Weighty Matters

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Springsteen Saturday

on February 15, 2014

I’ve raved written here before about my decades long love and admiration for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. No, it isn’t love as in I-was-the-person-he-should-have-married-crazy-stalker-fan love. It’s entirely because since I was 17 years old, Bruce’s songs have inspired, encouraged, resonated and deeply touched my emotions.

The last time I saw him and the band in concert was September 2012 up home in New Jersey. It feels like shortly after, he launched an International tour that’s gone on forever. We, i.e. his U.S. fans, have waited ever since for him to book more dates here at home. Our hopes rose when he recently released a new album, High Hopes.

We have been rewarded. Earlier this week he announced U.S. dates. To my utter joy one of those dates is a night in South Florida. The tickets went on sale this morning at 10 a.m. I pre-cautioned my Tai Chi instructor that I’d need to leave class early. My computer was booted up and I was sitting at Ticketmaster.com, refreshing the concert date page by 9:59 a.m. so that I wouldn’t miss out. Who’s going to see Springsteen? *points to self* This woman! Booyah!

I’ve probably said before that my favorite Bruce song is Thunder Road. (The fact that the protagonist in the song sings to a woman named Mary is purely coincidental.) In the song, the man urges Mary to go out with him, to believe in him, to show a little faith, that there is magic in the night. He can’t promise to be her hero but he is determined to win in the game of life.

When I was 17, that song was an invitation to pursue my dreams, to reach out for them with both hands and an open heart. To not be afraid but to leap and believe that the net would appear.

Now that I’m 56, Thunder Road still resonates but now it’s a reminder that I still have dreams and goals. I have promises to fulfill to myself. I am still in the process of living my best life.

One of the many things that always impressed me about Springsteen’s music and message was the fact that even when a song was filled with swagger, his characters weren’t pie-eyed optimists. They didn’t expect life to hand them their dreams but at heart they believed they could earn the dreams they wanted. By contrast, when his songs dealt with characters in despair, their pain was that much more cutting.

There are many themes, many characters and many stories — uplifting and positive or dark and sad. For me, the message I listen to the most is the one that reinforces earning my dreams and goals. I have to pay my way to reach them. In terms of my continued weight loss and recovery this means dedicating time, energy, spirit, and physical effort. That’s the payment recovery demands and I’m willing to pay. After all, I got high hopes.

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes

– Bruce Springsteen

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5 responses to “Springsteen Saturday

  1. Hope says:

    Congrats on your tickets!

  2. Not sure when the guy is going to see Bruce, but I’m sure it will happen. Oh, wait, I do know. In Hershey in May. And guess who we listened to in the car last night on our way out to dinner and home again. Aaannnnd, did you know that there is a Sirius radio station dedicated to Bruce?

    • Mary Stella says:

      Karen, I wondered if your husband would go to Hershey. I’m sure in coming months, more US dates will be announced.

      I’m a big fan of E Street Radio on Sirius-XM. Last year I even made it onto one of the call-in shows!

  3. Susanne says:

    One year I drove across the top portion of the States listening to Bruce, and only Bruce. Born in the USA! Full volume. Windows cranked down. YES!

  4. Skye says:

    I’m so glad you get to see him!

    My first college roommate was a big Bruce fan and she played her albums at very high volume, over and over. She also had anger issues. Thus I do not have the happy connection to Bruce that you have. However, over the years my feelings have mellowed to the point where I like some of his stuff a bit more. 🙂

    But I am very, very glad you get to go see someone whose music means so very much to you. That is awesome.

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