Tuesday, June 19, 2007

just call me a cynical optimist…

So, I was reminded once again that fairytales do not exist when I read a blog post yesterday. I still refuse to become jaded, but my heart truly was broken to learn of the divorce of one of my favorite couples. The bright side is I’m not as much of a music & internet junkie as I’ve been accused of, seeing as the split occurred in February of last year (though, as I commented on the other post, perhaps I was sustaining my delusion by subconsciously shielding myself from information I did not want to believe). To understand the sadness of this news, you have to know the rest of the story.
In the beginning, Victoria Williams was a young songwriter emerging from Louisiana and making her way ‘cross country to the other L.A. where she met and briefly married her first musical soulmate, Peter Case. A prolific songwriter, quirky individual and incredibly talented musician, Victoria’s career was thrown a curve when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Cue the Sweet Relief album, which is when I was actually introduced to this beautiful artist in High School. Some fabulous musicians came together and put out a cover album of her music, with all proceeds going toward her increasing medical bills.

Mark Olson, a talented songwriter and musician himself, was a co-founder of Americana poster boys the Jayhawks in the early 90’s. If any of you were nerdy enough (like me) to watch VH1 when MTV was still cool, you may recall the Jayhawk’s song Blue was the theme for the Crossroads video show (first place I ever heard Jewel perform, back when she was still real and good, before she started forcing herself to be something else). Mark was smitten with Victoria before they ever started dating, and even crafted the song Ms. William’s Guitar in her honor. He stood by her during her first bout with M.S., made an honest woman of her, and then left the Jayhawks to move out to a cabin in the Joshua Tree dessert with her and make a home and record music together.

I had the privilege of seeing them perform together twice at Juanita’s in Little Rock. When they sang together, Mark would watch Victoria with a big grin and crinkled eyes. She radiated such a joyful spirit, and he soaked it up. All of the stories they would tell, or that you would read, about their time together in the dessert and on the road wove a tale of true love, deep faith, and simple living. All was right and beautiful… and they weren’t afraid to be real and share about the stuff that wasn’t always so right and beautiful.

But the center does not hold. The woman with the sweet, childlike spirit and voice had this to say about the breakup: "He's definitely still very mad at me for divorcing him. After I found out Mark had taken up with the girl he was seeing before we got married, I filed for divorce. But when he told this woman about our divorce, she dropped him, and now she's having a baby with someone else. So now he's mad at me for being so quick to divorce him, which he said was 'like a horse running to water.' Call me old-fashioned, but if you're having sex with another woman while you're married to me, it's over!"

So they’re continuing to tour together, but the love and the trust is shattered. Can the music ever be the same? Will it be nearly as enjoyable when they are watching the audience instead of stealing glances at each other? I don’t think my glass is half-empty, but it definitely needs to be topped off.

When we sing together, we sing a song that’s new
We sing a song that’s new, so the children will remember
See me smile; Is this you singing with me?

When we laugh together, we laugh about old quarrels
We laugh about old quarrels,
Till they’re smoothed out like the water
Birds on high sweetly sing songs of hope

Through sorrow and circumstance
Fine jewels and unpaid rent
A day in the sun, a year in the dark
Holding to the fire we had when there was nothing but a spark
Spun our wheels, made our deals, nearly broke our hearts

When we pray together, we share a perfect love
We share a perfect love for the beauty God has given

Angels know later on we’ll see it all

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when we pray...when we laugh...when we sing...living with a cynical optimist is least likely the worst of my fates. though i must gentially protest to innocence of one so called, "southern lady", i do derive great joy of soul from co-habitating with a creature such as this.

- from the one who harvest little things