Bruce – more than meets the ear and eye

I love reading. I especially love reading biographies and have done ever since I was a child (or at least a teenager). So when I browsed the local library a few weeks ago, and spotted Bruce, I borrowed it and brought it home to read.Bruce

And what a book! It’s a well written biography, and despite the enormous amount of facts present in the book, it’s a joy to read, and doesn’t feel as information-laden as it actually is. But what really made me enjoy this book was Bruce himself. What a story. What a character. And jeez, what a skilled person, in his craft. Gifted musician, extremely (!!!) productive composer, and a very special singer, with a distinct voice.

Born to run is an album my older brother introduced me to when I was a kid, which was my entryway to Bruce Springsteen, and in a sense, I never got past it. I still think it’s the best he’s done, and Jungleland is, to this day, one of my absolute favorite songs. In my teens I listened to it over and over, drawn to the drama of the story, the varying sounds and atmospheres, and the powerful feeling of the entire song. But it’s been a while since I listened to it, so when I came upon the part of the book telling the story of the creation of that specific album, I immediately found it on Spotify, and started to listen. And did so with a new sensation, a deeper background, an understanding making me hear more in each song, picking up on the feeling behind, that which is sensed rather than heard.

While reading this book, a feeling grew stronger and stronger within me:
People are not what they seem to be. There’s so much more to each and every one of us, than what is apparent on the outside.

Even though this is not an autobiography, I got many glimpses of the person behind the public figure of Bruce Springsteen aka The Boss. And my reverie grew, page after page. For Bruce. His father, mother, grandparents. For people who tries to make the best of what they got, even when their best is far from sufficient… For the talented people walking alongside Bruce throughout his career. And for the audience, the listeners, the fans.

As I read, my reverie grew for human beings. We do try to make the best of what we get, and sometimes, it turns out absolutely magnificent. Sometimes, we end up with total rubbish, disaster, chaos and dread. Sometimes, the distance between a point of magnificence and a point of disaster is mere millimeters or seconds apart. The high’s and low’s of life. That’s what it is to be human. That is the Human Experience. And no one escapes it. Not me. Not you. Not Bruce. There’s no protection from it, thank God. Because without it, life would not be worth living. Life is made up of moments of high’s and low’s. And every single human being on Earth lives life according to this basic premise.

…..
Outside the street’s on fire 

In a real death waltz 
Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy 
And the poets down here 
Don’t write nothing at all 
They just stand back and let it all be 
And in the quick of the night 
They reach for their moment 
And try to make an honest stand 
But they wind up wounded 
Not even dead 
Tonight in Jungleland

 

Day 9 NaJoWriMoPrompt: Important or Special Numbers In Your Life

Numbers are very powerful in life. For today’s prompt, write about at least three or four different numbers that have special meaning for you. Examples include: a special year, a particular age, a specific time, a grade level number, a dollar amount, or a number of days.

Numbers.

So. Special numbers. Or rather. Numbers with a special meaning to me. Hm. Am I that attached to numbers? Not so sure, actually. But of course, based on happenings on a specific date, or year, it’s easy to place extra meaning upon those numbers.

Like the number seventeen. I do like the number seventeen. I’m born on the seventeenth. As is my youngest son. And my bonus-son, at that. I remember at school, always picking the number 17 if there was a number to pick. Me and hubby even got married on the 17th. Guess who picked that date?

As a teenager and young adult, I had a certain fascination with the year 2000. I wanted to have a baby that year, thinking it would be so cool to always know one’s aged, based on the current year. Turns out, I opted for the even cooler 1999, having one foot in two millennia.

numbersMy fascination with numbers actually has more to do with keeping track, logging, one after the other, increasing whatever I am tracking by one. And this is something I’ve done since I was a child. I kept track of all the books I read from January 20th 1986 until my son was born in October of 2004. I logged incoming and outgoing letters for a huge chunk of my life, but I think I let that particular habit go way before the book-logging-habit was kicked. Today, I’m logging the number of days in a row I’ve done my Seven exercise (458 days today) as well as my Headspace meditation (460 in total, but missed a day 179 days ago…). I have a certain affinity to numbered challenges (such as #NaJoWriMo for instance) where I know how long it will run and I do prefer when it is done on a daily basis. And even though I don’t keep track of my blog posts the way I did the first year of blogging, I do aim at daily blogging, which has now rendered me the proud publisher of 1063 posts on this blog. (This will be the 1064th.)

