Everything that can be shaken / 2018-Dec

Train Ride

As I came home this evening,  got on the wrong train. I intentionally did so as I did not want to wait around 10 minutes for my train.

Missed my jump off.  And, got off on the next one.

Switched directions and was good.

A young man was talking to himself and in between played his music a bit loud.

Made sure not to look in his direction.

And, doubly made sure “No eye contact”.

Finally, eye contact was forced as he intentionally bumped into me on his way to the “Standing Room” on the Train Bus.

The eye contact was affectionate and affirming. The way things are supposed to be.

He made ruckus with a few people.  Stared into an older man and threatened to beat him, if he hears anything.

As he got off the train, he spoke of looking forward to the day we get to see him on TV.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Takes me back to Thanksgiving dinner at my big brother’s home. Made friends with a man visiting from a foreign country.

He told me how bad things are in his country of origin.  A made man, yet he was scared about forthcoming elections. He deployed all the corruption and said that there will be wide unrest if things don’t get better.

I asked him if faith, specifically the religion we share can help.

He replied NO, and continued that he does not think so; the problems are simply too big.

Bruce Springsteen

Link

“A lot of what’s going on has been a large group of people frightened by the changing face of the nation,” Springsteen told Esquire magazine in a separate interview. “There seems to be an awful lot of fear.”

The founding fathers were pretty good at confronting their fears and the fears of the country. And it’s the old cliché where geniuses built the system so an idiot could run it. We are completely testing that theory at this very moment. I do believe we’ll survive. But I don’t know if I see a unifying figure on the horizon. That worries me.”

I don’t know if there is a way to really bring those jobs back and I think that’s what’s causing so much anxiety to so many Americans,” he said.

Springsteen talked his father’s experience to illustrate what he understood as reason for the  frustrations of voters.

“My father worked as a 16-year-old floor boy in the rug mill, then went off to war,” Springsteen told the Times. “When he came home, they shut the rug mill down, and he went to work on the Ford Motor plant line in New Brunswick. He worked in the Nescafé plant in Freehold. Worked in the plastics factory in town, he was a truck driver, a bus driver, drove a taxi.”

“I don’t know precisely what I’m going to do this time, but I tend to think the more you make yourself available, perhaps the less weight your word carries,” he said.

Bible Verses

Hebrews 12:26-29 ( Link )

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”

The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe

2nd Peter 2:10-11 ( Link )

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble

Bruce Springsteen :- “the wheels can come off a little bit”

Background

Personally, there are a few people I will pay to listen to; as I know they are sharing intimately and not trying to sway.

Bruce happens to be one of those very few people.

Esquire Interview

Bruce Springsteen gets candid about his mental health issues: ‘I’m on a variety of medications’ — or ‘the wheels can come off a little bit’
Link

Bruce Springsteen’s memoir Born to Run detailed his long history with depression — and he’s revealing more about his mental health battle.

In a new interview with Esquire, the legendary singer, who’s wrapping up his one-man show on Broadway next month, talks a lot about growing up the son of a paranoid schizophrenic. Springsteen, 69, also gets candid about his breakdowns — the first in 1982 and another in 2009 — and how he keeps his mental health in line.

Springsteen’s relationship with his father, Doug Springsteen, cast a shadow on him for much of his life. The star got some answers late in his dad’s life, when he was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia, before dying in 1998. His father never told Bruce that he loved him and often sat brooding in silence in their family home. While his father’s diagnosis explained much that Springsteen had not understood, it also made him worry for his own mental health and his family’s.

“I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself,” Springsteen revealed to the magazine. “I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and … just … the wheels can come off a little bit. So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I’ve been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad.

Springsteen talked about his first breakdown when he was 32. It was the time he released Nebraska (much was about his troubled upbringing) when he was road-tripping with a friend from New Jersey to L.A. On a late summer night, they drove through a Texas town where a fair was taking place. A band was playing, couples were dancing, kids were running around, and The Boss — from his car — watched the happy scene and cracked. He still doesn’t know what it was about that exact place and time that so affected him.

“All I do know is as we age, the weight of our unsorted baggage becomes heavier … much heavier,” he said. “With each passing year, the price of our refusal to do that sorting rises higher and higher. … Long ago, the defenses I built to withstand the stress of my childhood, to save what I had of myself, outlived their usefulness, and I’ve become an abuser of their once lifesaving powers. I relied on them wrongly to isolate myself, seal my alienation, cut me off from life, control others, and contain my emotions to a damaging degree. Now the bill collector is knocking, and his payment’ll be in tears.”

