Tonight I’ll be attending a concert by one of my favorite artists on the planet, Marc Cohn.
I’m still mulling whether to toss my bra at him, and trying not to be offended he hasn’t thanked me for the previous six.
Though he won a Grammy in 1991 for best new artist and has produced a number of albums in the past 20 years, he’s known by most people for one of only two songs: “Walking in Memphis” (which I’ll admit I’m not terribly fond of) or “True Companion.”
If everyone who used the latter as part of a wedding ceremony had to pay Marc Cohn a dollar, I suspect he could retire tomorrow. It’s a lovely song Cohn wrote for a woman he was dating and eventually proposed to. They got married, had two children, and lived happily ever after, as the song suggests.
Only…well, they didn’t. Live happily ever after, that is, at least not with each other.
Like a lot of marriages, theirs ended in divorce. Before you shed too many tears for Marc Cohn, you should know he’s happily remarried to television journalist Elizabeth Vargas and they have two lovely children.
And yet, at every Marc Cohn concert I’ve attended (six, in total—just like the bras), audience members continue to shout requests for “True Companion.” You can’t blame them, and I’m as happy as the next person that he plays it at every show.
While introducing the song a few years ago, he made a comment I wish I’d written down, but it went something like this:
I’m so glad this song continues to have meaning for so many people long after it’s lost its original meaning for me.
I’ve thought about that a lot lately as reviewers say wonderfully kind things about Making Waves and as I work through edits on the other two books in my contract.
Though all three books have gone through oodles of rewrites, they were originally created while I was married. It’s probably not surprising to anyone that I can see traces of “married me” in the stories.
When things were still pretty raw a few months ago, I’ll admit that made it tough to get through edits. Now? I can read any of them with a sort of clinical detachment. It’s not that there’s no emotion in them for me, but just that it’s a different emotion now.
I suppose this is something all kinds of artists deal with throughout their careers. Even if whatever sparked the original idea isn’t there anymore, the work itself takes on a life of its own.
Does anyone besides me find that fascinating? Have any of you looked back on something you wrote at a totally different stage in your life and thought, “who the @#$% was I then?” Please share!
I’ll be looking at my bra collection thinking I’ll give Marc one last chance. Black lace, maybe?