Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My (Very, VERY) Bad

Selva Oscura

At the outset of Inferno, poet Dante Alighieri famously relates how he found himself "astray in a dark wood," called "The Dark Wood of Error" in most English translations. Unlike Dante, however, I now have a pretty good idea of just how I wound up in that same dark, forbidding place...and those grievous errors are entirely my own doing...

"He found his way out again though, right?"

Yes...but he had help, and there shall be none forthcoming for me...

Until Next Time...

There are only a handful of musical artists who have more than one song in my iTunes "Tearjerkers" playlist. Legendary blues-rock icon Bonnie Raitt is one of them, chiefly because her live album Road Tested was released in the fall of 1995, a time when my marriage was ending and my career as a play director was beginning. I listened to it pretty obsessively at the time, and selections from it still get regular listens on various of my iTunes playlist, not just in "Tearjerkers." It remains one of my all-time favorite live recordings.

The album featured performances of several recent Raitt hits from her multi-platinum-selling albums Nick of Time (Raitt's first Billboard 200 No. 1 album), Luck of the Draw (peaked at No. 2), and Longing in Their Hearts (also a No. 1). Those albums account for the bulk of Raitt's eleven Grammy Awards, and her biggest Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart successes.

At the time Road Tested was released, the song which hit me the hardest emotionally
was "I Can't Make You Love Me," written for Raitt by former Penn State football star and Cincinnati Bengal Pro Bowler Mike Reid along with songwriter Allen Shamblin. The studio album version of the song reached No. 18 on the Hot 100, Raitt's second-highest ever placement on that chart.

The helplessness I felt as my marriage was ending is perfectly captured by the the song's yearning lyrics, which also speak to the sense of helplessness and loss that
I am currently feeling as well...

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