'Which one, the one with the black horse outside?' I had noticed the horse grazing in a fenced yard beside a large, white house as our bus made its way down the lane towards the venue in Giske earlier that evening.
'Yes, that's where I live.' Her house was perhaps 100-150 yards from where we sat; out of all the people who were gathered there, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, she had undoubtedly traveled the shortest distance to be a part of this special event. I marveled at how lucky she was. 'I couldn't be so close and not come,' she assured me. I couldn't argue with that!
The conversation had started when she expressed surprise at hearing an American and a Scot talking about the performance the night before. 'You're here from America and Scotland? Why?' It happens all the time when I go to a-ha concerts in Norway, the natives are often surprised to meet fans who travel such a long way to see the band. The irony is that all Norwegians know who a-ha is, and they all have a measure of pride in what they have accomplished in their career, or at least that has been my experience over the years.
So why the surprise when Norwegians hear about fans coming from abroad? It seems like a mix of pride and humility; they can absolutely tell you with confidence how great a-ha is, but then they are genuinely surprised to find out that you know this, too ;-)
I wish I could remember her name, but unfortunately I can't recall it. Anyway, we talked for a while about her family and the island of Giske, and then she told us a story from earlier in the week.
Apparently the documentary producers were scouting locations to film some interviews with the band members near the venue and studio, and they wanted the environment to be comfortable and homey. In the end, it was her mother's living room which was chosen for filming. 'When you watch the interviews, you will know that they are in my mother's house.'
It was such a special moment, I could tell how proud she was of being involved in the production somehow, and it was wonderful of her to share that with us. 'I went around on Monday to see if I could meet the guys, maybe get a photo with them," she told us. Sadly she didn't get to meet them, but still it's no small thing to have national heroes sitting in your mother's living room for all the world to see, after all ;-)
This was one of those glowing moments I mentioned in my post in August, and within seconds of watching the very first live video from the DVD, it was unexpectedly brought back to me - amazing:
As soon as I saw this, I felt a spark of happy recognition, and immediately wanted to share this story with all of you. 'This Is Our Home' already has many associations for me, and this is one of the more powerful ones. I'll never meet this lady again, but we shared a few moments of connection and anticipation and happiness, and now I know I will see her home - and her mother's home - and think of her many times in the future.