|Dancing at the annual pilgrimage|
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Stories from Le Bar Marchè - Marko
Marko bowed low towards the baby clapping her little hands at him. He closed his eyes and saw an audience giving him a standing ovation. His heart swelled with emotion at having given so much pleasure with his music. Flowers were thrown at his feet and the stage was covered with petals. He looked up and took the money from the smiling young blonde woman. She looked him in the eyes and said 'Merci'. These were the things that made him feel alive, that he mattered. He had made a difference to their lives by bringing joy with his music. He carried on round the edge of Le Bar Marchè admiring the gnarled trunks of the majestic plane trees. His music flowed through him. He felt at one with his accordion. His fingers became part of his instrument. Just like his father and his grandfather before him. Music flowed through them, linking them together like a chain. Tonight they would be leaving for St. Maries de la Mer in the Camargue. He loved that festival. Every year they went. His wife Sara, named after the saint of the gypsies, was preparing to dance with her sisters and daughters.
The swish of their colourful skirts as they moved in time to his music took him back to his childhood, his mother smiling at his father as he played her favourite melodies.. His first memory of their annual visit to St Sara was of heat and a little fear. As he descended to the vault where St Sara was displayed he was overcome by the heat from the hundreds of candles. He didn't like going underground, he needed to feel the wind in his hair and the sun on his face. Every year though he had enjoyed going there more and more, and now looked forward to it. The tourists would clap and cheer as the gypsy women broke into impromptu dance routines and the men let their music follow them, moving together. Then they would all go and sit at the little cafès and order plates of pommes frites and moules. They would form big, happy groups and the children would sit and join in with the banter. There in St Mairies de le Mer, he felt they must all look just like the clients of Le Bar Marchè. He put the young woman's generous tip in his pocket. He would buy his wife a new bracelet to wear at the Festa.