She gets it

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My wife thinks I’m crazy, and I understand that. But she gets why I’m crazy for Bruce.

There have been periods, especially in the first years we met, in which I only listened to Bruce, for whole days. And if there was an article or a program on radio or Tv in which they talked about him, I was like almost in trance. After a while she began to appreciate some of his music, she also bought a cd, 18 tracks, I was so sure she was making a gift to me, yet she bought it to keep it for her. When he was touring for Tom Joad there was a TV show on him, me and her we did not live together, we did not even live in the same town, and we both saw the show. Then at the end she sent me a message, which said “But he’s just like you, when you play” that was not meant to say I looked like Bruce physically, not even in the look, she just meant he was my landmark in music, him and all the music he brought with him, all the roots I desperately tried to make mine while listening to his and his fathers’ songs.

Anyway even understanding that she remained in the resolute believing that my obsession for the Man was bordering on crazyness (hey, I never denied that).

She had a turn on her point of view during a show (I know, it’s always like this). It was a date on the Devils and Dust tour: she remained astounded for days, after the show. That voice, that presence on stage, a whole arena silent in participation… I remember during Long Time Coming, at the second or third verse Bruce stopped, took a step back getting away from the mic, looked at the people, barely a touch for the note on the acoustic guitar, and kept singing almost without accompaniment. The whole place was silent, and he was there just barely singing, talking to us, just his presence kept us together and still. He was talking to each and everyone of us, it was irreal and tremendously powerful.

At the end of the show she did not say much, but I knew she had understood. On the way home she juts said Now I get it, why you love him so much.

And during the years, well, she never reached my crazyness, and that’s ok, more than ok for me, but when the dates of the tour come out she is always Ok, we gotta prepare. What are you waiting for? What about the tickets?
She gets it, now.

 

 

Somewhere, across the border

sabri

In 1996 I was having a hard time in my life, a deep, depressing personal crisis. I felt lost, troubled, and very lonely. There was nothing in my life that could take me out of the void my life had become, a void that was both inside and around me. I was surrounded by people, faces, words; but I had absolutely no connection with them. I did not even cry, for it would have required energy, and anyway it would have been useless.

I had a ticket for a Tom Joad’s concert, and I decided to go. I entered that theatre and listened to Bruce talking to me for two hours. The show was magnificent, but I had that lump in my throat that was not leaving. Even there, my depression was overshadowing everything, and also that was terrible to me, because if not even Bruce was able to rise me from my state, I feared nothing really could. And I didn’t want that.

At the end of the show he began Across the border. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s such a sweet song, both in lyrics and melody, and suddenly I felt myself dissolve in tears, and every cold black hole in me beginning to warm. I began to cry, because those words, those WHAT ARE WE WITHOUT HOPE IN OUR HEARTS were fundamental to me in that moment. I know that the poor emigrant most likely will not find a real Promised Land at the end of his journey: but that’s not the point. He has faith he will do it, and that’s what matters. I went out serene for the first time in months, no fears, no black holes, the pain stilled. I was not healed, but I knew I would have done it, I had hope, and that’s the most important grace in life: to have a light in the darkness of your desperation.

I’ll always remember that moment, one of the most moving in my life, bound to an absolute beautiful song.