U2: Every Breaking Wave Song Analysis

Wave breaking on the shore.

I really love this song. I feel like it has living, breathing sadness to it that I can really connect with. I’ll post the lyrics I’m using at the end as a reference.

I look at the opening, talking about the endless, restless nature of the sea and see it as telling us that life goes on, no matter what.

From there, the lyrics seem to walk us through the realities of life. There is hardship and there is struggle. And no matter how much you want peace, life will always throw you curve balls. I think this is the part I truly connect with. Between financial and family challenges, it never seems to stop getting in my face and pushing to see how far I’ll go before I break.

So when it hits the chorus (“I don’t know if I’m that strong”), I can really relate. And those last two lines seem to be asking the question ‘can you step up’ while also saying ‘are you brave enough to ask others for help’. I can tell you from my own life, asking for help is so very difficult, but also one of the most important things I, and my family, have done.

The sailor stanza really stood out to me. Crying out about being alone, that being alone is wrong, shutting people out will make you cold. Intimacy, openness is like food for the body, but in this case, feeds the soul. The best line is at the end: I thought I heard the master’s voice – It’s hard to listen while you preach. Whether you subscribe to the concept of God or whether you look at that voice inside as your own conscience, we all recognize that we have to stop talking in order to hear. Only in the most honest of silences can we know what is right.

The next bit seems to deal with the realities that this is our life and we can’t move on without living it.

Those last three verses repeated are brilliant because they can cover almost any situation or thought. I think this is Bono at his best. Taking anything and leaving it open for interpretation.

The first part, talking of being on the rocks, could mean a relationship, any life struggle or even spiritual struggle. The second part is the ‘I am with you’. The love is there, for each other, for and from God, whatever works for you.

And finally, the killer end. Should we end before we begin? Do I want to risk getting hurt. Do I want to take the chance and give it up to God? Or do I protect myself from all of it by not opening up at all. Do I do it alone or do I ask for help? I think we can all identify with those words in some way.

In many ways I think this may be one of his best. He’s married every element he works with in his writing and I think it is so much more poignant to leave it hanging, as is reality for so many of us. Can we do it? Can we ask? Can we pray? And can we do it alone.

Lyrics:
Every breaking wave
On the shore
Tells the next one there’ll be one more

Every gambler knows
That to lose
Is what you’re really there for

Somewhere else, fearlessness
Now I’m speaking to an answer phone
Every silent leaf
On the breeze
Winter wouldn’t leave it alone

Ay hey now
Ay hey now

I don’t know if I’m that strong
I don’t know if I’m that strong
Don’t know if I’m that strong
To be somebody
To need someone

Every sailor knows that the sea
Is a friend made enemy
Every shipwrecked soul
Knows what it is
To live without intimacy
I thought I heard the master’s voice
It’s hard to listen while you preach

Like every broken wave
On the shore
This world’s as far as I can reach

Ay hey now
Ay hey now

I don’t know if I’m that strong
I don’t know if I’m that strong
Don’t know if I’m that strong
Got to be somebody
To need someone

The waves know
We’re on the rocks
Drowning is no sin

And you know
My heart is
The same place yours has been

We know
The fear of winning
Should we end before we begin

The waves know
We’re on the rocks
Drowning is no sin

You know
My heart is
The same place yours has been

We know
The fear of winning
Should we end before we begin

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18 Responses to U2: Every Breaking Wave Song Analysis

  1. larrylootsteen says:

    I know several people past and present with the name. If we know each other write me on my e-mail llootsteen39@rogers.com. If we had an online conversation somewhere along the way, I’m completely daft as to the details.

  2. Wind says:

    Thank you for apologizing; I appreciate it immensely.

    The not being your equal comment was sarcastic in nature.

    I made a comment on who knows what date, regarding my given name all but ensures I care. ‘I care’ anagrams to….

  3. Wind says:

    “I’ve said over and over that I don’t know you or your situation.”

