Tonight the inner waters are flowing. In some ways it is unexpected. Though Jay passed away in Brooklyn nearly a month ago, none of us who loved him could mourn him properly. We couldn’t even gather to honor him together. And I couldn’t cry. Since then, news from New York have often been troublesome. But I have been calm.
Today, however, I read a heartbreaking article about grief in Hazeltown. I remembered driving through that working class town when I lived in Pennsylvania. And I remembered the years I lived in Happy Valley, the friends I made, the lives I lived, the loves I cherished. Nostalgia and sadness came into my heart.
Tonight I listened alone, in my living room, to Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” as I projected the video onto the wall. As soon as I saw the images of the city that I loved for a decade and listened to the opening verses in Bruce’s mournful voice, my soul stirred.
Then he came to sing these verses:
“I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whispering as the rain
On the Streets of Philadelphia.”
An inner dam broke – the damn that keeps lost friendship, and lost love, from overtaking your heart, mind, and body. And I cried.
The inner waters are still flowing, like the Delaware River along Philly’s waterfront. They must flow in order to pass.