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day 11 – arcade fire

November 11, 2013


2007 – Une année sans lumière

That was the year our dog got hit by a car and we buried him in the back yard and it snowed, and snowed and snowed that winter, slowly covering his grave with a blanket of white. And we drank a bottle of wine (at least) a night and our TV was the only source of light. This went on for months.

I started making mix tapes that winter, in the old house where the wind seeped through the cracks and I wore blankets like furs. Every day, I searched for new, obscure bands to listen to. It was my way of escaping grief and a relationship weighed down by too many things for too many years and the mice in the attic that kept us awake at night and a winter that was so cold.

That is how I stumbled upon Une année sans lumière (A year without light) – a perfect description of my 2007. And that was when I fell in love with Arcade Fire.

2008 – No cars go

One year spilled into the next and I found this video and my God, it was so full of hope and energy and in the midst of a winter where everything was falling apart, and all I could do was spend my days watching reruns of the O.C., I felt alive again for 5:32 minutes ten times a day. It felt like an invitation to run away, like the end could be the beginning, the cusp of something big… it felt like being between the click of the light and the start of the dream.

The fish in the pond survived that long winter, we did not. In February of 2008, I boarded a plane back to Montreal.

I still get goosebumps when I watch that video.

2009 – Keep the car running

A year later, I met Joe.

We’re speeding down the highway and he plays this song and gives me a wink in the rear view mirror, because he knows how much I love Arcade Fire and it is one of those perfect 4 minutes in my life because I’m traveling and I’m free and I’ve just spent the past three days shagging this amazing guy and I feel like myself for the very first time in a long time.

He drops me off in Bristol. We say good-bye and thank each other for the 3-night stand and little do I know that I’ve just embarked on a 3-year long distance relationship and torrid love affair with a British man.

2010 – The Suburbs

I’d just moved into a new apartment on Casgrain and the walls were blood-red and deep turquoise (every. single. wall. in the flat) and I spent the entire summer painting over the dreadful colours whilst listening to The Suburbs on repeat. There is no better soundtrack to Montreal than this album and it will always hold a special place in my heart and it will always be summer in Montreal to me.

On the eve of my 35th birthday, Arcade Fire surprised fans with a free concert in a Montreal shopping mall parking lot. This was my first time seeing them live and I went on my own because it was last-minute and I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, and frankly I quite enjoy going to gigs alone. I got in line with thousands of fans from Lionel Groulx metro and followed the Suburb signs and joined the crowd and you should have seen the grin on my face that night. I swear it could have lit up the whole world.

2013 – Reflektor

Last night, I took my husband to see his very first Arcade Fire performance (tickets sold out in five minutes- I still can’t believe I managed to snatch two). We’d spent the prior evening gluing mirror tiles in the shape of a tie on his t-shirt and I covered my old fingerless gloves with reflectors. And we joined the rest of the fans in a 150 yard queue and when we entered the Roundhouse  there was a Mariachi band to greet us and glitter and shiny silver curtains everywhere and face painters for those that came without costume and there were mirror balls and there was light. There was light everywhere, in every way.

And given the year we’ve had, which essentially involved being mirrors to each other on this crazy journey called marriage, this couldn’t be more apt.

In 6 years, I went from une année sans lumière to a thousand shimmering lights.

And Arcade Fire was there every step of the way.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Libby permalink
    November 13, 2013 12:00 am

    Love it! Love it!

  2. November 13, 2013 6:43 am

    Oh, this is beautiful. Every part. My favorite line of all: when you wore blankets like furs. Goosebumps! I am so happy for your light-filled life. So Happy.

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