It's been crazy busy today, but I wanted to share an email I received from Matthew Ward. He stumbled upon my site and asked for the Gord Downie "Hallelujah" MP3, a request I get at least twice a week. As usualy, I obliged, and then I got the email below.
First, I wanted to thank you for sending me that mp3. It's a beautiful rendition of a song quite beautiful in its own right.
I decided to roam around your blog, and saw one post where a contributor sent you a little piece on themselves. A post just after that inspired me to send you my own comments.
As I looked around your blog, I felt pride. It's hard to explain, but this simple little site just screamed Canada. I'd been dying for something to be proud of. Something so purely Canadian that one couldn't help but say "Yes. That's me, that's us." Certainly the Hip fulfil a great portion of that wish, but they're almost like an inside joke. As a Nova Scotian, I had donair's and Keith's. Something tangible, something I could raise and say "This is ours," and be proud. But what of being Canadian?
Reading some of your posts, agreeing with this, not sure about that, I realized what it was to be a Canadian. It's that inside joke. It's not flags outside the house, nor is it Chevy trucks or historic battles. It's being the everyday man or women who goes over to their buddies house to watch Hockey Night in Canada, and brings a 12 pack with them, be it Keiths, or Blue.. It's being the person who gets giddy at any obscure reference to Canada on American television, or to root for the home team, be they the Leafs, or the Habs. We search for some national identity. We come up with answers like the Hip, or the Leafs. Yet we're a country of such great diversity, that some coverall culture just wouldn't work out, and good on us for it! Those differences, be the subtle or be they grand..that is Canada, and I am forever proud of that fact.
As a closing note, I'd like to mention the first time I really, really felt like I was part of this thing called Canada. It was, incidentally, my first Hip concert. I'd been forewarned not to get my hopes for Fiddlers, and so I didn't. Just as you put it, it only took the first note for my to realize what I was about to experience. With that first note, tens of thousands of people became quiet after a small cheer, and we listened. I don't know if it was the song itself, the feeling of being a part of that .. knowledge, of what was happening, or the two combined, but my emotion overcame me for a second, and I freely admit my eyes became a little teary. For those few moments though, ten thousand people of different backgrounds, of different beliefs, of different values...we became one. Forgive me if I seem melodramatic, but for a moment, we were Canada.
Thank you for being Canadian! Merci!