Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Not one to quote Bono or U2, especially nowadays, but there is a lyric from their new album that I like. I haven't really heard that much of the album. I stopped listening to the band awhile ago but I heard this song somewhere and was struck by this line:

"Freedom has a scent/Like the top of a baby's newborn head."

Simply, because the top of a newborn baby's head does have a certain smell. Aside from the smell of hair salons it is my favorite smell in the world. If you corner me and press me to describe it I couldn't. I don't remember it. I do remember smelling Atticus' head and having the feeling of hope. Simple as that. I don't know if that sounds, well, cheesy or contrived but it was so strong, so vivid. It was like a smell that was evidence of the transport from another world. A short temporary residue. Much like freedom, it was quite fleeting, leaving in its wake instead everything that inevitably must follow.

I don't know if that what Bono was talking about. Like I said previously, I really could care less, but he knows that smell, hence the lyric, because of his children. Beyond the nose, the glasses and the ego (that is an American Landmark as much as is the Statue of Liberty) I can look at him and say, I know you. And he can look back, man that he is, just a man (which is nothing and everything and a lot more than you think), and say, I know you too. Like my friend Jon Cates used to say when we were both younger, passing ships. And we waved. And kept walking.

Someone asked me on Sunday if I disliked his president. If I was a liberal. I said no, first off, he is my president, our president. Second, I don't know him. He's never been to my house, met my wife, my kids, pet my dog, talked with me about education and healthcare and my neighborhood and what it means to be an American. So no, sir. I'm not terribly fond of his policies. Nor his actions. But I don't know him. Somewhere, sometime long ago he held babies in his arms, his babies, and he smelled that scent. And for the tiniest moment the world opened a pinprick of light onto him and he smelled hope. And what has followed?


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