After spending a restorative but freezing two nights in a friend’s uninsulated cabin in the Chiricauhua Mountains, I wrote to my friend, telling him I’d be back, but not until April, and ended up confiding about problems I’d been having with someone very close to me. “It will all be better in the spring, one way or another,” I wrote in a dolorous email.
you must believe in spring said bill evans, he wrote. now i worry that spring and summer brings fires and winter is a break… got that cabin built and the mountains burnt and my sense of what an “escape” is has changed but the illusion is still there….
It was a beautiful email, and even more beautiful is the recording of Bill Evans’ song You Must Believe in Spring. I’d forgotten how odd and sensitive Evans’s music is, and the song reminded me that great art must contain paradox. Thesis and antithesis. The song is full of grief and loss, full of winter, yet it also has that flicking pulse of life, of spring, sometimes in the same note.
I’ve learned it in quotidian ways, and in romantic ones, how much better to grieve than to hang on. I’ve learned it the hard way, too many times.
From what I know about him, Evans did, too.