Friday, November 18, 2016

Born Catholic, Born to Run

Thanksgiving is coming--ah that time when many of us might find an hour or two to read.

I've been reading Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run--so far, it's a great book.  I enjoyed the chapters about his childhood more than I thought I would:  very evocative details about a time that seems as distant as the nineteenth century.

Some of the chapters discuss Springsteen's relationship to the Catholic church as a child.  I hope that he continues to tell us how the church's shaping has impacted his adult years.

Now I'm to the chapters about his early years of forming bands and playing in all sorts of places.  It's a fascinating exploration of the different kinds of music and instruments that the musicians around Springsteen played in the late 60's.

I bought the book for two reasons:  I heard Springsteen interviewed on this episode of Fresh Air, and Terry Gross was full of praise for the book.  I was intrigued; Gross doesn't usually praise books in quite that way.

I was also assembling an Amazon order.  I wanted to pick up some old Bob Dylan CDs before the price went up in the aftermath of Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.  But to get free shipping, I needed to add some books.  Thus, the Springsteen.

At the risk of sounding like some of my students, I didn't realize it would be so long--but I'm happy to be immersed in it.  It's the kind of book I like, an analysis of creativity and what helps or hinders and artist.  Even if I didn't know Springsteen's music, I imagine I would like this book.  But it helps that Springsteen is part of the soundtrack of my life.

There's a spirituality that infuses the book, the spirituality that recognizes the importance of song. I'm looking forward to reading more about that. 

But most of all, as I look towards Thanksgiving week, I'm looking forward to having time to read, a bit of time to slow down.

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