Saturday, November 21, 2009


Baby slow down
The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart . . .

To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal,
If you wanna kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel.
U2.   The music, the lyrics, the passion, the intensity.
Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton.
The concert. 10.23.09.  Moving, inspiring, intense, beautiful, spiritual.

OK, I know, I sound like I'm to the point of worship, which I am.  Besides Jackson Browne, there are very few artists who touch my soul as deeply as U2.  Last month we took Ryan and Caroline to the concert of a lifetime - U2 360.  It was unbelievable, and Ryan especially was completely engrossed watching the band perform.  It was an evening we will never forget.

For me, U2 was the soundtrack of my adolesence, soundtrack of those days of complete freedom and innocence.  I still remember listening to the band for the first time 25 years ago when Steve Lund brought their album "The Unforgettable Fire" to a party when we were in 8th or 9th grade.  It was U2 playing in the background that same night when I experienced my first awkward kiss, it was U2's "Joshua Tree" cassette that I about wore out during those high school and college years, and it was the unique sound of The Edge's guitars, the tambourines, harmonica, Mullen's drums, and especially Bono's distinct voice and piercing lyrics, that kept me entranced all those years.

Unfortuately, after marriage, growing up, and completely immersing myself in motherhood, without realizing it, I had gradually replaced all my music with nonstop Kindermusik, "Wee Sing," Disney, Raffi, showtunes, and of course classical (keep those brains cells connecting :-).  I couldn't have been happier . . . really, I was in my element as a young mother . . . singing along with my kids, "clap, clap, clap hello, clap hello together . . "  However, without realizing it, I think I was losing an integral part of myself.  By the time Ryan was ten, I honestly couldn't tell you when I last listened to U2, or even the RADIO for that matter.  If it was more intense than the muppets, I probably hadn't tuned in.

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile . . .

Then, about four years ago during a particularly difficult time in my life, I was reminded of my forgotten passion for music.  We had just received an i-pod for Christmas and I had no interest really.  One night I decided it was time to give it a try, so after figuring out how to use the gadget, I found U2 . . . and began listening to Joshua Tree, track 5.  Alone in the dark, kids in bed, I lay back on the sofa, closed my eyes, and found myself again.  It was Bono's voice, then his unique "oooohhh" that brought the tears, seriously, the flood gates opened, I'll never forget it.

And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was lying still
Said I gotta do something about where we're going . . .

That night I felt renewed, felt like I finally found that had piece that had been missing, and I started to listing to MY music again.  I knew Chris loved U2 as much as I did, and realized he had all their amazing music right there on the i-pod . . . THREE new albums since "Joshua Tree" - sweet!  For months after that experience, I felt like a kid in a candy store, rediscovering my favorite music and listening to new music for the first time - yes, I even had to locate what radio stations were playing what types of music, 89.1 was about it for me.

The best part of this experience, is that my children who once clapped their hands and sang along with Raffi are now arguing in the backseat while U2's "Beautiful Day" plays if Bono and crew really did perform that song or not in the concert:  Ryan - "they did NOT play this" . . . Caroline - "YES, they did - I remember, right after 'In God's Country!"  Ryan - "are you sure??"  Caroline - "I'm sure, check the setlist."  That kind of a conversation just makes my heart happy, almost as much as listening to Ryan play "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" and "Vertigo" on his electric guitar . . . and just about as happy as going to see them again in Denver on June 12th :-).

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if your way should falter
Along this stony pass

It's just a moment
This time will pass . . .


Kristin said...

Wow Julie. I knew you were obsessed, but not to this level! LOL. I think it's great you have something like that to stir your soul. I'm still in the Raffi and classical stage....
And I was never much into music anyway. To me, music in the background is just more NOISE in my life. I often find myself in the car alone when I realize I don't even have the radio on. I like silence. silence. silence.
Unfortunately, I get very little.
We loved UP too. We kept our 3D glasses, think they'll work on the DVD?

Kelly said...

Girl, I am right there with you on music. Music does it for me even though I can't dance worth a damn, it moves my soul like nothing else. We love "Running to Stand Still" too. Achtung Baby remains one of my favorite albums, and "Exit" from Joshua Tree is one of my top twenty favortie songs--one that makes my body move in spite of it's tendancy to be still. LIsten to it LOUD in the dark. YEEOWWW! Anyway, SWEET that you guys went to see them in Denver. My kids would have enjoyed them, too. Annie says Ryan looks like Ben in this photo, and I think Chris looks like Kevin--maybe it's the shirt.

6footmama said...

OK--yes, I just got our "secret" tickets in the mail and wanted to scream when they came. We're with ya in June!

Also--I have had many a spiritual moment listening to U2 while on my trail runs, even answers to prayers. There is something so powerful about their lyrics and music. Great post...

Michelle said...

Amen! I was already jealous hearing talk about the concert—now that I've seen the photos I am super-jealous! How old was Ryan when he started playing guitar? Danny Allen is offering lessons for only $5/half-hour, which is practically free! I'm wondering if I should sign Robbie up, but he's already doing piano and ski school in the winter and tennis/swimming in the summer. I'm not sure I can handle as many extracurriculars as you do. :)