Thoughts about a Passage from "Born to Run"


     Around this time of year I have a chance to do some reading of things I got for Christmas. Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, Born to Run, offers many insights into who he is and why he does things in the way that he does them.

     On p. 265 he writes "No one you have been and no place you have gone ever leaves you." In the paragraph he goes on to talk about how some musicians become, as he puts it, "anemic, rootless, displaced when they seemed to lose touch with who they were."

     Other types of talented people would run the same risk. By extention, everyone would run that risk; however their dilemmas might not be that noticeable.

     The passage leaped out at me from the page. Place is extremely important to me in my poetr
y; consider the title of my first book.  In seminary the concept of sacred space resonated with me. By that I mean a space designated solely for worship. Although for most of the week a sanctuary is not used for worship, it remains sacred. Individuals may come there to pray. Even if they do not, its purpose remains the same.

     There are those people who simply do not travel, even if they can. Saluda County, South Carolan is very beautiful.. I have actually heard someone voice what many others think. When asked if he ever wanted to travel on vacation, he said "I like it right here!" Now this individual has more than enough money and health to go somewhere.

     Springsteen has been able to travel, professionally and personally. He realizes that where he grew up formed him in a way that influences who he is today. While realizing what was not good about his upbringing in a blue-collar part of New Jersey, he does not allow that to obscure the good. Nor does he run down other places simply because they are not HIS place.

    I have lived in more places than he has, and as such I have had some more influences. But I never have left the Monongahela Valley south of Pittsburgh. 

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