September 13, 2006
 
 
Dear Family and Friends,

     Three years ago, I learned that Johnny Cash had passed away.  On September 12, 2003,  I was in Mom and Dad's cabin in Vermont, on a solitary sojourn with my forever happy dog, Delilah. Peggy was on a personal birthday retreat week of her own in the Smokey Mountains. I was enjoying time to myself, reflecting on life, living and the changes to my world that had taken place during the previous two years since September 11, 2001. I had a small portable radio with me (there is no electricity at the cabin) and heard the news that Johnny Cash had died. I was deeply affected. Even though I listen primarily to classical, smooth jazz and soundscape music, I often draw from the deep well of Johnny Cash's bearing and brilliance. The man and his music have moved me in ways that no other performer ever has. His life and music seem to inspire me as much in his dying as they have in living.

     Johnny Cash had been sick and near death several times in his life and it was always thought that he would probably die first, before his wife June. However, in the Spring of 2003, June Carter Cash unexpectedly became sick and died. To say that John was devastated, is to understate the case, yet he showed his strength and dedication to life and to his craft and continued to produce music. In the four months between June's death and his own, Johnny Cash recorded about fifty songs.

     Several years earlier, John and June had recorded a song, together, entitled "Far Side Banks of Jordan". It speaks to their Love, to their commitment, to their passing and to their eternal presence. If you listen closely, they even seem to prophetically sort out who will be the "first to cross,". June Carter Cash passed away in May of 2003. Four months later, on September 12, 2003, Johnny Cash was set free, to cross the Jordan where June would see him coming and "rise up with a shout and come running through the shallow water, reaching for your hand."  I have attached their recording for your listening pleasure and enjoyment.

     Many people have mentors ... one of mine is John R. Cash. I celebrate his life, his poetry, his deep timbered voice, his music, his vision, his love, his character, his passion, his dark shadow and brilliant light, his imperfection, his creativity and most of all, his humanity.

Peace,
C wolff

Also:
Just a tad more from the depth of his talent
I have not heard a recording of this song,
Yet I am taken by the beauty he paints:

FORTY SHADES OF GREEN
by John R. Cash

I close my eyes and picture
The em'rald of the sea
From the fishing boats at Dingle
To the shores of Dunardee
I miss the river Shannon
And the folks at Skibbereenv
The moorlands and the meadows
With their forty shades of green

But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary Town
And most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown
   Again I want to see and do
   The things we've done and seen
Where the breeze is sweet as Shalimar
And there's forty shades of green

I wish that I could spend an hour
At Dublin's churning surf
I'd love to watch the farmers
Drain the bogs and spade the turf
To see again the thatching
Of the straw the women glean
I'd walk from Cork to Liarn
To see the forty shades of green

But most of all I miss a girl in T...
 
Click the "play" button to play Forty Shades...