One of the things I’ve always loved about Great Big Sea fandom (and a lot of you who have read my posts over the years can back me up on this) is that it’s filled with genuinely wonderful people. I have been deeply privileged to discover that the same can be said for the extended community of Quebecois music fans–because I’m tellin’ ya, people, we have some fabulous people in our local Quebec music session crowd. Dejah Leger, I am looking AT YOU.
Yesterday, during my general blue funk in which I worked from home (on the grounds that it was generally better for all parties concerned if I didn’t have to deal with people face to face), I started getting hints that the funk was doomed to fall.
First wave: cell phone pic from the aforementioned Dejah Of Awesomeness, from the Le Vent du Nord house concert in Portland on Sunday night.
Second wave: friend request on Facebook from Réjean Brunet. As in “the accordion player and bassist for Le Vent du Nord”. To wit: EEK? *^_^*;;
Third wave: Dejah dropping me a massive hint that I should come to session tomorrow night. Because she has a Thing, and I have to show up at session to get it, and she ain’t saying what it is. Uh oh. *^_^*;;
And this afternoon, this happened:
Oh Dear I Think My Screen Just Got a Little Blurry *^_^*;;
People, do you see that? Do you see that boulder that just smacked me upside the head (that French-speaking, violin-playing, astoundingly thoughtful boulder)? I talk a good talk with the whole fangirly thing, I can blather about hypersonic squee with the best of ’em. But that? That made an actual audible squeak pop out of me. Let’s count the various ways this is choking me up here.
One, somebody (wherein ‘somebody’ is pronounced ‘Dejah’ and HI DEJAH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE you beautiful person you) spread the word to the boys of Le Vent. And while we’re on the topic of Awesome People Who Are Awesome, Susan of whom I’ve already sung many praises fessed up to emailing the boys as well, to wit: awww. *^_^*;; (And yes, I know, I’m using that emoticon a lot! It’s been that kind of a day!)
Two, M. Demers made a point of bringing me that wall post. For those of you who aren’t Francophones, he’s basically writing on behalf of the entire band, telling me that they’d heard about our car troubles and that we missed the show, and that they hope they can see us at a future show next time they come out west. And that he thinks we’ll like the symphony show in Vancouver if we can come to that.
Internets, this means Le Vent du Nord reached out to me, on purpose, just because I missed their show. I do not have words for how touched and honored I am by this. And I’ve written three entire novels, am about to finish a fourth, and will soon be starting on a fifth. I’m GOOD at words. Verbosity is my goddamn superpower.
Three, holy crap he wrote to me in French. Which triggered an immediate “oh shit what the hell do I say in reply?!” bit of panic–but here’s the great part of this. What I wrote in reply was composed almost entirely of words I already knew, which I’ve picked up in daily language study with SuperMemo. I had to look up verb conjugations (because great jumping gods, French verb conjugations are a lot more complex than English ones), and how to say “our car broke down”. But the rest of it? Right out of my head. Because let’s hear it for SuperMemo!
(My brain would have fallen right out of my head if I’d been called upon to actually say this in person, but that I can throw words together with only cursory assistance from Google Translate and the reverso.net grammar checker is, I think, a reassuring step in the right direction. 😀 )
And oh yeah–what I said in reply, again for those of you who aren’t Francophones, was: “Hello Olivier, thank you very much, thank you a thousand times, for thinking of us! Yes, our car broke down. I was very unhappy to miss your show. I really wanted to see you play, and I very much want to see the show in Vancouver! I love the Symphonique album. Again, thank you very much!”
But anyway, the point here is, he wrote to me in French. Which meant he had enough data to be reasonably sure I’d figure out fast what he was saying. Also a reassuring step.
And the upshot of all this: do you guys hear that tectonic shift in the earth? Can you feel that rumble?
That’s the sound of Le Vent du Nord becoming my new official Favorite Band.
Those of you who know how much I love Great Big Sea know that if I’m saying this, I’m not saying it lightly. Do not mistake me. It’s not like I’ve stopped loving Great Big Sea; it’d be biologically impossible for me to stop loving my belovedest of B’ys, especially after seeing them perform in Newfoundland this year. I will always love them too.
But let me emphasize again: touched and honored. Enough that I’m tearing up a bit, little happy tears, as I’m writing this. If a band’s music makes their fans happy, that’s a thing of beauty and a joy forever, to be sure. This level of amazing thoughtfulness, though–not only from the band themselves but also from others who love them too–takes that joy up a whole extra order of magnitude. It’s a joy that springs from people being good to one another. A joy that rebounds right back to me, and makes me want to work all the harder to improve my French, not to mention learning to play more of the tunes of Quebec myself. And a joy that’ll kindle a little sun right in my heart, every time I hear “Manteau d’hiver” or “Lanlaire” or “Vive l’amour” or “Cre-mardi”.
And if all of this wasn’t enough, towards the end of my workday, it seemed like Puget Sound itself was giving me a sign that it approved of the turn my day had taken. I happened to look out the window by my desk at the exact right time to see a breathtaking sunburst of light over the water:
Le soleil dessus l’eau
Go, people! Buy Tromper le temps! And while you’re at it, buy Dejah’s album too!
Because when beautiful music is made by supremely awesome people, the sun itself will sing.