The week was dark — Then I saw the Eras Movie

4 min readOct 14, 2023

We were running late..

I complained loudly about my headache as we snaked our way through rush hour traffic only to circle the parking lot like a buzzard hunting for road kill. I out maneuvered an old lady to finally throw my SUV into park and rush to keep up with my two teens who had sprinted up the escalator.

Into the resplendent lobby.

It was hard to keep my eyes open. There were sequins EVERWHERE. The waving evening light caught blues, pinks, whites, silvers and golds reflected colors across all the surfaces of the theater — even the black track pants and hoodie I am nearly always sporting.

A girl who couldn’t have been more than five held the hand of granny in a gold floor length gown, that looked like it had very much enjoyed its time on a dance floor said, “I can’t wait to tell Taylor how much I love her.”

I didn’t take the bait. I wasn’t exactly grumpy, but the twenty-minute line to spend an extra forty dollars for a commemorative popcorn and drink bucket didn’t help. My kids rightfully ignored my mumbling. Huge Taylor fans, they hadn’t even bothered to beg for tickets to the original tour. They knew I’d never go for the cost, or the hassle. And they also knew that I just did. Not. Get. It.

But I get it now. I swear I do.

This has been a dark week. It’s been hard to avoid the humans at their very worst, most depraved, most evil, and most cruel. We have had to sit helpless, unable to serve or save the most innocent and vulnerable. And just like Jimmy’s Stewart’s George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life it has been hard not to feel completely oppressed by the bleak and black of it all.

The two twenty-somethings who sat next to us peeled off a few of their many colorful beaded bracelets with Taylor’s album names written across the top and handed them out. “These are for you,” they said smiling. Then they traded with the five teen girls whose faces I couldn’t pick out of a line up, but whose joy I will never forever forget as they sang full voiced–every word that did from the second Taylor stepped out on the stage.

I wept through the entire show.

Underneath my black hoodie I’d held the pain of this week and the vicarious grief and loss of centuries of killing and hatred.

But it was no match for a theater filled with joy and light.

God bless the young and old singing about connection, celebration, how “shade never made anyone less gay.”

I tried to wipe my eyes and my old lady runny nose without being caught by my kids, but they never miss a trick.

‘Which song made you cry, mommy?” My son asked on the ride home.

I suddenly remembered my mother weeping through every middle school holiday concert, only to face the jeers of her six kids who insisted she was ridiculous.

But it is actually not ridiculous to be overcome by beauty, and hope and innocence.

Joy and beauty are humanity’s most powerful antidote.

It was not about Taylor and also COMPLETELY about Taylor. She stood on that stage expanding to the applause in her impossible power, beauty and flawless red lip. She soaked it in and it was glorious. She was Wonder Woman if wonder woman could sing.

She shimmied, gave her signature sly-ass smile, and invited her gaggle of back up dancers already bemocked in a rainbow of bangle beads and matching boas-jackets onto the stage where she held note after perfect note just as long as she damn wanted.

Honestly, it was such relentless perfection, I eventually needed a break. I snuck out to the bathroom (I am also nearly fifty and three hours is still three hours), and boy was that a mistake.

Because there in the hallway I found a cluster of dazed about women my age, give or take frozen in with tears dripping down their cheeks. They gave me laughing smiles. None us pretended we had any kind of poise or control.

Twenty theaters with each door open, every seat filled. The staggered fifteen-minute start times meant the bathroom line became in the epicenter of hundreds of mostly adolescents bellowing Taylor’s chosen tour songs in an awesome kind of round.

I was not the only women to burst into tears.

It took everything I had to make my way back into theater ten where I convinced my kids one at a time to go to the bathroom, returning their eyes came by twinkling, and I’m certain just a little bit wet.

I side-eyed my kids for the rest of the show as they jumped in recognition until Taylor sang us out through last bars of Karma while my kids held hands..

There was thunderous applause as lights rose at the end of the show. Our section of the audience thanked the girls behind us with the beautiful voices for singing and encouraging us all to sing. Honest to goodness– strangers couldn’t help but hug each other,

When I stood up and looked down disoriented and overwhelmed at my black on black outfit, I swear I saw red sequins for a second.




Meghan Riordan Jarvis is a trauma and grief-informed psychotherapist, speaker, educator, writer, wife, and mother of three.