Two nights ago, I went to the U2 concert at the Meadowlands Stadium. There was so much that was great about the experience. I enjoyed hanging out with one of my friends from high school. He was so chill about everything and happy to go at the slow pace I need to handle these kinds of events in such a large location.
International Space Station
There were a few big highlights for me. These are the songs and messages that touch me so deeply that I find myself sobbing to experience them among 80,000+ people. The first one was a satellite link to the International Space Station. First Bono did a shout out to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, thanking her for living a life in public service and fighting for solutions to our country’s and the world’s problems as a politician. He wished her well in her recovery. Then Mark Kelly, her astronaut husband appeared on the enormous led screen saying hello to New York and holding up flash cards that he let float away:
It’s a beautiful day
At that point, U2 started playing “Beautiful Day” to a screaming audience. They mixed in lyrics from a David Bowie song called, “Space Oddity.” It was beautiful. In it, an astronaut says, “Tell my wife I love her,” and ground control replies, “She knows!”
It was a reminder that with all the problems our planet faces, we don’t have to be mired in struggle all the time. It is equally important to notice what’s good in the world and think about what could be.
The second big moment was a solidarity tribute to the Arab Spring. There were words in written in arabic, then faces of arab people with the flags of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, each came up on the screen. Through this, U2 played “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” It was a moment of immense solidarity. It was also a way to process how hard the struggle for self-determination is throughout the planet and how helpless we in the “free” countries feel as we watch others fight for what they believe in. It was an opportunity to mourn for all the people who have been killed, injured and imprisoned in the on-going political fights. And it was an opportunity to recognize the amazing events in Egypt where the forces of civil society overcame the desire of those in power to use violence.
At home, listening to news of these political fights, it was hard to comprehend what they really meant. Standing in solidarity in a packed stadium helped me understand as I cried tears simultaneously of mourning and celebration.
I love that in NYC, we can celebrate the Arab Spring rather than fear it.
The third section that touched me was the tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi. Two years ago, there was a big Amnesty International campaign for her release (working with many people around the world to pressure the Burmese military junta) that U2 participated in with the One campaign. As part of it, at each concert, volunteers from Amnesty walked onto the stage wearing masks of Aung San Suu Kyi. This time, Bono was shouting “rejoice” because the campaign was successful as people walked onto the stage with candles. Then he reminded us that there are still more than 2000 political prisoners in Burma and the fight for political freedom is far from over. It was, again, a combination of facing the struggles but taking time to relish the victories. U2 played “Walk On” in tribute to the political prisoners, the same song they played two years ago in tribute to their imprisoned Burmese leader.
Then they played a video of Aung San Suu Kyi thanking people around the world for supporting her for so long. She asked us to remember that what we do, especially in the US, is significant, even though we may feel small or want to disengage from our own political system. She called on us to stay active in the fight for democracy, freedom and self-determination all over the world. She ended, “There are many nations, but we are one people. We are one.” Then U2 sang “One.”
It was really intense. To say that I cried hard a few times during the concert would barely be accurate. Crying in that setting is so different from the discouraged tears of pain and isolation that I face at home.
30 Years Together
The final key piece ran throughout the performance. U2 played in New Jersey for the first time 30 years ago. The band is still composed of the same members. They still play incredible music, albeit in larger venues. They’ve had huge musical successes and have leveraged their fame and success to highlight the plights of the forgotten all over the planet.
There is something beautiful about the way they live their Irish heritage, from an island that very recently had its own political struggles and sought solidarity with all those who struggle, and from a culture that always remembered to send its resources to far away places where people were worse off than they were.
U2 functions like a tribe with a leader and with many families supporting the vision and goal of that leader. It was moving to watch and listen to the way they care for each other and their support staff, in music and in action, over three decades. Wow.
If I can indulge one complaint, I couldn’t understand why the row of seats I was in were designated handicapped accessible. They had stairs (very few, but stairs are stairs) to get to them. The nearest bathrooms had handicapped stalls, but so do all the bathrooms in the Meadowlands Stadium. I felt like I was surrounded by drunk people who were really tall and wouldn’t sit down. As a person who couldn’t stand for a whole two and a half hours, I would have appreciated seats that, at the very least, had a drop before the next row, so I could sit and still see everything.
I’m trying to get on track. Since I felt a little better today, I managed to do all the coiling sessions I had planned. I’m thinking it’s time to coil for Lyme again tomorrow.
- Bartonella, chest, 2 minutes; abdomen, 5 minutes
- Babesia, chest, 10 minutes
- Candida, chest, 2 minutes; abdomen, 10 minutes
According to my doctor, antioxidants are very important to the detoxification process. To that end, I recently ordered mulberries which arrived today. They taste like candy to me. I want to eat them in handfulls. But they are full of (naturally occurring) sugars. So I’m being careful to eat them with fat or protein to slow down the rate that the sugar reaches my blood. I also found a green tea extract based antioxidant supplement that has no caffeine. I started it today.
- homeopathic support
- juiced greens (double dose)
- lemon water
- skin brushing
Night sweat last night. I had trouble falling asleep so I didn’t get enough rest. It’s because my pain level is starting to increase again. It’s my joints and bones that hurt the most. All my joints and most of my bones (magically no headache as I tried to fall asleep).
I had more energy this morning than most mornings since I last coiled for Lyme. I managed to straighten out the apartment a little bit in the early afternoon and do a half hour of computer work. But that made my hands and arms and shoulders and neck hurt much worse than earlier in the day. I had to rest and try to get them to calm down so that I could type this a few hours later.
My spine hurts a lot today in the central and upper regions. My bones and joints hurt today with varying degrees of intensity. I’m not enjoying all the pain. Fortunately I’m still riding the good cheer of the U2 concert.
My heart problems were diminished significantly by lunchtime today. I’m still tired, but not sprawled on the couch. My blood pressure is closer to normal. My heart doesn’t sound like it’s going to launch out of my chest anymore, but it sounds bad in a different way, like a drum roll for each beat.
The diarrhea is gone too, even if my stools are loose and frequent. I’m thinking I’m nearing the end of the Lyme Herx.
I’m keeping my plans to a minimum for the next several days. If I have energy, there are things I want to do at home. If I don’t I won’t have to cancel things.