So. Numbers. This is what I came up with.
What about you – any numbers with special meaning in your life?

Tales of the Otori

I just finished reading the fifth book on the Tales of the Otori, by Lian Hearn (pen name of Gillian Rubinstein). I’ve read three of the five books in Swedish and the other two in English, and luckily it was not too tricky to switch languages (books 2 and 5 I read in English). I did that with the Harry Potter-series as well, and that was trickier, because of all the make-believe words, which when translated made it a wee bit hard to reference between the two languages. But here, no problem, luckily.

otori

The first three books – Across the nightingale floor, Grass for his pillow and Brilliance of the moon – were the original trilogy, followed by the sequel The harsh cry of the heron and finally by the prequel Heaven’s net is wide. I read them in that order, and read the last pages of the prequel this morning, finally coming full circle.

To give you a clue as to how fascinating and riveting these books all were, I’m actually considering following my instinct of picking up book number one again, to start to read them all over again. I read a lot, but I can guarantee you that’s very seldom the reaction I have after finishing a book. It happens that I really don’t want a book to end, but to want to just go back from the beginning and start over… I’m not sure I’ve ever had that inclination. Have you? And if so – from what book/book series?

 

Impossible?

I got a gift today. There was a package in the mailbox when I went to check if any snail mail had come (normally just bills or the odd flyer). After looking at it for a few seconds I remembered that a friend from across the big pond told me he’d sent me a book. bill strickland

Eagerly I opened the package, and found Make the impossible possible, by Bill Strickland.

How very fitting given my new relationship with the words Impossible and Possible, after spending 90 days on the Creating the impossible-course.

As I google Bill Strickland, I realize Dave sure knew what he was doing when he sent me this book. Oh my, this is gonna be a treat of a book to read!

And luckily enough, I was inspired by Tai Lopez talking about reading a book a day. I’ve not gotten that far, but I do take a #bookoftheday-moment every morning. This means I’m actually starting to make progress on the number of books I’ve got stashed away, just waiting for me to read them. So Dave, Bill will end up in the stack on my bedside table, and will be read within the next few weeks. That’s a promise. 

What books are on your bedside table at the moment?

Stroke of insight

Have you watched Jill Bolte Taylor‘s TED Talk about her stroke of insight (and she really means stroke)?

It’s a favorite of mine, and I strongly recommend it:

However, what I recommend even more is that you get a hold of a copy of her book My stroke of insight. In the book Jill describes what she discovered before/during/after she got her stroke. Since she’s a neuroanatomist she studies the brain. Her personal experience of having a massive stroke, coupled with her expertize of the brain makes for a very interesting book.

The thing I took with me from the book is her sensations of being one, and being everything. But you’ll simply have to read it to understand what I mean!

Have you experienced getting an insight that rocks your entire world?

The Rainbow Troops

My brother suggested I read The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata. So I suggested the book for the library to purchase, and lo and behold, it worked this time around as well. I got a note saying the book was ready for me to pick up, and I did.

20130826-091806.jpgThe story is about a group of children going to a dirt poor free school on the island of Belitong in Indonesia. It’s a fascinating story, told with beautiful language.

As I am very interested and involved in the Swedish school debate, trying my best to add some depth to it, by asking the question ”Why school?”, the most interesting part comes at the very end. There [on page 285 in the hardback copy in the picture] the two paths schools seems to be taking in the world are clarified:

  1. Schools as a means to provide individuals with knowledge which leads to self-value, celebrating humanity with dignity, joy of learning and the light of civilization.
  2. Schools as a means to materialism, to making money, getting rich, gaining power and fame.

Those are two ways to answer the question of ”Why school?” – my question to you is: What’s your answer?