Waltz me once again around the dance floor

One of the nicest things I ever saw happened during a kd lang concert at Ontario Place, sometime back in the 80s, I guess it was.

She was still pretty new to the music scene, and was still in her “cow-punk” stage, with the crazy glasses and wild poodle skirts. Ben Mink was her fiddler, I remember that much; he was amazing.

About halfway through the concert, Ms lang took a breather between songs, and from about 15 rows back came a piping little voice: “I love you, kd lang!”

She set down her water bottle, shaded her eyes and stepped to the front of the stage.

“Who said that?” she said, with a huge grin, peering out into the crowd. A little boy maybe 8 years old stood up on his seat and waved shyly, grinning so wide his little face nearly split in two.

Lang stepped a bit farther forward, put her hands on her hips and said, “Well, you just git on down here!” and pointed to the stage beside her. The kid’s eyes were nearly bugging out of his head as his dad lifted him over a couple of people and set him in the aisle.

Up he went, knees a-knocking, and stood open-mouthed, staring up at his idol. She asked him his name and held the mike down for him to answer. (I forget what he said; probably so does he.)

And then… she picked him up in her arms, turned to the band and they struck up the next song, which she sang while waltzing this little guy around the stage with her. He was mesmerized, as were we all.

In his documentary Swimming to Cambodia, the late author and actor Spalding Grey tells of a “perfect moment” he experienced while walking on a beach at dusk with his wife. These moments are rare, he says, and we may only be granted one or two over the course of our lifetime. But they are unmistakeable, and something one never forgets.

I’m not a sentimental person (big surprise, I know) but you’d have to have a heart of stone not to notice that, for a brief moment in time, these two total strangers, on a revolving stage beside Lake Ontario one hot summer evening,  suddenly and unforgettably became the sun, moon and stars for each other.

Everyone should have that happen to them at least once while they walk on this loopy old Earth of ours.

And I hope kd lang and that big-eyed kid remember theirs the way I do.


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