    Did you want me to describe my most personal feelings, the intimate details of my life, right here on your blog, which anyone can read? Yes, you have said you don’t know me over and over, but it occurs to me you could be lying. I’m not calling you a liar per se, but it is possible is it not? I’ll tell you why I believe it’s a possibility; I read your letter to ‘The Edge 102 radio’ on another site, prior to reading it here.

    “And once you’ve made a decision, that’s it. Did I get that right or wrong?”

    Well, you’re the one that said, “Your last lines are interesting because they gives the sense that when you decide something, that’s it.” The last two lines you are referring to there are:

    And sometimes I can’t see something no matter how many times I look or for how long, because it’s not there, even if people say it is.

    I don’t know how you came to your conclusion, because what it means is, repeating something over and over doesn’t make it truth.

    You also said, “When I know something, I know it until someone gives me information that brings it to question.” Which is almost identical to me saying, When I know something Larry, yeah, that’s it. For me, and I’m only speaking for myself, there is a difference between knowing something and coming to a decision about something.

    “Unless you’ve been talking about other people the entire time, I’ve really missed what you are saying.”

    You certainly appear to have missed what I was sharing, entirely. I have been talking about how other people treat me, my experiences with other people knowing all there is to know on a given subject and that no new information will EVER come to light. I have been talking about being treated with contempt, disdain, told I don’t know s*** from shinola, even when my ‘data’ is personally obtained.

    “I spent much of my younger years with a touch of superiority in the intellectual department. Time and life has stripped that arrogance from me and left me open to be wrong. I leave that possibility in every idea and decision I come to. Because I know the day may come that I got it wrong. I’m always happy to discuss/argue/question.”

    So you are saying you have NEVER been wrong in the past. Happy and argue are not two words I would use together, as usually arguing involves anger, and has a tendency to devolve into one or more of the participants lashing out.

    There must be something wrong with ME, as usual, and when people treat me unfairly, call me crazy even when I’m 100% spot on about something, and twist nearly everything I say 180 degrees, I should be happy about it.

    I wouldn’t dare be so presumptious and rude to say, you are are wrong. I’m obviously not your equal, right?

    I don’t have anywhere else to put this, and I wanted to mention a band to you, Burning Codes. You’re probably well ahead of me, and have known about them for years, but just in case I wanted to mention them.

    This has more or less been a rehash of what has already been said, and while I would have liked to say a few things I won’t, since as you said, typing is by far not the best way for me to express myself. Unfortunately, it would appear it’s my only option at this point.

    One thing I really did want to ask is, do you know my given name?

    • larrylootsteen says:

      I have no idea wo you are. No I don’t want you to spill your life all over WordPress. I use my real name so if we’ve talkd in the past you are one up on me.

      Since I misinterpreted what you said, my apologies.

      Obviously I have been wrong in the past. If you want to look at the whole paragraph instead of ‘Because I know the day may come that I got it wrong’, you might see that I was talking about ‘in any given situation the day may come…’.

      I wouldn’t be offended to be told I was wrong. Didn’t you tell me that further up your response? Without using that word of course. I don’t know why you feel I look down on you. I don’t.

  4. Wind says:

    “On one hand you are open minded and forgiving and on the other, once your mind’s made up, that’s it. Can you explain how those two ideas function for you because I don’t understand.”

    I can explain it, I can’t say whether or not you’ll understand. What I heard/read when you said/typed the above paragraph is, Wind you can’t be open minded and forgiving, and have your mind made up about ANYTHING, even if it’s something you’ve directly experienced.

    Maybe I’ve been 100% wrong my entire life, hallucinated every experience; every sensation, scent, flavor, sound (especially U2), and all things consisting of matter that my eyes have beheld.

    I just copied the following from wikipedia:

    “Scientific investigation of extrasensory perception (ESP) is complicated by the definition which implies that the phenomena go against established principles of science.[5] Specifically, precognition would violate the principle that an effect cannot occur before its cause.”

