What day is this? June 18, 2017, you say? Why that can’t be! That would mean that…Holy Shit! Paul McCartney is 75? Oh, say it ain’t so!
No, it’s true. Happy Birthday and many returns, Sir Paul.
This is the man, the versatile artist and gifted songwriter, who made so much of his stock in love songs. Where we look from the outside it appears he has lived his life with a reverence for love, not one to give his affections wantonly. As a young man he was known the world over. Those big brown eyes and boyish charm melted the hearts of girls and women everywhere. He could have had his pick of anyone, and perhaps in his bachelor days he did. I have no idea, but in spite of the great fame and adoration that might easily have swept him into ill advised romance he was instead patient and prudent in when and where he chose to make a commitment.
I was never privy to the inner workings of his marriage to Linda. I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, for no marriage ever is. By all outward appearances, though, it surely seemed to be a love that was true and enduring. They certainly seemed happy. And Paul never spared his praise for and devotion to her, in public pronouncements and in song. My Love and Maybe I’m Amazed still stand as some of the most poignant love songs of all time, both inspired by his love for Linda.
I can imagine the awful heartache and sorrow that came with her passing. This was surely a case of someone losing not just a wife, a friend and lover, but losing a part of yourself. Envy is a bitter potion, yet properly indulged if felt for what these two people had in each other.
I thought at the time that he would never remarry. I thought he would be like George Burns, enduring life for fifty years alone without his beloved Grace. Paul and Linda seemed to fit that mold, don’t you think? Still, loneliness can be a potent intoxicant. When he took up with Heather it seemed that sufficient time had passed. It was good to see that she made him happy. This good man could have given to her the same kind of devotion that he gave to Linda. A heart as large and true as his could hardly be left bereft for the rest of his days. I understand what happened to him. Maybe he did too, yet still could not resist. The Achilles Heel of the sentimental romantic.
I looked at Heather and saw something I recognized. Not in her so much as in the familiarity of the feelings involved. Sir Paul had fallen into a trap which has snared many a man. To find your love, the soul that is your other half of being, is a rare and precious gift. I can speak with ease for my sex, admitting something that perhaps many will not. Men are easy. Where it concerns matters of the heart most of us are blind or we are fools. In the worst cases both. Some of us never find “the one”, succumbing to a life of womanizing or just dedicating ourselves exclusively to the “masculine” pursuits. Some of us stumble blind through life and trip over the one without ever knowing. Ignorance is bliss. A greater woe betide the man who misses this and realizes later what he has missed, especially if he has gone on to “settle” for someone else. A piece of advice for you ladies: don’t allow yourself to be a man’s “Plan B”. This never ends well. And let’s be honest with ourselves here, it works the same in reverse.
Then there is the case when a man finds that one love, that person who “gets” you. The Yin to your Yang, a pairing that completes both of you. And then you lose her. You screw it up and she leaves, or she is taken from you by accident, untimely demise or unknown circumstance. It leaves a hole in you, but also a burden. For the rest of your days, consciously or unconsciously, your eyes will forever watch, your ears forever listen, your heart will ever seek a replacement. You will tell yourself that you can love her because you want so badly to believe it. It may be her eyes, the way her hair falls across her face. It may be her voice or her laugh. The inflection of voice when saying certain words. She reminds you of her. It may be something more subtle. Perhaps she emits pheromones that pair to your receptors. Whatever the case you can easily find yourself taken in this web, willing your heart to accept what the mind sees and projecting your lost love into this person. For all the similarities that may exist eventually your heart will know that it has been deceived. She is not the same.
Some men suffer this fate and make the most of it, for better or worse. Sir Paul suffered this and had to pay dearly for it. Not the money. To a heart like that and a wealth like his the currency would be inconsequential. Its the price of betrayal dealt to his heart. Yet in spite of the whole nightmare his capacity for love remained, manifest in his music and later with a new bride, Nancy. Now I can look at her and conclude this was not a case of equating the physical appearance to the lost love. She is a lovely and accomplished woman, still nearly twenty years his junior but wearing it quite well.
A lover needs someone to love. Women are better equipped to be alone, I think. We men simply can’t bear it; we end up killing ourselves through one means or another. I hope Sir Paul has a fab birthday and has many years of happiness to share with his new love. Thankfully for the world he has not “had enough of silly love songs”.