I’m listening to Country Fair (closes out the B Side of Veedon Fleece) and, ugh. My heart just sunk. The song is beautiful. But…hauntingly so. The flute sets a nostalgic tone – you know Van is reaching back into some distant memory. One left fading to time, but still deeply imprinted on his heart.
My heart sunk when it came on because, at 30, I do understand how we lose something magical as we age. There truly is nothing like young love. I don’t know if life and “failed” loves make us bitter or if we just desire something different as we age (compatibility, companionship, dependability, stability)…
The song starts:
We stood and watched the river flow We were too young to really know In the country fair, oh, in the country fair We laid out on the long green grass And never thought that it would pass In the country fair, in the country fair
I suppose it hurts my heart because I can relate to this. I’ve felt that kind of love before. It was so beautiful, pure….intense. I can clearly see myself sitting with my former partner. In the dunes. At sunset. I look over and him and we start to desolve into one another’s eyes. The emotion…I will nont even begin to attempt to put word to it. No combination of words can ever come close to touching what I felt in that moment.
It, of course, didn’t last. It’s interesting, in Veedon Fleece Van’s run away to Ireland to reconnect following his divorce from a woman who inspired album after album of love and joy and exuberance…I used to compare the extent of my emotions toward this particular partner as that of Van’s toward Janet Rigsbee. And, not unlike their explosive love, ours too exploded. So, perhaps, the sadness I feel toward those young and in love in that magical way – where you really believe it will always remain just as it is. Time can stop in a way. Or, perhaps, the sadness I feel is toward myself for knowing it doesn’t last. Because that is a lesson you can never unlearn and it robs you of the extent of the magic….I’m not saying all relationships end or everything turns bad and bitter. I’m just saying, they do change. There is growth and transition – which really just mean, life comes in to play. Competing desires, emotions, paths…And the exhuberance fades. Just as the love deepens.
I don’t know if Country Fair means an actual country fair or if it’s referring to the Irish countryside. If the former – I love using a country fair as a metaphor for the love and unknowingness/hopefulness he’s talking about. Country fairs are so fun and amazing and usually in summertime. Ah, sweet, sweet summertime. While at a country fair (or in summer), time is suspended. You’re not thinking about the future, just this moment, because this moment is so amazing and full. And there is a sense the fair, or summer, will never end.
It of course does. Fairs pack up and move on. Summer fades to Fall. And, often times, the great love we feel for another transforms….