    There is a major flaw in that arguement. I KNOW what it is; specifically, the theory of relatively only applies to things that have mass. Information, regardless how it is obtained, does not have mass. I have had knowledge about things that I could not have obtained via presently available information or methods. Not only did I KNOW the knowledge was 100% accurate, it was confirmed to me by the person or persons directly responsible for it.

    “My turn to laugh! “I am by far, the most open minded, honest, forgiving, curious, person I have ever come across.” Wow, seriously? After you said this? “Amazingly enough, it is always a deal breaker in my experience. It’s a fairly strange deal; I mean, how is it possible that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve read something wrong, I’m crazy, so often?””

    What I hear/see/feel as I read the above paragraph is, you turned what I said 180 d taken something you misunderstood competely, out of context, and have not only did you misinterpret what I said/typed, you have made judgements about my character that are not correct. The feeling your words are conveying, the tone if you will, is one of disdain, and you feel justified.

    After rereading this entire thread from the beginning, I know what I meant, the intention behind my words, my honest, heartfelt feelings, unfortunately is not what you heard/read/felt. Knowing that you will find a way to take issue with what I’ve just said/typed, I am going to say, I am allowed to know my own mind, I know what my intentions were, and I am obviously incapable of conveying such in words that are understandable to you.

    Yeah, opening up here may be a good start, as you said back on the 24th. The thing is, Larry, I open up every opportunity where appropriate, given me to do so. And time after time, I get shot down, because I’ve been misinterpreted, regardless how plainly I speak. I get up, remind myself to not take it personally, lick my wounds because it does in fact hurt some, and the next time the opportunity presents itself, I will avail myself of it, with an open mind. I imagine you will laugh at this also. You can laugh all you want, you can think what you wish about me untrue as it may be. I know who I am, what I feel, the way people treat me, what I’m about. Because I have taken and continue to take a good, hard look at myself, objectively daily.

    That you are able to find so much fault with me, well I can’t do anything about your perceptions. All the best to you and your family.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Obviously you know what you mean. And typing is far from the best way to express yourself because it leaves so much to interpretation. I can tell you absolutely there was no disdain. You presented conflicting ideas in what I read. I have no idea what your reality is. I only know what I thought I read in it. Always, I can be wrong.

      It’s interesting you define my questions as finding fault. I’m trying to understand, nothing more. I can tell you that most people I’ve met who say they are the most fair minded and understanding are far from it. That’s my experience. I can tell you I would never say that about myself. Why? Because I cannot be my own judge and be truly objective. You may disagree.

      And when I laughed it was because I saw two opposites. You may find my laughter offensive. Was I supposed to find yours offensive? I simply took your critique for what it was. I’ve said over and over that I don’t know you or your situation. But you presented ideas and arguments and I responded to what I saw in them the same as you did with mine.

      Unless you’ve been talking about other people the entire time, I’ve really missed what you are saying. You talked about investigating things, taking long periods to make up your mind. Is that right? And once you’ve made a decision, that’s it. Did I get that right or wrong?

      If that was right, I’m simply saying that your decision, when you come to it, for a given topic/idea may be right but it may be wrong if your investigation did not include information that you don’t have. Would you agree with that? Because that is how I work. Of course I make decisions on the information I have at hand. But I don’t consider that forever solid because I allow for the fact that there may be more that I don’t know yet. I’m not saying you are wrong in your decisions or in the way you arrive at your conclusions. That all makes perfect sense. My only caveat is when you say you make your decision and that’s it. If that’s what you meant at all. That’s what I saw. Nothing more, nothing less.

      I spent much of my younger years with a touch of superiority in the intellectual department. Time and life has stripped that arrogance from me and left me open to be wrong. I leave that possibility in every idea and decision I come to. Because I know the day may come that I got it wrong. I’m always happy to discuss/argue/question. My mind will be changed when evidence shows it.

