I don’t really believe in God and I certainly don’t believe in angels, ghosts or the afterlife.
Most religious rituals leave me cold, I am not moved by scripture and nor am I frightened by hellfire and brimstone preachers – all fury, self-righteousness and condemnation. All empty words and outstretched empty palms.
Sometimes, in my more cynical moments – I wrestle with the notion of a human soul. Does a soul really exist or is it something that we conjured up to serve as a salve? A false reassurance to kiss our foreheads and tell us that we’re special little snowflakes and that deep down, way down – there is good in spite of it all.
And then, I am reminded of Bruce Springsteen.
I’ll hear Born To Run on the radio just as I hit 50 miles an hour on an open road. Asphalt stretching endlessly into a cornflower blue sky.
Or, if I’m really lucky — I’ll get to stand in a stadium with thousands of the faithful, screaming myself hoarse, clapping until my hands sting and grinning until my cheeks ache.
I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band again last night. And just as it did every time I’ve seen them, all my cynicism washed away in the warm summer rain like sin dissolving after baptism.
I was born anew and any skepticism I had regarding the existence of the soul? Erased as my own human soul was yanked clean out of my body, scrubbed until a bright and healthy pink and thrust back into me – rejuvenated and restored.
Everyone needs something to believe in and I know (much to Mom’s continual disappointment) I don’t believe in much.
I also know that I am forever questioning what I do believe in – “Is this real? Why do I believe in this? Should I believe in this?”
However, I have never wavered in my belief of the potency of music. A song can change your mood, change your day, change your life.
So, hail hail rock ‘n roll. This music may never save my soul but thanks to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, I know I have a soul to be saved. A soul worth saving.
I know this because every time I find myself lucky enough to be in the presence of music I truly love, I can feel my soul rising within me – buoyant and phosphorescent with hope and the promise of a better tomorrow.
In an uncertain world where faith is so easily shattered, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band serve as continual reassurance. A silver sliver of hope reminding me that this is something to believe in. That it’s real, that it’s honest and that it will always be here whenever I need it.
So to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with all the love I have which is not nearly enough – thank you.