To Recap: So there I was, with a dear friend who saw divorce as the thing that would fix his life- and I had a deep longing for him to hear from someone who could share their own experience on the subject.
Enter singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons.
I stumbled on William’s art a while back and featured him in an earlier blog post. On the musical end of things, William mixes a gentle, easy-to-listen-to voice with some fine acoustic guitar work and fluid melodies. As a songwriter, he brings the unique perspective of a trained (and formerly practicing) therapist to his craft.
And while therapists are usually all about listening to others, Fitzsimmons uses his songs as a means to speak. Only instead of telling others’ stories, he puts himself on the couch and lets the rest of us listen in.
My first foray into William’s music was his “Goodnight” project. Most of the songs on that album deal with the pain and processing of his own parent’s divorce. I was struck by how raw and honestly he expressed the things most of us fight to hold in- and sometimes end up going to therapy for.
Then, right around the time when my friend was contemplating divorce, I grabbed Fitzsimmon’s newest collection of songs- “The Sparrow & The Crow”. The topic for this batch of stories? The dissolution of William’s own marriage.
Please don’t get me wrong- I don’t think that ending a marriage is the unpardonable sin. I realize there are times when it sadly may be the best available option. And I know plenty of folks who have survived a divorce and end up happy in the long run. My main concern was that my friend was hurting so much that he saw divorce as nothing more than relational morphine with no long term effects.
Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to “The Sparrow & The Crow”. Listeners get to play the role of the nodding, note taking counselor as Fitzsimmons turns his heart inside out during this 46 minute therapy session.
Without violating doctor/patient confidentiality, I can tell you that these songs provide an unfettered look into the full range of emotions and longings that one is likely to experience during a divorce and in the months and years that follow.
From feeling numb enough to walk away from the one you once swore you would die for to aching desperately for reconciliation. From owning your own failings to the point of being willing to pay almost any price for forgiveness to acknowledging that the other person was complicit in the train wreck as well. From holding on to all of the good years you had together to begrudgingly accepting that what was for the two of you will never be again- at least not with each other.
I’ve listened through the whole album nearly 30 times by iTunes count and I’m still drawn in by the transparency Fitzsimmons displays as he captures not only what he has been through, but what so many others have experienced as well.
If you want a taste of what I’m talking about, check out William’s intimate performance of “I Don’t Feel It Anymore”
If you know someone who is going through a divorce, consider grabbing this project to get a feel for what they might be dealing with.
Been through or in the middle of a divorce? These songs will introduce you to an empathetic soul who has walked a similar path and can offer you a dose of hope.
Thinking about ending your own marriage? Please take a listen and find at least a small measure of caution in what may lie ahead. And if you are about to divorce and can’t afford to buy the music- email me and we’ll figure it out.