When I perform with MOH, I try to commit to what I'm doing - be in the moment, etc. In Portland, we sang "The Song of the South" and I had to find "my Dixie" - which I did, in the form of Jen. It was very easy to commit to the ideal I was singing about when I thought of her.
Conversely, when you're happily in love with someone and need to commit to the performance of a song about the pain associated with lost love, you need to rely on memory to do it.
Here's our current contest ballad:
We used to laugh, we used to love, we used to always sing,
We'd walk along the street and hear the church bells ring.
"Johnny and Susie will marry soon" -
those were the words of our lover's tune.
But now you have gone, 'cause I had to stray
And this is all I can say:
What a fool I have been to try to forget you,
Try to forget you in vain, in vain.
What a fool I have been for causing this breakup,
Causing us both such pain.
Just a few hasty words that made you cry
That was the night we said "good-bye."
Now I've come back to say, "I'm sorry, let's make up."
I tried to forget you in vain, my dear.
Your memory haunts me,
The thrill of you taunts me.
I tried to forget you in vain.
Why do I bring this up? Well, I got an e-mail from Leah today. She's as close to the song's Susie as I've got, and the emotions work for the performance, so I've been picturing her when I sing it. (some could misconstrue this as emotionally cheating on Jen, but I don't see it that way and I hope she doesn't either)
In my life, there have been a few great friendships that I've let slip by the wayside, and while I recognize that this was entirely my fault and the patterns that allowed it to happen are still there (and therefore it would happen again), I'd love to see them rekindled to what they once were. Among them are sencollins, who tries more often than I do and deserves a better friend than I seem to be; Jim Hill, who I hear about more often than from; stabbymotions, who I saw last year and truly intended to keep in touch with, but haven't called, visited, or written to; and Leah. Those are really the big four that I think about and miss on a regular basis. (I'd include Kevin here, but we actually talk once every couple months, which is more than I have with any of the other four. Not enough, but better.) If you're reading this and think you should be on the list but aren't, don't be insulted - I miss a LOT of people from my past --- these are just the ones that haunt me regularly.
Anyway, considering that not only is she in my "big four" of lost friendships, but that she's my Susie, I thought it was funny that Leah's letter included the query: "Remember me?"
I hope this post doesn't scare her off (I did give her the URL in my reply e-mail - welcome aboard, Leah!). But I did want to say that our friendship was among the most special I've ever had, and forgetting her was never an option.
I tried to forget you, in vain.