“If you wanna’ kiss the sky you’d better learn how to kneel.”
I’m not sure what Bono meant by that line, or whether he even knows what he meant, but it somehow makes complete sense to me.
It’s rare that I make it to my knees at one of my shows. My music just doesn’t allow for it. I don’t have that much time off from the mic. But I found my moment last night, and I went for it: velvet pinstriped sportcoat and all. CJ was soloing, guest tamborinist Chris was smiling ear to ear, and I fell to my knees. Sure, it’s a dramatic gesture made, in part, for show. But there’s something so freeing and out of body about it. It’s release. It’s exciting, and cathartic, and fun. Somehow, there’s a little something more to it.
Said another way, if you want to get to Heaven, you’d better learn how to be humble. If you want to get to The Promise Land — whether that’s actual nirvana, emotional well being, lifetime companionship, whatever — you’ve got to be prostrate. You have to know low to know high.
I’m sure I’ll know lower in my remaining days, but I have glimpsed The Bottom. I’ve been handed over from one parent to another on Christmas day. I’ve laid in a hospital bed with a head full of bruises and blood. I’ve been a drug addict. I’ve walked the island of Manhattan from stem to stern trying to shake off worry. I’ve had my heart broken. And I’ve been exposed as a lothario in a major metropolitan publication.
The bottom feels like freezing rain. It feels like a shrinking room or a skull-crushing headache. It looks like 4:27 on a Tuesday morning when the streets are dead empty and it’s as dark and cold as the night gets. There’s nothing to see there. There’s no view. I’ve been there. I bet you have too.
And I’m not 100% on this, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t trade The Bottom for The Elevation. You know those moments: clarity, joy, absolute present tense. Well, I got a little bit of that last night. And I actually remembered to enjoy it. In fact, at least twice during the show, I stood extra still and took it in. It felt good. I felt full. I felt redeemed. Saved.
Thanks for that.