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Donna Jean Freberg

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Hearts Turned to Stone

Posted: 02/13/2012 4:07 pm

I've decided that the Grammy Awards have become a wild, embarrassment of riches, music concert with a few awards given out in between, only when absolutely necessary. And I like it. Such diverse music, coming at you one right after the other (I pity those poor people making sure all of it goes off without a hitch) with barely enough time for me to catch my breath and take it all in. Old and new music, celebrating those we've lost, those that have gone before, and those that have only just begun.

But of all the fantastic performances, of all the great voices and outrageous dancing and original songs, and amazing legends, and youngsters who can sing us all under the table, it was, at the end of the day, Springsteen who blew me away. When he first came out I listened to that familiar sound with the usual suspects and I must confess I started to tune out a bit. But I must have been listening with my heart as much as anything and suddenly I hear the passion in his voice and these words come out that make me snap to attention, and they went something like this...

Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see, Where are the hearts than run over with mercy,

Where's the love that has not forsaken me, Where's the work that sets my hands, my soul free...

Where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me...

What? I felt like I'd been to church. That's right I remember, I had only found myself smack dab in the middle of the church of Springsteen. Washed in words and intensity and passion that suddenly reminds me of the right questions. I had been awash in feelings of how often, lately, life makes absolutely no sense, lost in the senselessness of it all. In my own way, and much less eloquently, I had been asking myself -- where are the eyes that see, where IS the mercy and surely, more than you can imagine, where's the love that has not forsaken me...

I re-wound so as afford myself the luxury of hearing the beginning of the song and pay better attention, and I have to share the words at the start of the song:

I've been knockin' on the door that holds the throne

I've been lookin' for the map that leads me home (you and me both, Bruce, you and me both)

I've been stumblin' on good hearts turned to stone (ditto)

The road of good intentions has gone dry as a bone...

How grateful I am for the poets that rattle all our cages and never stop.


Thanks Bruce for not making me feel so alone in wondering.

Thanks Adele for your stunning voice and so very English authenticity.

Thanks Katy Perry for your angry words that made me feel good.

Thanks to the happy memories of the Beach Boys, and the sad memories of those we lost -- my friend's take on Whitney was this, "No one had her back." Maybe so. Same could be said for Amy Winehouse if you ask me. Some of us need a little more help in that regard than others, we got complicated backs to have...

Thanks to Bruno Mars for being so cool and Bon Iver for his obvious love of music more than awards.

Thanks to the comfort I feel just hearing and seeing Paul McCartney, how very sweet was his valentine to his valentine. He just seems to be a man who needs and appreciates love for the long haul. His heart needs the rhythm of another heart. Some birds are like that.
And thanks Sir Paul, surrounded by some really cool musicians, for the last line of the night--summing up the vibe in the air, after loss has reminded us all of what is really important,

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make..."