Got my copy of Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography. Am getting drenched in words, experiences, emotions.
Writing in The Washington Post about a recent Boss concert, scholar Michael Strain says “the truth is that life is grand and life is important. Every day, we are all faced with choosing between angels and demons. For a Catholic like me, the stakes are as high as they come – the product of those countless, daily choices influences where I’ll spend eternity. It is important to be reminded of the majesty, romance and enormity of daily life. One of Springsteen’s great gifts is expressing the epic drama of the mundane in popular art. His concerts are shaped by this gift.
“The reason I keep going back is simple: redemption, the unapologetic embrace of the need for it and the possibility of it. Springsteen’s music looks reality squarely in the face, recognizes that life is cruel and unfair, that this world is fallen, that we are all sinners and that we are all broken, sometimes significantly so. But we are alive. We can get up off the mat. We can defy the world. We can hope. We are not alone. Faith is powerful. Things might be better tomorrow. There’s always another chance, waiting just a bit further down the road.”
Much is being written about this Springsteen opus, many inspired tributes by hard-nosed critics kneeing in reverence in both respect and reverence to the One. Novelist Richard Ford wrote a beautiful closing line in his New York Times Review of Books review: “Seamus Heaney wrote once in a poem that the end of art is peace. But I think he’d have been willing to share the stage with Springsteen, and to admit that sometimes the end of art is also one hell of a legitimately great and soaring noise, a sound you just don’t want to end.”