Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Dedication (The Coltrane-Hartman Way)

This Valentine goes out to two very special people, my former in-laws.

Today my daughter and I made the (in)famous scotch cookies to send to my former mother in law. She loves them. They were a treat my great grandmother made, and today my daughter used her great-grandmother's cookie cutter to cut the dough into heart-shapes.

It's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to lose someone over the course of several months. This is cancer. I watched the family I work for lose the family patriarch, who to the end cried of our times, "They're still getting away with it!" Now I watch my children's grandmother's family fight the same battle, which she will probably lose in a month or two.

I've been unsuccessful in maintaining a lifelong primary relationship outside of my family. I have friends I've had for 20 or 30 years, but not a lifelong marriage. So it's hard to imagine staring the end of that in the face every day, or going to sleep every night hoping for one more day to do just that.

There may be a bluegrass song or two that does this justice, but this once, I'm going to turn to a master of romance, Mr. John Coltrane. No one who has ever heard this extraordinary jazz artist has not come under his spell. I had a great love once with whom we had pajama tutorials in jazz, which is something my ear is untrained to, despite all my schooling. The later Coltrane speaks so much to his life and his pain, but the ballads, Ah! the reward of his ballads are worth every second of effort to make time for them.

Coltrane was kind of a healer that way. Magic. This beautiful song is pure magic. It features Coltrane's divine sax playing and Johnny Hartman's velvet voice on the lilting melody. I have wanted to invoke the power of this song on a number of occasions, and I can think of no more fitting occasion than this Valentines Day for my former in-laws, two important people in my world who for more than 30 years have been parents and grandparents and partners and each other's one and only love.

I wish for them some magic in every single moment.
And I wish for you, readers, that all of us might find that someone with whom we can share a perfectly imperfect, fitting, can't-ever-turn-away, never-skipped-a-beat human love. Just once. For good.

(No lyrics this time. Just click, sit back, close your eyes, listen, and think on someone you love.)


At February 11, 2007 12:56 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

Sax... {sigh}

It's better than sex sans someone you love.

Thanks for the nightcap, MM.

At February 11, 2007 12:51 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

You are most welcome, Mr. B. This song and the whole Coltrane for Lovers album, really makes me appreciate romance. Sounds corny, probably, but I think looking at a couple married 30-40-60 years, they must know something I don't!


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