Last night at Café Fatima three musicians graced my ears. But there was more. I sat at a table close to the stage with the moms of two of those musicians.
Anouk has a haunting voice, revealing a layer of spirit beyond vocal quality. Her songs were of the floating type, taking me away to worlds I now can’t remember. All disappeared in the course of the evening.
The lead guitarist melted into his instrument as fingers found the strings in aching melodies. The standup bass player caressed his own strings as he plucked the journey of low notes.
Then there were the smiles among the three. Notes of appreciation and laughter, at times beckoning each other to take the lead.
Anouk sang about being fragile. Later she gave us a wandering song a capella, accompanied only by her snapping fingers. We the audience roared our approval as the last note faded away.
Anouk’s mom beamed next to me. She told me beforehand how proud she was of her daughter. The mom and dad of lead guitarist Gilles sat at our table as well, only a metre from their son’s left hand.
Another couple joined us. They’ve been married for over 50 years. The man and I shared memories of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. But we were home in Fatima.
The small pub was packed. A line of people stood at the bar, cheering on their friends. Even being a stranger, I was a part of something immense. I was included. I was laughed with.
A fresh version of family sat in Fatima last night:
We were together in the music
We were together with the musicians
We were together with each other