Being Kind...

Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.

Roy T. Bennett

In my Reflection last week, I mentioned my emotional crumpling after hearing Andrea Bocelli singing ‘Con te partirò’. This week both Sarah and I have stumbled over songs, and a photo, which twanged our heartstrings.

In one case, we heard the same song separately.

It was ‘Still Together’ by Shania Twain from an album that meant something to Sarah and me in the early weeks of our relationship. There was much in some of Shania’s songs with which we identified. That was near 20 years ago; over time, those songs have slipped from memory.

I heard Shania’s song when again watching an episode of the ‘Sopranos’. As with ‘Con te partirò’, it played as background music in a scene. As before, my emotions crashed into the song as my mind fell back to the early 2000s. At least I didn’t crumple this time. In contrast, Sarah heard Shania when the song came on the radio as Sarah was driving. The song is all about a married couple beating the odds. Guess that’s no longer Sarah and me….

Then Sarah bumped emotionally into, ‘That’s Amore’ sung by Dean Martin. It’s not a heart-rending song. It’s quite cheerful and begins with the line,

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

That’s amore”

The trouble is that I associate it with the numerous times Sarah, and I have gazed upon that ‘pizza pie’ while in Italy. Sitting or strolling beneath its grey glow while sharing conversation over a drink, taking a stroll, or simply watching the world go by. In Verona, Venice, Rome, Turin, Siena and many other beautiful Italian towns and cities. However, there are two occasions that remain particularly vivid in my memory.

The first was in Bologna. Sarah and I had eaten a traditional Bolognese meal in the wonderful Ristorante de Nello al Montegrappa and then strolled into Piazza Maggiore for a nightcap at a small bar. We settled ourselves down at an outside table and, sipping our drinks, we soon fell into quiet conversation. Around us sat many couples similarly engaged. Listening in on the soft mummer of those exchanges, an eye-catching disc of glistening grey sat high above the Basilica di San Petronio.

The second memory was from a vacation in Santa Margherita Liguria. Again, Sarah and I enjoyed a wonderful (is there ever any other type of meal in Italy) evening meal. As we meandered to our hotel alongside the Mediterranean waterfront, under the watchful eye of the Castle, a gilded globe kept us company. Almost balancing on the horizon, it painted a Monet-like rippling streak of gold across the water’s surface.

It wasn’t just music that jabbed our hearts this week. A photo appeared in Sarah’s FB memories of the two of us at a friend’s 50th Birthday party ten years ago. There we both are. Dressed to impress and smiling warmly at the camera while in a close embrace. Very much a couple. One of the scattered pictures of our together smiles we are leaving behind.

I’m sure our emotions will become easier to manage while we continue our journey to separation. But, right now, those emotions are overly sensitive to the touch.

And as I look forward to the lives we are about to live, there is another song that keeps coming into my head. I’ve liked the music of Joan Armatrading very much for many a decade. One of Joan’s songs, ‘Willow’ goes to the heart of being a friend to another in times of need,

“…What ever you want me to

All you got to do is ask

I said I’m strong

Straight

Willing

To be a

Shelter in a storm

Your willow oh willow

When the sun is out..”

It’s being kind to each other. And no matter what. There is never a reason not to be kind.

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