The program in which I share about Vernon’s connection to Waterloo Sunset was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday and is available to everyone online now. If you have a free half hour, please take the time to listen. Here is the link.
I didn’t know what to expect really. I knew a few other people would be sharing their thoughts on the same song, Waterloo Sunset, but I could barely remember what I had said that day. I knew the producer would make it all make sense somehow, and she did a wonderful job, weaving the stories with one musical thread. Each story was interesting and touching in its own way. It was an honor to be part of such a beautiful show, and I loved how it came out.
Something remarkable seemed to happen when I realized that Vernon’s story had been released over his home island. (And he was singing too! Did he ever think in a million years he would be singing out loud, let alone on the BBC?) It was a new sprinkling of the ashes, so to speak—a way of returning Vernon to the place from which he came, but in story and in song, for others’ ears to hear. It was as if it was no longer my story but something else—something different, told in a way that I could not have done alone. The homing pigeon returns. There was a new feeling of release for me, which filled me with an odd feeling that I can’t escape today. I suppose, other than this blog, and the speaking engagements I’ve had, I knew his story had reached a greater audience—but they weren’t an audience I could see. I just have to trust it went where it needed to go. I received some lovely notes on here and on Facebook from British strangers, who were moved by Vernon’s story. One kind person wrote these to me on Twitter:
It makes me realize how American I really am…I forget that living here. I don’t know how people grieve in the UK because I didn’t live there as a griever. Of course, I also know that over here, each person grieves as they live: in their own fashion. Vanessa told me that after her parents had listened to the show, she thought they would be able to move forward in their own grief. So if I was involved for that reason alone, telling his story this way was a good thing.
I’m grateful. I’m sad. But also I’m grateful.