It was a few years ago when dear friends joined me in a jaunt to NYC for my birthday and we saw The Bridges of Madison County. The music. Oh, loved. Kelli O’Hara. I have been listening to the original Broadway cast recording the past few days because there are moments of such truth and beauty in it and I enjoy being in those moments, those soaring, searing, sensual, reaches to the eternal, the universal we all hear in different songs.
Cody was assigned as my seat partner because he is good when I am weeping (and he is no mean weeper, himself) – he knows JUST when to take my hand, to put his arm around me, to pat my knee, which gesture when. He is an amazing man, this Cody.
Which is a brilliant thing to remember — amazing Cody and the other amazing people I was with that day: Andrea, Alison, Sue, Pat.
So, yes. Me. Blessings. Just had another one. Phone call from a dear one, unexpected and fantastic and … yes. I am loved. I know this. Even when I feel like crap, I know this: I am loved. And so I listen to beautiful songs from Bridges of Madison County sung by Kelli O’Hara. Like this:
I love this because it is near the beginning, the buzz she feels, the glow, the surprise when after so long of feeling so little, of such predictable lonely sameness, someone looks at her and reminds her of those feelings, fires nerve endings and wakens sensations, promises possibilities so long gone she had completely forgotten they existed. And she wants it and doesn’t. She needs it and knows she should not have it. That’s how I felt recently.
These lines she sings (Kelli O’Hara is truly one of our great musical theatre interpreters):
I start to forget what I look like and yet
All it takes is one second one day.
All these things that I’ve hidden away
One glance reveals.
The ache and the buzz of the girl that I was
Before now, before him, before them.
It’s remarkable just to remember
How it feels!
Just look at me –
At my hands, at my mouth, at my shoulder,
Talk to me, like there’s something to say.
In this minute, I’m not getting older.
Please just look at me,
And then please walk away.
Don’t offer your hand.
Don’t reach for my waist.
Don’t lean towards my lips.
Look at me.
Yes, this … just, please, look at me. Then go away. Because I want that feeling but I know that the after of it, the results, the effects, its complications will be too much, its echoes too noisy, its ghosts too demanding. Gorgeous, that.
And then, there’s this:
He looked at her. But he did not then walk away. It happened. Things do, and then, for reasons, they don’t. They stop. Life happens. One moves on — willingly, unwillingly. Mistakes, maybe? Mistakes that save a life, make a life? True, as well. I love this song. In particular you MUST listen to Ms. O’Hara’s delivery of the lyric “I could have not been where my children turned for answers” around 1:45-1:55, especially the catch on “answers” — that is complete genius.
And Steven Pasquale’s verse at the end:
You and I
Are just one second.
In one split-second.
You and I
Have just one second
And a million miles to go.
Yes, because life is so often about those miraculous million miles that can happen in one second.
Connections, my dears, are such beautiful, tenuous, miraculous things. I made a connection a few weeks ago with a man who I allowed in, a man who followed me, talked to me, pursued me, and to whom I finally said yes. That was a sort of miracle of opening and reawakening for me. He looked at me.
Now, before anything could happen, before we went that million miles, he panicked or changed his mind or was possessed by Satan — who knows — doesn’t matter. It is what it is, it was what it was, I did what I did, which was to trust, to allow myself to be seen, and so it didn’t turn out to be even a coffee date after all.
I’ll live. I am loved. Not like a musical maybe (well, a little Grey Gardens and Dear World, who am I kidding) but loved and loved plenty.
All that said, I’m not so sure that the sentiment of Bridges final ballad is really true, not sure love is always better, but I am completely sure that I always will love, because I can’t seem to say no. It’s who I am.
And as a very wise Duchess once said to me, “When we count our losses, we turn the balance sheet over to see what’s been gained, you and I.” Remember that. I don’t always remember it right away, but, given a day or two, I get there. Loved, I am so loved, by my dears and my phone callers and my Duchess.
Now back to your lives all of you, and I to mine. I’ve packing to do so I can be off to my animal pals and a week of reading and writing.
Love and Light, dear ones. Love and Light.