I Should Have Been In Bed An Hour Ago…

November 14, 2007 at 11:42 pm | Posted in Inspiration, LIfe, Religion | Leave a comment
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but I got an email from iLike.com with this interview with Bono just before I meant to turn off my screen:

Today, U2 used iLike to post a personal message from Bono, singing – and talking us through – “Wave of Sorrow.” It’s a track that U2 demoed during sessions for The Joshua Tree in 1987. Just recently Bono laid down vocals for the song and it will be released for the first time next week on the remastered release of The Joshua Tree. As Bono plays us the track, he also tells the powerful story of the song. I found it quite moving!

Oh My Guuuwaaahhh!

Me too!

Needless to say, I will be purchasing the remastered release of The Joshua Tree. If I ever wondered why I someday hope to get a tattoo of the Joshua Tree from this album on my back, I know for sure why. U2 stand for everything I hold holy. Blessed was the teenager who grew up with The Joshua Tree. Blessed am I indeed. Thank you, iLike!

#46 ~ Bel Canto

November 7, 2007 at 11:41 pm | Posted in Books, Culture, Reading | 6 Comments
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Bel Canto by Anne Patchett

I have only attended one opera in my life. I cannot remember its name. I saw it in Berlin on my second night in the city. Jet lag did not help me to stay awake or become involved in the experience. Still, I do not imagine that I would have been that much less sleepy or bored had I been fully awake. My lack of overall interest in opera did not in anyway impact my enjoyment of Bel Canto.

This book tells the story of a grand South American government banquet that is taken hostage by guerrilla warriors. The banquet was held for a Japanese businessman in hopes that he would open a factory in their country. Mr. H only agreed to attend the event because they paid a great price to have Roxanne, a brilliant soprano, perform for him. He never had any intention of opening a factory. Opera had been his passion from early childhood and he could not turn down the opportunity to see her in person.

The president of this country was supposed to be in attendance at this birthday banquet. He begged off at the last minute to stay home and watch the special Tuesday evening episode of his soap opera (he’s a man after my own heart – Latin soap operas are the best. I have such warm memories of watching those at my Bolivian youth group leader’s house on Wednesday nights). As the president was the object of the guerrillas, the kidnapping was a debacle from the beginning.

The beauty of this book comes from two for me: the descriptions of the main characters’ histories and their love of music and the description of the life that unfolded in the Vice President’s mansion throughout their months of captivity. Although I do not enjoy classical music or opera, I do have a strong connection to the music I do enjoy and can relate to the way in which music can move you beyond language. I know that I might very easily agree to attend an event at which U2 would be performing just for me if I only had to lie about something I might do in the future. I could then imagine being held hostage with Bono in close quarters…

I found Patchett’s writing very beautiful and, in comparison with Claire Messud, non-obtrusive. Thankfully, you can write about art and sophistication without having a pickle shoved up your bum. My only complaint would be with the short chapter that occurred after the siege was ended. There always seems to be a need to tie things up – even if it’s not always neat. I would have preferred to let my imagination take me into the character’s future.

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