      So other than the fact that I may have had your ideas sideways in my head, I don’t know what else to tell you.

  5. Wind says:

    “If that IS a deal breaker for you, it implies that you know all there is to know on a given subject and that no new information will EVER come to light.”

    Not me, silly! I would say I can’t believe this is happening, but unfortunately I can’t since this is almost exactly what I’ve been obviously failing to explain! It’s like there’s something distorting our communication, so that when you read what I’ve typed, it’s almost the exact oppositive of what I actually typed/meant.

    Or, you’re messing with my head, which at this point would be a relief.

  6. Wind says:

    You are almost too cute; almost.

    On August 25th you said:
    “Simple being Obama’s birthplace and religion, complicated being faith and all that implies. It becomes a question of whether you are truly right and how you present it. I have no idea. There’s an insane amount of crap out there and there’s little point in trying to make people see what they don’t want to see. Doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.”

    Amazingly enough, it is always a deal breaker in my experience. It’s a fairly strange deal; I mean, how is it possible that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve read something wrong, I’m crazy, so often? And do you know, even when it turns out I am none of those things, I still am? I can’t recall anyone ever apologizing to me or them saying, “my bad, you’re not crazy; you were absolutely correct.”

    I could go on for days, Larry, about ‘my situation’, my experiences (many of which you quite possibily would not believe, because crap like that doesn’t happen), and so on. But to what end really?

    “But I can tell you that if you make up your mind on something and then refuse to entertain others thoughts or allow others ideas to be considered”

    I laughed out loud when I got to that part. It’s been hours and I’m still smiling. That is hilarious because, that is EXACTLY what Christians do. What I find so utterly amazing about that is, they have no personal experience upon which to draw. They just regurgitate the dogma they’ve been fed. I don’t see how taking one verse out of context, holding it up to another out of context verse, proves either is truth. And when that doesn’t work, making up additional ‘meaning’ when it’s blatantly not there, is…I don’t even know what that is. That’s what I meant when I made the statement about not seeing things that aren’t there.

    It would seem that I’ve not come across as I had thought would be apparent; I am not a sheeple, lazy, unwilling or unable to think for myself. I read your post on Politics and Relgion again tonight, just before addressing this post, and I’m one of those rare people who take the time, which is turning out to be most of my time, looking things up because I don’t take much of anything on faith. What I generally find, is that people don’t know what the f*** they’re talking about. Have you found that to be true as well?

    It would seem that somehow you skipped right over something I said on the 25th, so I’ll say it again:

    It’s what happens when a person who sees things from a different perspective than is generally accepted expresses what she sees to people who are unwilling to even look at what might be the truth, let alone admit their currently held beliefs are false. It’s what happens when people make assumptions based on rumor, which if enough people believe it to be true, becomes a fact. It’s what happens when one is no longer capable of turning a blind eye so to speak, to things which the collective isn’t even aware of. It’s what happens when one wakes up. Then there’s good ol’ jealousy, insecurity, stubborness, and habit. I hope it changes as well; it’s mighty tough going.

    Larry, a country can’t isolate itself. A religion in and of itself has no power. Money is neither holy or evil. There is no such thing as corporate or governmental transparency. And contrary to popular belief, the most destructive weapon on the planet is not man and his ideas, it’s a thermonuclear bomb.

    I am by far, the most open minded, honest, forgiving, curious, person I have ever come across. My willingness to entertain all sorts of unconventional ideas amazes me at times, especially when they’re my ideas. I can’t help but care; my given name all but insists.

    What pray tell would my standing firm in a global situation, whatever that means, accomplish? By the way, you have very strong opinions yourself. What occurs in many instances, is people think they know what’s going on from a big picture point of view, when for the most part, they can’t see what’s going on 12 inches from their face.

    Try this for me please…if you had a time machine where would you go and what would you do?

    PS…is there another way for me to know if and when you’ve replied, than subscribing to every post I comment on?

