Heaviness in the chest; spasms of the physical heart pushing against the deep, still sadness. This is how it feels now that she's gone; and how it was, every time she took the stage and sang for me. The last time was in November of 2005. There were those magical nights at the Met during the Les Troyens run of 2002-03 season. (I was there for five of them.) She did thoughtful things with words and notes, and moved in full trance; she was always beautiful; but what I will remember most of all is the physical impact of that sound: an austere resonance that the gut knows, not from bitter song or poignant art, but from the recurrent trudge of the falling human life. I'm hearing her sing in my chest, and it is a living, common affair.