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Savignac, Blogger August 19. 2012
Original French Text: http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/savignac/salut-le-jeune_b_1806556.html
It started like that, Hey kid. Do you remember? I wrote you a note back in March. I was asking a lot, not knowing that you would give so much. An RRSP, a mortgage, kids and wearing pleated dress pants, I spoke to you of my powerlessness, and I was asking you to turn them all down, for all of us. I was telling you how much I needed your euphoria, your rage, your strength, your freedom.
Today it’s over. You’re back in school. Studying. You never had any other goal. Your coherence honours your springtime and your little square of fabric. Lost, won, over five years, seven years, loans, bursaries, one coffee a day, the fair share… I know you’ll meet the challenge, no matter what happens.
I don’t really know what just ended, or what may be starting. But what I do know is that the street is turning gray again, back to its mechanical motion, soulless.
Marilyne just wrote me. “Savignac, I am heartbroken”. Some who will read these lines and Marilyne’s words will find their lyricism incomprehensible, maybe even laughable. Drought takes away so much beauty.
Arrested wearing a flowered dress, armed with a book and an apple, Marilyne went to jail [link: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/hpq5u1].
Today, tomorrow, while the cynicism of the electoral circus is in full swing and the world continues in its sorry ways, she will have to give a meaning to her springtime. Same for Maxence, same for Yalda and all the others too.
The conflict was bound to end, obviously. In September, we’ll talk about tuition fees again, or maybe we won’t. But for today there is an emptiness and that’s why Marilyne is heartbroken and I am too, a little. Of course we’ll see each other again on the 22nd for a few months still [transl. note: the now standard date of each month’s national demonstration], just to remember, to see each other again, to touch hands.
Back in March, kid, when I wrote you a note, I was thanking you for speaking out. Thank you for shouting out loud for me, for us, the defeated bystanders. What I didn’t know at the time is that you would give me so much beauty. I didn’t know then that a so-called generation of individualists, hyped on an Xbox, had what it took for Québec to show the world what may have been the most beautiful sight ever. The beauty of your faces, your smiles, your ideas, your words and of your courage. I am left with a beautiful sorrow.
Hey kid, I have to go now. I have to get up early, just like you, and cross the empty city. I know that you are still there, even if you have fallen silent. Scattered amid the humdrum, you are harder to see and to smile. Yet in the metro, there will still be Marilyne and her dress, her apple and her book.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.