    • larrylootsteen says:

      That was Obama’s religion…not religion in general.

      If that IS a deal breaker for you, it implies that you know all there is to know on a given subject and that no new information will EVER come to light. Surely you don’t believe that is always a given. And seriously, you need people to apologize to you for being wrong? It isn’t a question of right and wrong. It’s a question what you are willing to accept. You and I can differ in opinion but does that automatically mean you no longer wish to speak to me me because I don’t agree with you? You make it sound like you are right and unless the people who disagree with you come on board, you no longer wish to deal with them. Am I misinterpreting this?

      And I appreciate your laughter but because Christians do that does not mean ALL Christians do that. I know lots of people who call themselves Christians who also question all of it. I know people who call themselves Christians who really just believe there are forces at work they don’t understand but don’t subscribe to the Bible being real or even Jesus being real but they appreciate the community, the work it does. Do I mock them for not REALLY being Christian or do I accept where they are at for what it is?

      The real question is whether I can see the good in people for all their flaws and engage them or do I walk away because they don’t care to understand, or try or are unwilling to discuss. If I did that I would have no family and no friends. Seems a tad extreme.

      Ahhh, so you are now a literalist? Countries cannot isolate themselves physically but they sure can politically. Religion has power if people believe in it. Money can be used by people for evil and money, when accumulated can corrupt people. Calling money evil is just a euphemism for what it does to some people. I know your point here is people. Nothing I said about any of that does not take it into account.

      My turn to laugh! “I am by far, the most open minded, honest, forgiving, curious, person I have ever come across.” Wow, seriously? After you said this? “Amazingly enough, it is always a deal breaker in my experience. It’s a fairly strange deal; I mean, how is it possible that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve read something wrong, I’m crazy, so often?”

      On one hand you are open minded and forgiving and on the other, once your mind’s made up, that’s it. Can you explain how those two ideas function for you because I don’t understand.

      Sure, I have very strong opinions. And what I think is right can be proven wrong. What I know or think or believe in a given moment can be overridden by information that I don’t currently have. When I know something, I know it until someone gives me information that brings it to question.

      The global situation I referred to was not about YOU standing firm rather it was about there being times when standing firm is important. Genocide is an example where standing firm against it makes sense. The question I wanted to bring to mind is whether all situations require you standing firm no matter what or whether it makes more sense to accept that it isn’t your job to convince others that you are right on a given subject. Of course, are free to express your thoughts. It is when you expect others to be convinced, whether it makes any sense for them to disagree or not, that you need to ask yourself how far that really has to go.

      So why the time machine? Are you asking what I would change? Are you asking what I would want to see or experience? I would change nothing because I have no idea what the impact across the millenia would be. There’s lots of periods in history that would be of interest. What the point of that would be for this discussion is beyond me.

      And no, no idea on how else you would be notified of comments without doing that! Sorry.

  7. larrylootsteen says:

    I don’t recall saying faith is complicated but religion is simple. No idea where that came from. Faith was an example of a complicated topic. No more, no less.

    Sorry but I think you are miles off base thinking a lack of flexibility is a good thing. Standing firm in a global situation might apply. And there may be times when sticking to your guns is appropriate. But for the most part, an unwillingness to listen and adapt when someone else may also have a relevent point of view just leads to stand-off and leaving no room to live with each other.

    As I said, I have no idea whether the ‘alone’ situation you described before is current. But I can tell you that if you make up your mind on something and then refuse to entertain others thoughts or allow others ideas to be considered, that’s a great way to push people away.

    You mention the lack of flexibility everywhere. And what do we have? Countries isolating themselves, no room to negotiate or even just talk. No allowance for anything but what they believe. War. And who suffers? Not the leaders, just the people. Isolation is not a pleasant place to be. But tell me, how is being so sure that there’s no room for movement working out? I can give dozens and dozens of examples. We will never move forward as a species with an attitude that once I know something, no one else’s opinion matters or can be taken into account.

