This was posted a year ago. Thinking of Bruce and Clarence as I prepare to travel to Sunderland for my very first Springsteen show …
I have decided to allow myself one more post concentrating on Clarence’s death. Which brings me to the very real danger of allowing oneself to concentrate on death – and to forget about life. And as we all know, he was a man who really enjoyed living.
One of my recurring thoughts during the week since his death was about the nasty fact that when you lose somebody it is so much harder if your relationship has been very good. It can certainly be seen as a kind of punishment for loving somebody. This brings me to one of my recent favourite Springsteen songs: The ties that bind from The River. It makes it easier to understand the fear of commitment that we sometimes suffer of. Maybe it is simply a subconscious fear of loving and then losing somebody and experiencing the pain it will inevitably bring. (We know that fear is one of the most important driving forces in our lives.)
You been hurt and you’re all cried out you say
You walk down the street pushin’ people outta your way
You packed your bags and all alone you wanna ride,
You don’t want nothin’, don’t need no one by your side
You’re walkin’ tough baby, but you’re walkin’ blind
to the ties that bind
Thus it is also possible to see what an incredibly brave thing it is to let yourself love unconditionally, even when you know the pain will come one day. The best we can do, is simply not to think about that one day and to live life to the full.
I would rather feel the hurt inside, yes I would darlin’,
Than know the emptiness your heart must hide,
Yes I would darlin’, yes I would darlin’,
Yes I would baby
Certainly this is what Bruce is feeling now. I just hope he gets the strength and courage never to forget the joy of all those years with the Big Man always right there on his right hand side, always there to lean on. I hope that he (and everybody who has recently lost a loved one) never gets to the point to regret the ties because of the pain.
There is a saying in Afrikaans which can be roughly translated as After a fortnight death becomes your own. Yes, the media attention is dying down, other tragedies have since occurred, the posts from grieving fans will soon stop – but for those closest to Clarence the grief will go on for a long, long time, maybe forever.
So let us all choose life and live it as the Big Man has done – with joyfull enthusiasm and the urgent desire to spread love in any way you can.