If, on the other hand, you felt more inclined to travel by motorcycle four days ago—this post is for you.
Bruce Springsteen’s song “Born to Run” definitely isn’t about strapping on your running shoes—the thought makes me bust out laughing!
No—it’s about “suicide machines,” and the narrator is “a scared and lonely rider,” who’s thinking, “we gotta get out while we’re young,” and who’s telling his crush Wendy, “we can live with the sadness / I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul.”
Like his narrator, Springsteen is an avid biker. And he also suffers from a certain madness of the soul, as all true artists do.
In his autobiography Born to Run, Springsteen writes eloquently about, well, everything he mentions in the 500-page masterpiece—including his lifelong need for escape.
He became world famous doing what he loved; but fame and money do not cure madness-of-the-soul-type issues. And so he remarks that, after he married Patti Scialfa, one of her virtues was that “she gave me my motorcycle-canyon-running Sundays when I needed them.”
Earlier in the book, he writes fabulously—the man is a writer! and his prose is as good as his lyrics!—about madness of the soul and the things we do in our attempts to feel better:
“We all need a little of our madness. Man cannot live by sobriety alone. We all need help somewhere along the way to relieve us of our daily burdens. It’s why intoxicants have been pursued since the beginning of time. Today I’d simply advise you to choose your methods and materials carefully or not at all, depending upon one’s tolerance, and watch the body parts!”
What great advice. Choose your poison, and “watch the body parts.” I love that. Ministering to the soul’s needs can be physically dangerous, so “watch the body parts.”