Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Seasons of the Heart

This morning, I downloaded a three CD set of John Denver recordings from the iTunes store to my Mac, for further downloading to my iPod. The recordings were early, but I had heard most of the originals and also heard John sing the arrangements in concert.

I had not heard these songs recently, but remembered them well. They were my companions in the early 1980s when I was commuting bi-weekly to San Francisco, working on the project that become the book, Ending Hunger: An Idea Whose Time has Come. When in San Francisco, I stayed at the home of one of John and Annie Denver’s friends.

There are a series of songs that seem to chronicle John and Annie’s relationship, beginning with “Follow Me” and “Annie’s Song,” continuing through “I’m sorry” (presumably about one of John’s affairs, an almost inevitable product of being an attractive star on the road) and concluding with “Falling Out of Love” and the particularly poignant “Seasons of the Heart.” For me, “Seasons of the Heart” is the most descriptive song about falling out of love ever written. I decided to divorce my first wife after listening to “Seasons of the Heart” several times, driving home to our (then) farm in Western Maryland.

For many women, men and couples, the decade between 40 and 50 is a particularly intense time of reexamining relationships; often of affairs. My close friends and I – in California and on the East Coast – were living passionate fast paced lives, committed to causes and relationships; writing, speaking and traveling, overseas and from coast to coast in the US.

Unlike Annie Denver, we did not have someone who chronicled our lives, relationships and the seasons of our hearts in song and then presented them in concerts and recordings. I never knew Annie personally. But I should imagine she did not always view that sort of visibility as a blessing.


Post a Comment

<< Home