It’s Good to Cry

I am one big softie. In tears this morning…but I think I had it coming. It all started yesterday (blurry wavy line transition into the past)

Finished another book in the studio. Although this was one of ‘those’ fantasies it was still the third book and the end of the series, and found the hero dying in the arms of his long time best friend. It described the look on his face. Even though I had found it hard to connect on a particularly passionate level with these characters, I found myself relating it to the moment at which our dear cat, Simone, passed away – we were at the vet’s in the room as the final injection was given. It was almost 2 months ago but I can still see her face as she passed and even the words describing the death of a character I wasn’t particularly passionate about can trigger a recollection and a wave of sadness. Had to retake the lines a couple of times.

Then there was all the interaction (and non-interaction) on Facebook that I wrote about yesterday… thoughts spun around in my head most of the rest of the day. Asking myself what the most appropriate way to handle the things that provoke me on that social media platform might be? Why, sometimes, do I feel so vulnerable – why do I not have a thicker skin?

Then I had an acting class that was enormous fun (playing at and with improv – led by someone I enjoyed working with after an absence) amongst a group I’ve grown close to and won’t see for a couple of weeks (told you I was a softie).

You’d think after a good night’s sleep I’d wake with a clean slate. But no…. I was ready to fall apart completely.

My wife had just had four mornings getting up before 5am and driving down to UC Irvine (that early to beat the traffic). So today, even though we had a lot of driving planned, we took a moment to fetch the paper from the doorstep, prepare a nice cup of Earl Grey, let our cat, Sebastian, onto the bed, and just chat. I decided to seek some background music and found that Apple Music was offering a collection by the French folk singer Maxime Le Forestier. The first track was “San Francisco” – a classic…. and I melted. Tears streaking down my cheeks. Just for a moment.

Tears of ecstasy, though. In that moment I was transported back to a trip I’d taken to France with my then girlfriend when we drove down to the Loire and back up through Brittany and I bought a cassette tape (it was 1982!) of Maxime Le Forestier. And the particular song my wife and I were now listening to in bed was about the city I had spent the last 25 years living very close to and to where we were just about to drive (I’m in Oakland right now) to pick up the last of our furniture and empty our final storage space – meaning a last goodbye to my physical connection to the Bay Area. A perfect wave given how emotionally weakened I was. So I melted.

San Francisco s’embrume
San Francisco s’allume
San Francisco, où êtes vous

For me, music is the key to unlocking so many memories and with them so many emotions. I wonder if that is a symptom of growing up in the era that I did. Born in 1955 I was ripe for the explosion of youth culture and the music that went with it. Or maybe we all like to think our particular era was unique in that respect.

I was going on to list here the some of the songs that have an emotional impact on me depending on the mood I’m in but…heavens… that list would be so long and really only of interest to me. I used to have a bad habit when friends would come over (we’re talking a long time ago, in my 20s and 30s) of jumping up and changing the music as the mood took me and trying to explain to my visitor why they should really listen to this or that and what it meant to me. I must have bored so many people. I won’t bore you. I’ll leave it to you to reflect on what, or who, your own ‘Maxime Le Forestier’ is and let you wallow in nostalgia in private.

Pass the Kleenex.

Take Care
– S.

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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3 Responses to It’s Good to Cry

  1. Anne Salas September 13, 2018 at 9:23 am #


    In my book, you can be as soft as you like. It’s what makes you so wonderfully good at what you do! I listen daily and have for about 10 years since I started painting full time. When I need a new book I search Hoopla, Boston Public library, by Simon Vance.

    Cathartic tears, I think they leave us stronger.

    All the best,


  2. Virginia Niewoehner November 18, 2017 at 7:01 am #

    Simon, at the mention of the passing of your beloved Simone, you had me…the tears are now welling up in my eyes. We lost a sweet little mixed breed 15 months ago, and I can still be transported to that moment, holding her in my arms, when she closed her eyes for the last time. I miss her every day.

    I’m also cringing a bit at your comments about imposing the music you love on your friends. I know I’ve done the same. I’m not familiar with the music of Maxime Le Forestier, but I’m so curious now…

    I’ve enjoyed your daily posts, but I really thank you for this one.

    P.S. I’m glad to know you’re ‘one big softie.’ :0)

  3. Jan Johnston November 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    Well, I’ll relate one! My first kiss was to “Hey, Jude,” and this kiss lasted as long!!! Lovely! That was almost 48 years ago to the day, and every time I hear that song, it transports me back to when i was 15, snogging in the front seat of a ’65 Ford Mustang.


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