Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Darkness on the Edge of Town"

Prove It All Night

"Everybody’s got a hunger,

A hunger they can’t resist

There’s so much that you want,

You deserve much more than this"

Reading Bruce’s songs as poems, I can hear the melody and his voice, his yearning, his tender, mournful soul resounding in his words.  The quality of rawness, of naked honesty inspires me to seek within myself, to dig deeper into my heart, to access the courage to tell my story -- the story of a little girl from Lackawanna.  My daddy was a bus driver not a steel worker but I grew up surrounded by steel plant workers in our working class neighborhood.  My neighbors were all white with the exception of one black family, and all Catholic as far as I knew. 

Darkness on the Edge of Town

"Everybody’s got a secret, sonny

Something that they just can’t face

Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it

They carry it with them every step that they take

Till someday they just cut it loose

Cut it loose or let it drag them down"

Back to Bruce’s lyrics; his poems, songs, words are timeless.  I never grow tired of listening to him sing his poetry.  They sound new to me each time I hear them always evoking strong feelings and memories and broken or untried dreams.  Time seems to slip away and become irrelevant while I listen to him sing his stories.  Time becomes meaningless and there remains some fragment of me, my spirit, floating on the melody, being transported into the song, finding myself tucked between the words. Suddenly, as if it has always been there; there is a sense of self-discovery and a spotlight on myself as a young woman first in love, the tender fragile state of youth and all its possibilities.  Middle–age brings wisdom, a quality of daring and boldness, but also can leave a signature of sadness and sense of desolation for all the broken dreams left discarded along the roadside of the passing years. 

Adam Raised a Cain

"We were prisoners of love, a love in chains

In the darkness of your room

Your mother calls you by your true name

You inherit the sins, you inherit the flame

Lost but not forgotten

From the dark heart of a dream"

How many times have we thought to ourselves, if only we could be known, or know another, or even allow ourselves to truly open up to the world. This is what Bruce's words do for me, they allow me a glimpse into the other, to touch and feel the rawness of another's existence, thus growing to know myself better. 

Something in the Night

"I take her to the floor

Looking for a moment when the world seems right

You’re born with nothing

And better off that way

When we found the things we loved

They were crushed and dying in the dirt

We tried to pick up the pieces

And get away without getting hurt"

Bruce you are an artful arranger of words.  May I pay tribute to your dedication and commitment to delivering the message of broken dreams of our youth, and the fallen away, often unspoken wishes and aspirations of the common ordinary person like that little girl from Lackawanna or her mom or dad or brothers or neighbors or friends.  Aren't we really all the same, when you break it down, take off our clothes and our superficial exteriors.  We all have our joys, suffering, heartaches, longings, broken dreams, aspirations, wishes for better futures for our children. 


Racing in the Street

"For all the shut-down strangers and hot-rod angels

Rumbling through this Promised Land

Tonight my baby and me we’re gonna ride to the sea

And wash these sins off our hands"

This little girl from Lackawanna, turned into woman all grown up; she has been cleared for departure and is ready to take off.  We may have gotten older, passed many years, but we feel young inside our minds, it is our bodies that give us away. 


"Talk about a dream

Try to make it real

You wake up in the night

With a fear so real

You spend your life waiting

For a moment that just won’t come

Well don’t waste your time waiting"

Move into your life, as if it is the last chance you get, your last hour on earth, and make it count for yourself, for your family, for those in your life.  Love life and love as if your life depends on it.  Be a warrior with a true heart of gentleness and fearlessness.

(All lyrics are from Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen)

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