Friday, December 18, 2009

Blue is everywhere

I wanted to write about Brother Blue. I have for a while now. I did a long-ish piece on my Hungarian blog, and tried to put it into English, to get away easy. It didn't work. I can't really tell you why; it just didn't. Maybe because that version was me talking about Blue to Hungarian people; telling them who he is. Nobody in the English-speaking storytelling world needs me to tell them who Blue is. So I didn't write.
I got a call yesterday, a last minute call for a performance, to the Christmas party of a gospel choir. Of course I said yes. You don't say no to gospel music.

This gig gave me waaaaay more than I bargained for. Actually it gave me more than most of my performances, ever.

When I arrived, people were still gathering; young people like me, no little kids buzzing around. Perfect. We started talking; soon they were asking questions about storytelling, and I was running my usual rounds explaining what kind of storytelling I do, and how it fits into the big scene of the international storytelling world.
Then the name Brother Blue came up, and it was not me saying it.
I got used to people knowing about Blue because I told (more like sang praises about) him all over the place. But this lady did not know him from me, or from my writings - she knew his tales from the Internet, and her face just lit up with an unmistakable light when she talked about him.
She'd never met Blue in person, but he did something amazing for her: he healed her heart after a loss, and his words stayed with her ever since. She talked about him with love and admiration. And there, at some Christmas gig, late one night, two people met, and there was something Blue in that moment.
We talked. I did my telling, but it was more friends talking to friends than anything else; I shared my favorite tales, and we sang, and told jokes, and shared Christmas gifts, and played music. And then we talked, and talked, and talked some more; we talked about people who changed our lives. I told them about Blue. And how I met him at Sharing the Fire, and how he heard my stories, and how his words stayed with me ever since, and how he helped me become the storyteller I am today.
Someone had tears in her eyes. She was not alone.
It was the most perfect Blue moment this Christmas could bring. Shredding tears for someone you have never met is one thing; spending an evening full of joy and laughter in his memory is another.

Hey, you all over there in the New World: the sky is blue above Hungary too!