Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Blair asked about the u2 video that I posted the other day. She, too, was trying to figure out why it was so moving, and she asked what I thought Bono was trying to say.

Hell, I don't know. I saw it linked on the blog of Jonathan Carroll, a novelist. He quotes an email from a friend, who says
Bono is singing With or Without You on a catwalk stage, in
front of thousands upon thousands of people. And it feels like such a
naked song, about this woman he loves, or has loved. And he reaches
into the crowd, and pulls a woman up with him, and he lies down with
her on the stage. He is on his back, singing into the microphone
quietly, and holds her against him, her head against his chest, so she
is hearing his voice first, through his rib cage, around his heart,
before it reaches the thousands of people watching. And it is
perfect. The whole room becomes a bedroom, and this man becomes naked
and simple-- in his art for this other woman, he has somehow made this
intimacy universal, exposed himself, and translated a deep part of
himself to all these other people

Well, that made me want to watch it. And it is a kind of shockingly naked moment, even on tape.

The thing that got me, though, was the woman's expression. They lie side by side on the catwalk, looking up and singing, as if they are singing under their breath with the car radio. And it just looks like 2 people who haven't kissed yet, looking up at the stars, trembling the tiniest bit against the pull of the future. The bigness of the next thing.

It occurs to me that the feeling of being starstruck and the feeling of infatuation are barely distinguishable from one another. And that's why she, without acting at all, creates this monsterously evocative moment.

And she is undoubtedly saying to herself just what one would say, lying in the grass, feeling the pull, holding one's breath:

I will never forget this.


Anonymous said...

The daily blog Jonathan Carroll keeps on his website is one of the great blogs around. I read it every day like the newspaper. And his books are just as good!

Martha L

betsy said...

You know, I had never even heard of him (and, really, I pride myself on being literar-ily in the know) but I'm going to look for his books at the library tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Stacie said...

The video, the quote you followed it with and your summary were perfect, Bets.

Miss you.