Last Saturday me and my wife attended U2’s Joshua Tree Tour in Amsterdam.
The theme of the tour, and the 1987 album, is the rugged deserts of the southwest United States; a place that I’m very familiar with.
When I first visited that part of the world in 1999, I still remember having a transcending experience of peace and freedom while staring out over the plateaus of Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods, near Mulley Point, Utah.
An immense feeling of peace. Of having nothing on my mind. Of perspective, transcendence, and inspiration. And I took it with me from that moment on, as a guiding moment in my life.
Saturday that all came back. When the Edge (the U2 guitarist) started the intro to “Where The Streets Have No Name” an enormous wave of happiness and peace overcame me. I felt a massive wave of energy and inspiration move through me. I teared up as I felt so alive.
Later, back at my hotel, I read an article in which Bono (the U2 lead singer) explains what “Streets” mean to him and he said this:
“Half (of the song) is an invocation, where you say to a crowd of people ‘Do you want to go to that place? That place of imagination, that place of soul? Do you want to go there, cos right now we can go there?’ To this day when I say those words you get hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you’re going to that place.”
That “place” Bono is talking about is the state of mind of transcendence, peace of mind and freedom.
It’s where we go when our thinking slows down. Small children somewhere between two and three years old are there all the time. Just look at them play, laugh, run and being creative.
As a grown up, we can go there anytime too if we’re not caught up in our heads, in our thoughts, in our drama, in our stories about who we are.
It’s that place where we can deeply rest without going on a vacation. It’s the place where creativity lives and where that mental concept you call “you” is simply forgotten.
And when that happens we experience inspiration, freedom, peace of mind and yes, love.
“I wanna run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls
That hold me inside.
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name.”