innocence + experience and then some

I’d been looking forward to the Arizona trip almost six months. The plan: visit my elderly mother a few days, reconnect with high school friends I haven’t seen in many years, and see two long-awaited U2 shows.

The day before the I departed, my mom fell and broke her hip. We spoke on the phone while she awaited surgery – things were serious, but seemed okay.

While I waited to board my flight the next morning, she died.

The rest of the summer has been a whirlwind – a blur of of unanswerable questions, stress, grief, and finally: choosing joy.


Hey thanks, Mother Nature. I needed this.
Sunset from Camelback Mountain.

The next few days were the most bizarre imaginable. Days meant to be spent with my mother were instead consumed with planning her funeral, spending time with her caretaker (to whom I am forever grateful), and trying to figure out which way is up.

Like everything else that week, the timing was crazy. But almost immediately after Betty’s funeral (Elizabeth, to those who knew her after she and my father divorced), I spent time in my element: seeing U2.

Sunrise from the GA line.
Sunrise from the GA line.

Others more eloquent than me have recapped, reviewed, and critiqued each concert of the tour.

But for me, from the very moment each show kicks off: I feel like I’m flying. U2IE Phoenix 1

The second Phoenix concert was cathartic. I can say with certainty I’ve never danced, sang, and (thanks to Courtney writing it on my wrist the night before?) LET GO like I did during that show.

This summer held other things, of course: trips, parties, guests, cocktails… (work, and Army stuff – but who wants to think about that?)

In Chicago, I tried to express 32 years of gratitude in a few split seconds when I shook hands with each member of U2. I’m quite certain none of the four would remember our extremely brief encounters. But oh, the happiness each moment brought me.

And on the second night there, during the song Iris (Hold Me Close), a song about about Bono’s mother, who died when he was a young teen, I had a real moment.

Timing? Fate? Karma? Luck? I know I’m just one random girl in a very large crowd. But of all the moments, in all of the songs, this is when Bono was holding my hand, singing, and making eye contact!?

Sure, folks get pulled up onto the stage to dance, play guitar, livestream a song… Whatever. This moment was mine.

my moment
photo credit: U2 – Vision over Visibility, Cind75

So many things raced franticly through my brain: My good, bad, wonderful, awful relationship with my mom; the first time I put the headphones on, listened to the Unforgettable Fire record and really felt music; all the dear friends I’ve come to love because of our mutual admiration for this band. And at the same time: my mind was completely quiet – in a kind of meditation.

Hold me close, hold me close and don’t let me go.
Hold me close like I’m someone that you might know
Hold me close, the darkness just lets us see 
Who we are
I’ve got your light inside of me

Thanks to the elation of that trip, and thanks to the energy of the Periscope, Meerkat, and Mixlr feeds of subsequent shows I enjoyed on my couch, I made my way to New York City for what I called my “bonus shows.” I was happy to be there, with no expectations other than to rock, and those shows did not disappoint!

U2IE NYC6

#U2ieTour #NYC6

And so: Here’s to each of you, my U2 tribe.

U2IE Phoenix 2
My high school BFF, the friend I’ve had longer than any other.  Jen joined me in Phoenix for our first U2 show together since night one of Rattle & Hum in 1987. I’ll always call her Fen, she’ll always call me Sash – we’ll always call each other friends.

U2IE Phoenix 1
A fuzzy picture of beautiful people (and me).

Chi 2
United in Chicago.

Tired. But basking in glow of U2 and today's historic SCOTUS decision. Here's to a 21 year friendship. Thanks for always making me laugh. ❤️
Exhausted thanks to U2; elated thanks to the Supreme Court!

Everyone seems to be posting their #U2ieTour selfies. Here's ours. 😀
NYC selfie

The star, that gives us light
Has been gone a while
But it’s not an illusion
The ache
In my heart
Is so much a part of who I am
Something in your eyes
Took a thousand years to get here
Something in your eyes
Took a thousand years, a thousand years
Hold me close, hold me close and don’t let me go.
Hold me close like I’m someone that you might know
Hold me close the darkness just lets us see
Who we are
I’ve got your light inside of me

Free yourself, to be yourself if only you could see yourself
Free yourself, to be yourself if only you could see…

8 thoughts on “innocence + experience and then some

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