He said the breakdown led him to therapy — and it transformed his life. Not long after this, as he and his wife, songstress Patti Scialfa, were expecting their first child together, Springsteen’s dad came to visit and they had a ground-breaking moment. “You’ve been very good to us. And I wasn’t very good to you,” he recalled his dad saying. (In Springsteen’s show, he called this “the greatest moment in my life, with my dad.”)

In Springsteen’s book, he wrote about a second breakdown soon after turning 60 that lasted three years, which he described as an “agitated depression.” He told Esquire that he never contemplated suicide then or at any other point in his life. However, “I once felt bad enough to say, ‘I don’t know if I can live like this.’ It was like … I once got into some sort of box where I couldn’t figure my way out and where the feelings were so overwhelmingly uncomfortable.” He had “no inner peace whatsoever.”

While he wasn’t hospitalized, maybe he should have been. “All I remember was feeling really badly and calling for help,” he said. “I might have gotten close to that and for brief, brief periods of time. It lasted for — I don’t know. Looking back on it now, I can’t say. Was it a couple weeks? Was it a month? Was it longer? But it was a very bad spell, and it just came. … And it came out of the roots that I came out of, particularly on my father’s side, where I had to cop to the fact that I also had things inside me that could lead me to pretty bad places.”

Springsteen said he never tried to take his life during his weakest moments (protesting, “No, no, no”). Then the interviewer brought up Anthony Bourdain, asking if Springsteen could understand how his suicide could have happened.

“Well, I had a very, very close friend who committed suicide,” Springsteen replied. “He was like an older son to me. I mentored him. And he got very, very ill. So, ultimately, it always remains a mystery — those last moments. I always say, Well, somebody was in a bad place, and they just got caught out in the rain. Another night, another way, someone else there … it might not have happened. They were ill, and they got caught out in the rain. … I don’t know anyone who’s ever explained satisfactorily the moments that lead up to someone taking that action. So can I understand how that happens? Yes. I think I felt just enough despair myself to — pain gets too great, confusion gets too great, and that’s your out. But I don’t have any great insight into it, and in truth, I’ve never met someone who has.”

 

Listening

  1. Bruce Springsteen
    • Bruce Springsteen – One Step Up with Lyrics
      Link

 

 

Bruce Springsteen – “Born To Run” ( The Book )

Forward

After worship, went to Walmart and as I waited for the Oil Change walked over to the Book Aisle.

Thankfully the first book that took me in is the Boss’s “Born To Run“.

I think it is a good read.

Pasted below is a jagged excerpt.

Excerpt

Book One – Growin’ Up

My Street

The house I live i with my grandparents is owned by my grandmother “Nana” McNicholas, my grandmother’s mother, alive and kicking just up the street.  I’ve been told our town’s first child service and first funeral were held in our living room.  We live here beneath the lingering eyes of my father’s oldest sister, my Aunt Virginia, dead at five, killed by a truck while riding her tricycle past the corner gas station.  Her portrait hovers, breathing a ghostly air into the room and shining her ill-fated destiny over our family gatherings.

Her seemingly benign gaze, in the light of events, now communicates, “Watch out! This world is a dangerous and unforgiving place that will knock your ass off your tricycle and into the dead black unknown and only these poor, misguided and unfortunate souls will miss you.”  Her mother, my grandma, heard that message loud and clear.  She spent two years in bed after her daughter’s death and sent my father, neglected, with rickets, off to the outskirts of town to live with other relatives while she recovered.

Time passed; my father quit school school at sixteen, working as a floor boy in the Karagheusian Rug Mill.  At eighteen, he went to war, sailing on the Queen Mary out of New York City.  He served as a truck driver at the Battle of Bulge, saw what little of the world he was going to see and returned home.  He met and fell in love with my mother, promising that if she’d marry, he would get a job (red flag!).  He worked with his cousin, David “Dim” Cashion, on the line at the Ford Motor plant in Edison and I came along.

For my grandmother, I was the firstborn child of her only son and the first baby in the house since the death of her daughter. My birth returned to her a life of purpose. She seized on me with a vengeance. Her mission became my ultimate protection from the world within and without. Sadly, her blind single-minded devotion would lead to hard feelings with my father and enormous family confusion. It would drag all of us down.

 

The Church

This was the world where I found the beginning of my song.  In Catholicism, there existed the poetry, danger, and darkness that reflected my imagination and my inner self.  I found a land of great and harsh beauty, of fantastic stories, of unimaginative punishment and infinite reward.  It was a glorious and pathetic place I was either shaped for or fit right into.

