Well, it looks like our relationship is over, almost before it began. An accidental meeting, and I feel like I’ve known you all my life. Your wisdom, your humor, the aching in your soul all new to me, but somehow familiar. How did we not cross paths before? Where have you been? Or, more likely, where have I been?
Romantic love, sexual tension can be shallow, easy. A flirt, a spark, an opportunity. But love of a spirit is different. Timeless, genderless, every kind of clean and wholesome that can be. And I believe we are kindred spirits. Presumptuous of me, I suppose, since I don’t know if you would have felt the same.
So, there you were in one of the music-streaming mixes that keeps me company in a workday. One song, and I was hooked. You had something different that resonated with me.
I began asking relatives and old friends from the 60’s and 70’s, “How did we miss this guy?” Or was it just me, young, sweet, and clueless, who failed to pick you out from the crowd? No one could say.
I caught up quickly, every song deepening the connection. Your spoken introductions, and later, every recorded interview I could find, giving me glimpses into the mind and soul that makes your music.
Devastated to learn you were sick with Covid 19, we joined so many others with prayers for your health. It was early days, and Covid was even more frightening by the mysteries of what it is and how it works. By then, I knew of your cancer survival – not once, but twice – by the grace of God. And I knew that some lung problems were still with you. Lungs, the Achilles’ heel of Covid recovery.
Someone, somewhere, announced that you were improving, and we were grateful – just long enough to find out that you’d died. It’s a cruel thing to be given hope, and then have it collapse. But sometimes, you know, that’s the way that the world goes around.
In loving and respectful memory of John Prine and his music that will always enhance our lives. Thank you, John.
(c) 2021, J. L. Cools