Walk On

It has felt like a rough couple of weeks. So, today, a song that seems to fit as encouragement through discouragement.

I had a crash on my road bike on a spectacularly, gusting, windy day just over two weeks ago, and have had a sore shoulder and ribs as a result. In retrospect, it was not a great day to ride. Damaged the bike, too, but the shop I deal with (Alter Ego Sports; I’ve mentioned them before) is awesome… they are so helpful with everything I’ve ever asked them for, and they have encouraged me in my cycling since first doing business with them in 2014. I often seem to work with the same mechanic in their shop, and he is so fantastic. The kind of person who really makes you feel like YOU matter, like YOUR problem is the most important thing he’s going to tackle that day. Treating each other well; it matters. He’s a great example of that.

In addition to my spill, we’ve had things that are far more troublesome: dear friends whose son died suddenly; family members with future uncertainty due to their jobs; and, just general worry about how our kids are all doing with life’s challenges amplified by the effects of the pandemic. Yeah, those are a few of the things…

I remember playing “Walk On” on repeat, once, years ago, while I was in a critical phase of refinishing a particularly tricky bit of ceiling in the small, separated eating area adjacent to our kitchen long before we decided to blow out the wall and make a larger kitchen with a sort of office space in one corner. (It’s the place from which I write to you each day… a lovely area: at one side, a fake fireplace; to the other, a large window that looks out onto my sweety’s beautiful garden — as well as our neighbour’s not-so-lovely, dilapidated house… the summer view is much more pleasant! I digress.)

I hadn’t really thought of it in this way before, but the song is a good one for discouragement:

“And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight
You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed, to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly, for freedom
Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
You stay safe tonight
And I know it aches
How your heart, it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on…
Walk on…”

(from “Walk On,” by Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson)

The video shows the glamour of touring but, for the first frames at least, and some other shots, shows the reality of the isolation bands must feel, sleeping in a different bed each night. On the surface, their lives may appear enviable, but for a bit from 3:25 in the video, U2 shows the reality for many of the people in countries where they’ve played. (As a side story, another dear friend met up with Bono when U2 came to Winnipeg in 2011. She told him about the project she was leading, to supply an African village with a safe, reliable water supply. On a paper he drew his face and wrote something I remember as something like, “I see what you are doing” to her.)

Last night on a Zoom call with a small group of men, and one man’s story demonstrated such courage and grace in living with his situation.

Because of him, and my sweety, plus the bike mechanic, and the strength I have seen in our boys through the last several months… I have hope.

And then, just as I was finishing writing this, a call from my dear friend in the mountains of Colorado. As he would say about all our trials, “Blessed be.” What a joy to talk with him. I am so fortunate.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for the song from U2’s official YouTube channel

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