Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We all Surrender

When I was a teenager, U2 came out with a greatest hits album. It was the one CD my entire family enjoyed equally, that is, except for the song "Bad." In our universal dislike of this song, we'd instantaneously agreed to skip it during family road trips. "NEXT. 'Where the Streets Have no Name' is way better."

I've come to appreciate "Bad."

"Surrender. Dislocate. Let it go," Bono sings in this meditative and steadily-building song.

What do they surrender to, someone who dies? What part of them dislocates? What do we surrender to, we who live? What part of us is dislocated, and what happens to it?

A colleague... a friend... passed away this weekend. It feels like a tiny bit of good has dislocated from the world, a piece of our big, beautiful puzzle suddenly gone. Since then, I've been inhaling the tributes that have been dispersed through conversation and the internet: emails, Facebook memorial posts, and phone calls. Their sweet smell lingers after I put down the phone or walk away from the computer. I feel oddly calm after each discussion about him.

Maybe we--"the living"--surrender the most. Any disagreements, any sense of separation between "you and "me" are dislocated, and we surrender ourselves to moments of pure connection with others as we remember the good in the deceased. I think that when we're doing it right, we all surrender, all the time.

So, Leon, amongst other things, you and I argued about music, but we both grudgingly agreed that it was nearly impossible to hate U2. Enjoy it, all!

U2 "Bad"


Michelle said...

So sorry about your friend :-( But you two have inspired me to listen to U2 all day. I've always enjoyed Bad so thank you for reinstating my love for this band and this song. :-)

rob said...

I saw U2 in 1985, 1987, and 1992. Where the Streets Have No Name was the opener in '87, and the tone shifter during the ZOOTV tour in 1992, as the show switched from its meta-media satire mode to something more conventional. A critic described the song as "cleansing and majestic."

Bad, both cathartic and droning, is the band at its best--and worst. I would imagine that the former aspect would manifest more strongly in a time of loss.

As to connections/separations, Rilke once wrote (this is of course a translation) that people in close relationships of various kinds are in some sense, "two solitudes that border and protect one another."

Sorry about your friend.

Rob Shaffer (SWC)

feral chick said...

Wow, I can't believe I missed this post. Beautiful. . . .