  8. Wind says:

    Let me see if I understand…faith is complicated and religion is simple. I wasn’t referring to anything specific in regard to false beliefs. There are people who insist that drinking your own urine is good for you, but considering urine is liquid waste that the body wants to rid itself of…

    Well, I’ll tell ya Larry, it takes me forever and a day usually to make up my mind about something. Mostly I figure I don’t have to take a stand on anything if I don’t care to. Seems kinda foolish really. Of course there are those times when one is faced with a pressing decision; paper or plastic, soup or salad, do you want to super size the fries or regular?

    Making an informed decision using last year’s information, wouldn’t be prudent. Not with new discoveries be made practically every day in a slew of different fields. So for the most part, I don’t know how I feel about things. I do my best to stay informed about certain topics that are important to me, but golly, there is just so much information available these days, from so many different resources, it’s difficult. It’s also difficuilt to know which information is good and which is iffy; who to trust.

    So lack of flexibility is a dangerous way to live is it? I find that very hard to believe. As I take a look around, at close quarters and globally, it sure looks as though just about everyone lacks flexibility. Maybe they don’t realize how inflexible they are and thus aren’t aware of the danger.

    Come to think it of it, a lack of flexibility could be a life saver. If faced with having to shelter in place during a hurricane with two options to choose from, a structure made of concrete which lacks flexibility or a tent made of fabric which is highly flexible, I would go with the concrete every single time. I realize saying that lacks flexibility.

    It also occurs to me, danger is in many cases an illusion created by fearful people in their heads. Truly there is not one single activity or situation that is dangerous as long as you’ve given up your attachment to your physical body.

    Politicians and marketing departments bank on the flexibility of the general public’s mind. Do you recall last year’s ‘pandemic’, the swine flu outbreak?

    When I know something Larry, yeah, that’s it. Not wish, think, hope or believe, know. Know what I mean?

  9. Catherine says:

    What a fantastic discussion, Larry. Thank you for opening it up and engaging.

    (And: I’ve long admired B for his epic-meets-intimate lyrical style. His ability to drop any number of literary/poetic/biblical/historical allusions into all that is jaw-dropping. He’s really not given proper credit for his amazing gift with words. Thanks for recognizing it.)

  10. larrylootsteen says:

    The play thing was simply saying if you are causing some of your own grief that you need to recognize it and make changes. I have no idea what your situation really is or how it came about. So the idea may or may not apply to you.

    I don’t know what specifically you are referring to about false beliefs. It could be many things from the simple to the very complicated. Simple being Obama’s birthplace and religion, complicated being faith and all that implies. It becomes a question of whether you are truly right and how you present it. I have no idea. There’s an insane amount of crap out there and there’s little point in trying to make people see what they don’t want to see. Doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

    I’d love to know what Bono’s motivation is for certain lyrics. At the end of the day I’d rather have my interpretation because the song remains very personal to me that way.

    Your last lines are interesting because they gives the sense that when you decide something, that’s it. I hope that’s wrong because a lack of flexibility is a dangerous way to live.

  11. Wind says:

    “And if you have play in that situation, maybe you need to make changes as well.”

    Help! I have no clue what that means, the ‘play’ part. I would like to share with you it was very easy for me to ask for your help (smiling).

    I thought I’d take the route most travelled and simply blame everyone else. I couldn’t posssibly have contributed to my situation! It’s them, it’s all their fault!

    It’s what happens when a person who sees things from a different perspective than is generally accepted expresses what she sees to people who are unwilling to even look at what might be the truth, let alone admit their currently held beliefs are false. It’s what happens when people make assumptions based on rumor, which if enough people believe it to be true, becomes a fact. It’s what happens when one is no longer capable of turning a blind eye so to speak, to things which the collective isn’t even aware of. It’s what happens when one wakes up. Then there’s good ol’ jealousy, insecurity, stubborness, and habit. I hope it changes as well; it’s mighty tough going.

