jello’s David sculpted from blue jello, mountain goats whose wool is made up of thousands of individual white cables, the Mona-Liski formed from skis, the moose of welded household utensils.
Imagine drinking beer indoors on such a night and missing out. I welcome living in this moment, enjoying it fully.
Just before the concert I grab two seats in front of the stage at the Dose Cafe. The room fills to bursting, standing room is packed. I protect the extra chair but there is no sign of Steve.
The band’s sound engulfs the jammed room. The lead singer’s spread fingers hammer the keys of her keyboard while her funky, bluesy voice booms. The drummer’s arms flail, the cellist leans into his instrument. The audience, arms around each other, is swaying as one large sloshing sea.
To teach Steve a lesson in priorities, I record the scene on my cell phone.
Weeks later, I discover that the concert is the featured video on the band’s website. The camera pans the pendulating audience, full of warmth, love and exuberance. Slowly it reaches the middle of the room, and there I am, sitting in the front row beside the only empty seat, cell phone in hand, determined look on my face. The video continues past me to a group of friends laughing and swaying in a booth. As the tempo builds, their heads bob emphatically, the wave swells and we pan back past me, still glaring into my phone.
Months later, I’m sitting with friends at the Grizzly Plaza where, in another amazing Revy event, a different band plays every night of the summer. Mountain Sound is performing and this time Steve is beside me. Leila Neverland, the lead singer, comes over to talk to a mutual friend.
“I’m the curmudgeon in your video,” I tell her.
“Oh my God!” she says, recognizing me. “We’ve always wondered about you. Hey guys!” she yells to the other band members, “This is that grumpy woman in our video.”
The band guys crowd round.
“What did we do to annoy you?”
“Not you,” I say. “Mr. Empty Chair over here.” Steve nods yes, he was the one who got there too late and had to watch the show from outside the window. The band finds this hilarious. When the music resumes, Steve and I go up to dance. Between numbers, Leila points me out.
“That’s a great story. Is it OK if I tell it?” Already disgraced, how much worse could utter humiliation be?
Soon the whole audience is chuckling, the band plays on and I dance with abandon, now fully present.
And that video of me not being in the moment? It’s still captured on their website, even at this moment.