It has walked alongside me as a waking dream my whole life.  So as young adult I tried to make sense of it. I tried to meet its challenge for the very reasons that there are souls to lose and a kingdom of love to be gained.  I laid what I’d absorbed across the hardscrabble lives of my family, friends, and neighbors.  I turned it into something I could grapple with, understand, something I could even find faith in.  As funny as it sounds, I have a “personal” relationship with Jesus.

He remains one of my fathers, though as with my own father, I no longer believe in his godly power.  I deeply believe in his love, his ability to save…

 

The Italians

My great-grandfather was called “the Dutchman” and I suppose descended from some Netherlanders who wandered down from New Amsterdam not knowing what they were getting themselves into.  Thus, we wear the name Springsteen, of Dutch origin, but prominently, here’s where Irish and Italian blood meet.  Why?  Previous to the Mexicans and African-Americans who harvested Monmouth  County crops,  the Italians were in the fields with the Irishmen and working the horse farms alongside them.

Recently, I asked my mother how they all ended up with the Irish.  She said, “The Italian men were too bossy. We’d had enough of that.  We didn’t want men bossing us all around.”

 

The Irish

I was not my father’s favorite citizen.  As a boy I figured it was just the way men were, distant, uncommunicative, busy within the currents of the grown-up world.  As a child you don’t question your parents choices.   You accept them.  They are justified by the godlike status of parenthood.

If you’re aren’t spoken to, you ‘re worth the time.  If you are not greeted with love and affection, you haven’t earned it.  If you are ignored, you don’t exist.  Control over your behavior is the only card you have to play in the hope of modifying others.

Maybe you have to be tougher, stronger, more athletic, smarter, in some way better … who knows?  One evening my father was giving me a few boxing lesson in the living room.  I was flattered, excited by his attention, and eager to learn.  Things were gong well.  And, then he threw a few open-palmed punches to my face that landed a just too hard.  It stung.  I wasn’t hurt, but a line had been crossed. I knew something was being communicated.  We had slipped into the dark nether land beyond father and son.

I sensed what was being said:  I was an intruder, a stranger,  a competitor in our home and a fearful disappointment.   My heart broke and I crumpled.  He walked away in disgust.


Unfortunately, my dad’s desire to engage with me almost came after the nightly religious ritual of the “sacred sick pack.”  One beer after another in the pitch dark of our kitchen.  It was always then that he wanted to see me and it was always the same.

A few moments of feigned parental concern for my well being followed by the real deal:  the hostility and raw anger towards sin, the only other man in the house.

It was a shame.  He loved me, but couldn’t stand me.  He felt we competed for my mother’s affections.  We did.  He also see in me too much of his real self.  My father was built like a bull, always in work clothes; he was strong and physically formidable.

Toward the end of his life, he fought back from death many times. Inside, however, beyond his rage, he harbored a gentleness, timidity, shyness, and a dreamy insecurity.

There were all the things I wore on the outside and the reflection of these qualities in his boy repelled him.  It made him angry.  It was “soft“.  And, he hated “Soft”.   Of course, he had been brought up “soft“.  A mama’s boy just like me.

One evening at the kitchen table, late in life, when he was not well, he told me a story of being pulled out of a fight he was having in the school yard.

My grandmother had walked away from our house and dragged him home.  He recounted his humiliation and said eyes welling… ” I was willing…I was willing.”

He still didn’t understand he could not be risked.  He was the one remaining, living child.  My grandmother, confused, could not realize her untempered love was destroying the men she was raising.

I told him I understood, that we had been raised by the same woman in some of the formative years of our lives and suffered many of the same humiliations.

However, back in the days when our relationship was at its most tempestuous, these things remained mysteries and created a legacy of pain and misunderstanding.

 

Videos & Conversations

Videos

  1. Long Walk Home
    Link
  2. Bruce Springsteen – This Depression (Live 2013)
    Link

 

Conversations

  1. Sunday Morning 2016 Bruce Springsteen Talks Autobiography Book ‘Born To Run’
    Published On: Sept 22nd, 2016
    Legendary singer Bruce Springsteen talks about his new book
    an autobiography ‘Born To Run’. His youth, visits the old neighbourhood, battling depression and about losing his dear friend Clarence Clemons.
    Link

 

Listening

Listening to…

  1. Damon Thompson
    • Damon Thompson – Authority of Intimacy – Call to the Altar
      Link