    Bono has a knack for all sorts of things. He can pure nonsense and there are people who will attribute profound meaning, and will tell you EXACTLY what HIS meaning is. They will tell you in no uncertain terms the exact bible reference he was drawing from even. My favorite quote of his is:

    “I could go onstage, unzip my pants, and hang my dick out, and people would think it was a statement about something.”

    Hey, sometimes I really am incredibly slow to see things. And sometimes I can’t see something no matter how many times I look or for how long, because it’s not there, even if people say it is.

  12. Wind says:

    Yikes! I almost can’t believe I wrote that; I didn’t check it prior to posting, knowing my ego would want to edit. And it makes sense to boot.

    I know without a doubt, feeling isolated while living in the midst of other people, is very unpleasant. And I’m not talking about just feeling that way, I’m talking about being alone, having no face to face or voice contact, except on a very limited basis, for virtually 5 years. It didn’t happen overnight, but that I feel increasingly inconsequential, is not surprising. The interesting thing is, I know I’m not insignificant; to others though I’ve become all but invisible. It’s not a comfortable dichotomy to live, that’s for damn sure.

    I’m sorry, I am having difficulty, obviously, comprehending ‘taking everything or anything, etc.’. I don’t expect you to explain it in more detail than you already have; sometimes I’m incredibly slow.

    The way Bono writes (I’m giggling to myself over here) is at times, so nonsensical as to be mindless babble. Initially I thought there was something wrong with me; other people ‘got it’, so much so they were moved to leave comments. So I read more articles, studied videos (music and interviews), listened to songs, compared lyrics, took in blogs in an insanely immersive/hyper-focused way.

    Here’s the thing; prior to October 26, 2009 had you asked me about U2, I probably would have said, “Yeah, the do that song, Beautiful Day; what about them?” It was purely accidental that I came across the replay of The Rose Bowl Concert on YouTube.

    Bono, The Global Activist, is unrivaled in his ability to generate action for those causes he champions. Both ONE and (RED) have been such a success with John Q. Public, due in large part to Bono coming out of the gate saying, “I don’t want your money, I need your voice.” The corporations that have made a commitment, have done so because it fits their good corporate citizen guidelines.

    Feeling overwhelmed is not a sin, but I’m sure there someone, somewhere who thinks it is. I tooking ‘drowning’ literally after feeling as you describe.

    I’m at a loss…I indicated I know what isn’t right for me somewhere? Huh, interesting. I think there comes a point when being alone a long time becomes too long. You know, like if you find yourself having conversations with inanimate objects. >:)

    Oh, by the way, when I said my feelings can change from moment to moment, I wasn’t referring to morals and I can see how that statement could be construed as me being wishy washy or flakey. Ooooooh, people may actually think of me that way as I tend to not take sides and try to put myself in lots of different pairs of shoes, for perspectives sake.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      When you are in a situation where you are alone, you always have to ask why and take a good hard look at yourself and see if you are actually doing it to yourself. It’s hard but it’s important. If that is your current situation, I hope things will change. And if you have play in that situation, maybe you need to make changes as well. It happens more often than you realize. And it is far too easy to let it continue. So maybe opening up here is a good start. I don’t know. I just hope things improve.

      Don’t apologize or put yourself down if you don’t get something right away. The written word can be incredibly easy and incredibly hard to understand. Face-to-face conversation is always the best communication. So what I was saying is that Bono has a knack for writing about things in a way that is flexible. You take three people. He writes something about loss. One person sees job loss and identifies with the words. One person has a miscarriage and identifies with the words. One person has lost their way morally and identifies with the words. Does that make sense? One set of words but applies to all sorts of situations that people can connect with. That is one of Bono’s many gifts as a writer.

      As for feelings changing, hey, it’s human nature. Something I think is okay one day may make me angry the next. We all do it.

