Yesterday I cried because I couldn’t get my Bluetooth speaker to connect to my iPhone. This was very annoying because generally I don’t like to have feelings. I prefer to approach life like that meme of the yellow dog sitting in the middle of a flaming room — a little dazed, but still rocking a jaunty hat and a this-is-fine attitude. My therapist is out on maternity leave and I should be happily ignoring my emotions in peace, dammit! But instead — even with distractions like fully opened restaurants and bars and theaters, the feral dating scene, and life accelerating to a Before Times pace — my pandemic angst is right there.

I know I’m not the only one. So I call up two of my like-minded (read: semirepressed) besties with their own heavy postpandemic torments, and we gather in my living room for a healing session with Davin Youngs. Davin is a vocalist and a musician and will be taking us on a one-of-a-kind sonic immersion using his voice, instruments, looping devices, and electronic beats. He tells us about the tradition of sound as a modality to healing and says that we’re going to hold space for our minds and bodies to take care of whatever bullshit we’ve been ignoring.

After Davin sets up his equipment — modern gear like an electronic board with a looper and an effects pedal mixed with more traditional woo-woo stuff like crystal singing bowls and a clump of chestnut shells on a rope — we take a moment to name where we’re at emotionally. Immediately all three of us are in tears. Davin seems unfazed by what is, for us, a huge emotional outburst. If anything, he’s relaxed and calm, and next thing you know, we’re stretched out on the floor with our eyes closed. The music begins.

First the crystal singing bowls ring. Then Davin starts to layer “personal language” over electronic beats. He’s not using words, just syllables that are meant to evoke speech but without the weight of comprehension. The effect is sort of like the beginning of an Enya song. My thoughts mirror his tone: Sometimes I picture myself twirling in an open field, or lying down at peace. It definitely feels like a journey, sometimes intense, sometimes peaceful. My brain never fully gets quiet, so I try to picture elements of my life that I want to heal and direct energy that way. I’ve been working on vulnerability and being more openhearted, and I let the music take me to a place where I think, What if I didn’t have to be anything other than myself? What if I’m fine just as I am?

This thought floors me.

I can’t say that when it’s over, I’m a different person. But I did feel connected to some essential truth and like I want to be more present for myself. I’m touched by the beauty that is Davin caring for us, creating this art for us with the intention of directing loving energy our way, and all at once I’m reminded that being human isn’t just pandemics, or Capitol riots, or credit card bills, or the COVID weight I easily put on but can’t easily take off. And even if I can’t stay in this space forever, for one hour on my living room floor, it felt great.