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

 

Podcast 41/52 – the other side of the story

There’s an episode of On Being that I listened to over and over again in May when I was in London for the Innate health conference. I had a 30 minute walk from my Air BnB to the venue, and there was so much depth in this one show, that I basically listened, re-listened and listened yet again to this episode, hearing new things each time.

I put it in the Evernote list for ”blog series podcasts” and then it fell prey to the same problem that several of my absolute favorite podcast episodes have been struck by:
I love them so much, and there is wisdom upon wisdom spoken that I would like to point out and write about, that I tell myself ”I’ll get around to it some day”, wanting to really take my time, listening to the episode and jot down all of the moments of insight…. and guess what? I don’t take the time for that. And the absolute gems of the podcast world, according to me, never makes it into my podcast series here on the blog.

So. Time to change that. Yesterday I relistened to this specific episode of On Being again, featuring journalist Michel Martin, and I just new I have to stop holding these gemstones hostage in Evernote!

BoldomaticPost_You-just-can-t-live-in-your-bMichel Martin is apparently a well known and accomplished journalist, even though I’d never heard of her before listening to this podcast. But then again, being Swedish it’s not surprising I don’t know of her work. But from what I hear on this show, I understand that she’s really taken this question to heart in her journalistic work:
What’s the side of the story that isn’t obvious?

One of the ways she does this, is to look for the people who’s voice hasn’t been heard, which she gives some great examples of in the podcast. This is something she would like more people to do, which she phrases like this:
My real charge to people is look around and see who’s missing. And try to invite that person.

That is such an important charge.
Simply stated, and clear in what to look for, and how to act.

It all ties together very well. If there is a void in the voices being heard, I won’t get to hear all sides of the story will I? And if I don’t, it is easy to stay in my bubble. The missing voices tell the other side of the story, the side that isn’t obvious from the get-go. And when I hear those voices, when my perspective is widened. My bubble bursts. Or, if you would, it widens and expands, to take in a larger portion of the world around me. And then. I hear another not so obvious story, and it expands again. And again. And again.

Look around you. See who’s there.
Then look again.
Who’s missing?

Podcast 29/52 – Bearing witness

Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me ”stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

 

 

The Moth – you move me! Over and over again.

Listened to the most amazing story a couple of months ago, when playing an episode of The Moth Radio hour. It was an old man named Hector Black who told a gruesome, but hopeful, story of a murder, and the forgiveness that came out of it. If you have a chance – find that copy of The Moth Radiohour, and give it your undivided attention. This specific part of the show can be listened to directly from The Moth website as well: https://themoth.org/stories/forgiveness

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The feeling I get from listening to this story will stay with me for a long time. I actually listened to it while driving to a customer, and I have to say this: The story Hector Black tell, pack such a punch, that I recommend you just sit down and listen to it, not trying to focus on anything other than listening. You most definitely should not be on any moving vehicle, if you are the driver of it!

The power of a story never cease to surprise me. And this one was powerful. Oh so powerful.

What story would you want to share with the world?

Powerful story!

Oh my, just listened to Kemp Powers story on The Moth, entitled ”The past wasn’t done with me”, and even though I have blogged already today, I just need to get this out of my system, ASAP.

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This is a story worth hearing, or reading for that matter, and I urge you to do just that! If you haven’t discovered The Moth before, now’s a good time. Stories told live on stage without notes, is the tag line, and I’ve listened to some great stories, let me tell you.

When was the last time a story rocked your world?