I've seen fire and I've seen rain sang James Taylor as if such mundane observations endow his relentlessly folksy mind with the wisdom of an ancient sage. Perhaps they do, for his visions of the elements and various weather patterns, however prosaic, inspired a song that continues to sell in surprisingly large quantities. So he must be on to something.
As for me, I've seen the impatient queue of customers in the coffee shop waiting behind an aggrieved hippy complaining about his guava smoothie while James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" reverberates through a cheap speaker hidden behind a dusty cactus on an otherwise empty shelf above the barista's head.
The coffee shop itself has seen better days, obviously. The impatient customers have probably seen longer lines. And the aggrieved hippy has apparently seen guava smoothies with a lot more chia seed in them. He's seen cheaper prices, too, which seems to be his point of contention. For her part, the barista has clearly seen the writing on the wall and must be thinking there are easier ways to make minimum wage than dealing with patronizing, middle-aged men wearing tie-dye t-shirts. I can see that in her eyes.
Meanwhile, I've seen fire and I've seen rain, the plaintive, disembodied voice of James Taylor continues to declare, a boon to those of us in the coffee shop who'd rather listen to the ear-splitting screech of an espresso-maker at maximum volume than the aggrieved hippy's entitled whining and wheedling. Everyone would like to see the back of him, including, I have no doubt, the fidgeting woman next to him who appears to be his long-suffering companion.
We all bear witness to life's ups and downs, the daily fires of ambition and the predictable rain that douses all expectation of success. James Taylor transforms his observations into toe-tappable, sing-a-long popular song. I write this rather diffident, somewhat facetious, and extremely obscure blog. He's rich and famous but I've never been depressed and hooked on heroin. Would I swap places with him? Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it.