  13. Wind says:

    I think these may very well be the most poignant words he’s shared. The images and metaphors they elicit seem startlingly clear; which is to say, I’m of the same mind as you. For the most part. About half. >:)

    It’s been my experience that asking for help is only difficult when our ego feels threatened; being ridiculously stubborn comes to mind. Or maybe it’s a ‘guy thing’. Not even knowing you a little bit, I don’t imagine you’d find it difficult asking for help were lightning to strike your home resulting in a fire. Or if you were having a heart attack, were to fall and break a leg, or involved in a head-on collision even it was your fault. I can understand were you to be laid-off for example, having difficulty, because your ego would assert itself, or at least try to, and begin to judge the situation, and we know where that usually leads.

    Difficult, heartbreakingly so, is finding yourself in a position through no fault of your own, in desperate need of help, so you knock on every door you can think of, and no one answers. Or, having managed to secure the needed assistance, it’s withdrawn at the last possible moment. I’ll spare you even ‘worse’ scenarios, ones which I’ve experienced, that still cause my brain to want to implode when I recall them.

    So, back to Bono’s lyrics. I don’t agree with the idea that being alone is wrong; some people choose that for themselves. On the other hand, there are those of us who would like nothing more than to share a raw, honest, naked, deeply satisfying relationship with someone who desires the same. Having never had it, knowing it’s possible but not finding it, is…I’m unable to find words to describe how it feels. But you just gave me them. It feels like slowly starving to death, becoming less tangible.

    What exactly or not exactly even, is an honest silence; is there a dishonest type? If you’re talking about ‘soul searching’ as it were, then I understand.

    “Taking anything and leaving it open for interpretation.” Um, not sure at all what you mean by this. Being on the rocks could relate to any of life’s perceived struggles, I agree. What to make of, “Drowning is no sin?” I suppose it could be metaphorical in nature; “you can only take so much”. Or, he could very well mean, drowning, literally. “You can only take so much”, and when you can’t take any more, when just the thought of taking anotherbreath is unbearable….?

    Bono and I share at least one thing in common; we aren’t irrationally judgemental. I’ve spent what seems like eons, reading, watching, experiencing personally, and thinking about life, people, God, the rules, morals and values society, or rather a few select members or groups within society, insist are the ‘right’ ones, etc. Unlike the majority of people I’ve encountered during my life, or so it definitely seems, my way of ‘seeing’ isn’t static. I’m not bound by a set of beliefs unconsciously acquired during childhood, and held onto into adulthood. My ‘feelings’ can change from moment to moment.

    If you listen and look long enough, without preconceived ideas filtering everything, if you can step outside of yourself for even a few moments….

    Have you ever felt, or rather knew, that if you wanted to, you could communicate with every life form on this planet, and they with you? A feeling of expansion where you were filling up all the available physical space around you, yet you knew, could see with your own two eyes, you were still regular you? It is the coolest thing EVER, well, so far anyway.

    Good lord, I did not mean to go on like this. It felt really, really wonderful. Thank you. I may reply elsewhere on your site, if that’s okay by you?

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Wow, you’re as wordy as I am!! And thanks for all these thoughts! I really do appreciate hearing them.

      I think the whole ‘being alone’ thing is more about isolation than relationship. I don’t think it’s right or natural to be truly alone, without human contact. That was how i took that anyway.

      I’ve been through the job thing and I know that ego. And I have been broken by that same ego. So I feel that pain completely.

      The ‘taking everything and leaving it open to interpretation’ thing was about how Bono writes. he’s at his best when he describes general situations that apply to almost anyone. It might be relationship, faith, job, whatever.

      I took the ‘drowning’ to mean being overwhelmed. Again, take that as it applies. Work, love, faith, kids, whatever.

      And by the way, knowing what’s not right for you is a good thing, even if it means a long time alone. I was lucky and found it early. But I knew, boy did I know, when it arrived. So keep faith in that…thanks for opening up!

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