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“The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.”
- Bruce Springsteen -

Friday, October 16, 2009

#54 Downbound Train by Bruce Springsteen

Trains, as a common motif in Springsteen’s lyrics, carry all kinds of passengers aboard, often headed for something greater than the lives we presently live. The train is supposed to take us somewhere, somewhere beyond the dark horizon line. While aboard, our sins and blemishes get washed away by the touch of grace, and we will arrive newly born.

Sometimes, though, that feels like a dream. To believe that some day we will not carry the weights that presently hold us down, feels like another lie in a world handing out lies like popsicles in summertime. Sometimes our depths of shame and life’s circumstances can get so dark and the light inside of us nearly extinguished, that it feels like this train is going nowhere but down, and fast. The pain becomes ingrained so deep inside of us that we cannot even escape it in our dreams.

And even for those not so inclined, in one last moment of desperation, when any final drops of hope we have left are at last shattered, we “drop to [our] knees and cr[y]”. We look beyond the world in front of us hoping there’s a driver to the train will take us somewhere beyond our sinking sea. We plea for just one act of mercy, one moment of release. And if there is no grace to be found from outside ourselves, some of us will jump off the train and others will stay on the track and sink far down below where colors fade to black.

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