“Notes between the lines” is a series of blog posts in which I will share pieces of music and literature that I think resonate with each other. This post features “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” by Colin Hay and “The Bridges of Madison County” by Robert James Waller.
I discovered Colin Hay thanks to Scrubs, one of my most favorite TV series. His music, for me, is the quintessence of acoustic music: unruffled in melody, pensive in lyrics, like a piece that you improvised with your guitar while sitting on your porch in the late afternoon and indulging in reminiscence. In that moment, the rhythm becomes a narrative and the words become a tale.
That’s why it was easy to think about “The Bridges of Madison County”. I can imagine the image of Francesca, as she saw Robert walking up to her for the first time, as he departed for eternity, as she missed him incessantly and desperately the years gone by. I can imagine how she was always alone, but never lonely, as long as her thoughts were with him. And I can imagine this song serenading her longing for him, in and out of consciousness.
I never watched the movie adaptation, so I never knew how the soundtrack fits. I never revisited the book either, having grown out of the belief in “made for each other” or “love of my life” (I’m not cynical, I just think the concept of love is more than that). I think Francesca & Robert’s love was, and would be star-crossed in every way, even if she had made the irrational decision to leave. It was the wistfulness that bounded them together, and got them through. And that was what made the story, while unrealistic, spoke to many people so genuinely. We are reminded of the love that will forever change what love means to us, and when that happens, the memory becomes an everlasting part of us.
And all that’s left to do is wake up in the morning, and have a good cup of coffee (or tea, if you’re like me).
««It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another.
The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking walking walking walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable—it could not have been any other way—a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable.
So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity.»»
And Facebook just reminded me that 3 years ago I posted a quote from the same book. “… all the philosophic rationalizations I can conjure up do not keep me from wanting you, every day, every moment, the merciless wail of time, of time I can never spend with you, deep within my heart.”
I tended to get sentimental on August. Blame it on the summer blues.