Already, I’m being asked regularly - how I arrived here on the brink of this. I can (and eventually will) go on and on about all the factors leading-up. But let me first describe the turning point, and offer a little gratitude to a man I’ve long admired.
“Born to Run” is a track which, from the first-time I heard it, has always seemed to resonate with me - across the many seasons of my life thus far.
It’s not that I ever felt I was running from anything (I’m not sure Bruce’s ‘lonely rider’ was either?). But, I have given chase a lot in my life. . .like I was headed toward something. To where I ‘really (wanted) to go’, maybe??? . . .A ‘walk in the sun’, perhaps???
Whatever that something was – it had just always proved elusive. . .I couldn't quite define it.
Funny, how - outside the song - Springsteen would still be a pivotal source of inspiration in the chain of events that brought me to THE COLLECTIVE GREAT.
Dead-end career, another knock-down breakup, a Christmas full of disenchantment. . .
I knew that the path I was on was not right. Familiar, yes. . .in all the most heartbreaking ways. But it wasn’t my destiny. The ‘Brad’ I had become didn’t match the ‘Brad’ I had once envisioned, nor the 'Brad' I thought I was working toward. And it was time to overcome the paralysis I had created for myself.
Emotionally, I had to walk again – toward a life that was escaping me. . .and a man ’the old Brad’ wouldn’t ever recognize.
The holiday in Albuquerque came/went. By the time we hit Amarillo, Nap and I were already weary. He’d been looking at me for the last 100 miles as if to say:
Nowhere was the comfort that should accompany a homecoming. . .and PA was still 1400 lonely miles ahead. To boot - Sirius had already broadcast for us - every song that was ever written.
Then I remembered Ch. 20. . .hearing all of these excerpts from Bruce’s new bio. So at the next fill-er-up, I made a quick online audio purchase. And for the subsequent 18 hours, it was if Springsteen himself was in the car with us: sharing his life, making me weep, and reigniting in my soul - a beautiful blaze that had, at some point, become an ember.
I’ve searched and searched for that quote I remember. Something to the effect of:
‘I knew I wasn’t ever gonna be anyone other than Bruce Springsteen.’ (paraphrased; please correct me if I’m wrong, Bruce!)
. . . And it was that sentiment which propelled me forward on a quest to be everything I wasn’t. . .everything I aspired to.
Once we arrived at the house, I began to insatiably devour personal development snippets anywhere I could find them; and I convinced myself that it was finally OK to start being me. I actually listened to the words which had guided me so long, only this time I would use them to find the thing that I was ‘born to run’ - to.
From that day on – I knew I wasn’t ever gonna be anyone other than Brad Cutler. It was like I had just been given permission!
And NOW look.
I’ve found an endless mission ahead of me. Lifetimes of work to do. And so much to say along the way. For now though, as I continue to prepare and tie-up loose ends, should he ever happen to read this - I just gotta say: