I recently finished reading Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. There was this line about music that stuck with me: “He believed that life, true life, was something that was stored in music. True life was kept safe in the lines of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin while you went out in the world and met the obligations required of you.”
I drew this sketch as an ode to Roxanne Coss, an opera singer who is taken hostage by a bunch of terrorists, in the book. Coss’s voice, as gathered from the book, is something that you would feverishly hold on to while the rest of your life falls apart. It’s a voice that you derive strength from, and which, with every note, helps you weave a giant blanket of hope. A voice that when heard makes you sing your own song with courage.
The original illustration is by artist Jisoo Kim.