being pushy

‘Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul, I want control right now

You better listen to me baby
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 don’t come
Well don’t waste your time waiting’

Badlands, Bruce Springsteen

I am always torn about these lines in my favourite Springsteen song.

On one hand I can often see life passing me by.

The Damascus Road experience doesn’t come, the moment when things turn around or the idea that makes everything click into place doesn’t come or happen. Hoping that you will see the light and be a changed man proves to be elusive.

So I get something of the frustration Bruce describes in this song.

You talk about dreams, you try to make them real, you are awake at 2.35am with a fear so real. Bruce nails my frustration and struggle with the badlands.

Yet there is something in some of the words that I feel uncomfortable with.

It’s that sense in the song of forcing things, of  ‘pushin’ till its understood’ or  wanting ‘control right now’.
It’s the sense of having to seize the day and fight things, of not accepting things the way they are, of spitting in the face of the badlands.

In a world that pushes us around and treats us badly we’ve got to push back even harder and fight it.

It’s that sense of competing, fighting and pushin’ that I’m unsure about.
Is this not part of the problem with society, everyone fighting for his slice of the pie and his proper place?
In the lines about-

‘Poor man wanna be rich
Rich man wanna be king
And a king ain’t satisfied
Till he rules everything’

I’m not sure how much I should keep pushin’ with stuff, how pushy I should be.
So while loving the song for describing my frustrations with life I feel unsure about the way Bruce is going to deal with it.


wakefulness (The window is starless still; the clock ticks, The page is printed. )

Animals at night again, its funny how these things appear from nowhere.

One of my favourite poems, perhaps my favourite poem,  is ‘The Thought Fox‘ by Ted Hughes. Its perfect for nights when trees sway in the wind, no stars can been seen, wind blows down the chimney and everything else is quiet except you sense something is there. The opening two verse say:-

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

So I’m awake at 3.30am and can’t sleep because I feel stuff going on in the darkness, stuff moving  and rustling about in the undergrowth, stuff that I can’t quite capture but I want to capture or at least catch a glimpse of.
Bed is going to have to wait, I want to see what’s going on.

There are different images that come to mind here in the wakefulness.

The first one is from Genesis, the earth formless and empty, darkness over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God  hovering over the waters.
Chaos and coldness but the promise of good things to come?

The next is of Jacob alone in the darkness.
Alone that is until he ends up wrestling  a man all night, a man who ends up blessing Jacob and changing his to Israel because he has  ‘struggled with God and with human beings’ and has overcome’.

The final image is of  Bruce Springsteen singing ‘Badlands’, which is probably my favourite Springsteen song.

‘Lights out tonight,
Trouble in the heartland,
Got a head on collision,
Smashin’ in my guts, man,
I’m caught in a cross fire,
That I don’t understand…..

Wrestling in the darkness again and waiting for things to turn around, for things you sense but can’t yet see  to appear from the undergrowth, wrestling with God and humans and not letting go, getting your hip wrenched and a limp for the rest of your days as a result.

That seems to be the way of it.

Then in keeping with the tone of this post H____   wakens from her  slumber upstairs, goes to the bathroom and makes her way back to bed. Suddenly we are both awake at 4.30am on a Friday morning…

‘The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.’