Reflections from a crazy fan

Music is a funny concept. It is such a huge part of what we are as human beings. Since the dawn of time humans have tried to create rhythm, to make music. Music brings people together. It can change your mood from sad to happy, from nostalgic to excited in just a few simple notes.

I have been a fan of U2 for 10 years now. The first time I heard them live I was 15. They had just released their album ‘How to dismantle an atomic bomb’ and ‘Vertigo’ was the song that made me first discover their work. I was a teenager then, going through all the troubles and doubts of a typical teenager. I thought them to be old. My mother’s age to be exact and so old in every sense of the way from a fifteen year old point of you. Anyway all of that didn’t matter. Their music struck me and I was captured.

Last night when Bono walked onto the stage, grabbed the microphone and started to sing my heart skipped a bit. I realised what their music really means to me. I was fifteen when ‘Vertigo’ came out. I had a completely different life and so many problems; most of them seemed unresolvable back then. Ten years later so much has changed. I am not the person I was ten years ago. I have lived in three different countries. I met wonderful people and made lifelong friends. I have new prospects and I am looking at a much bigger horizon of opportunities. All of this has happened with a very specific soundtrack: Bono’s voice and the music of U2. They have always accompanied me.

I moved to Ireland because I wanted to see where they came from, what made them the way they are. I found a nation that is still licking its wounds, a nation that is trying so hard to shape a better future for its people. U2 are able to describe this struggle in their songs.

It is strange to think that there is someone in the world, someone you have never met and never will who seems to know you so well. Their words express feelings I will never be able to express with the same eloquence. I know what it means to struggle to ‘show myself and getting out my soul’ or to ‘have big ideas and be out of control[1]’ in a conservative society, just like the eighteen year old in ‘Out of Control’.

I remember one afternoon coming back from school and feeling quite frustrated because a teacher had punished me for simply having spoken my mind and thinking that I could not stand to be in that suffocating environment anymore. Bono told me ‘if the night runs over and if the day won't last and if your way should falter along this stony pass. It's just a moment this time will pass[2]’. I held on to that for the rest of my school years. Everything ends and everyone finds their way, he told me that and he was right.

Throughout their songs U2 taught me compassion, tolerance and passion for justice because ‘Grace finds beauty in everything, Grace finds goodness in everything’. If there are words that could summarize the choices I made so far they come from this song:
‘I want to run
 I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

I want to feel, sunlight on my face
See that dust cloud disappear without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain[3]

I know exactly what it means to have all that energy, that desire to make things better, to find your way when everyone around you wants you to conform and maybe in the process make a difference in this God-forsaken world.

I know ‘I still haven't found what I'm looking for but I believe in the Kingdom come and then all the colors will bleed into one[4]’. At the moment ‘yes, I am still running’ but U2 will continue to sing along with me to my dreams, my fears and my achievements because music has the power to be a faithful companion to our lives.

[1] “Out of Control” 1979, Paul Hewson- Dave Evans- Larry Mullen Jr- Adam Clayton
[2] “Stuck in a moment you can’t get out of” 2000, Paul Hewson-Dave Evans-Larry Mullen Jr-Adam Clayton
[3] “Where the Streets Have No Name” 1987, Paul Hewson-Dave Evans-Larry Mullen Jr-Adam Clayton
[4] “I’ve still haven’t found what I am looking for” 1987, Paul Hewson-Dave Evans-Larry Mullen Jr-Adam Clayton 

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