"And I think what happens is sometimes you got to break your own narrative."
"We all have stories we're living and telling ourselves," he says, laughing. "And there's a time when that narrative has to be broken because you've run out of freedom in it. You've run out of places to go."
He explained that he could see where he was headed but knew that growth included disrupting the expectations and going into new territory. He eventually reunited with the E Street Band (they are touring right now for his new CD), but the break enabled band members to also explore avenues they may not have (such as Steven Van Zandt in "The Sopranos" etc.).
The idea of "breaking my narrative" deliberately has been playing around the edges of my thought life all week. Ruts can be comfortable but they can also be confining. And while a change of pace is sometimes helpful in re-energizing your experience of daily life, it struck me that a narrative break raises the stakes. It's a deliberate exile of self from the comfort zone, perhaps even relationships and beliefs.
"I was probably one of the smartest kids in my class at the time. Except you would've never known it," Springsteen says, laughing. "You would've never known it. Because where my intelligence lay was not, wasn't able to be tapped within that particular system. And I didn't know how to do it myself until music came along and opened me up not just to the world of music but to the world period, you know, to the events of the day. To the connection between culture and society and those were things that riveted me, engaged me in life," Springsteen says. "Gave me a sense of purpose. What I wanted to do. Who I wanted to be. The way that I wanted to do it. What I thought I could accomplish through singing songs."I got to thinking about the connection to a "narrative break" and "obsessions" and those things that "eat" at writers.
"It's not just the singing. It's the writing, isn't it, for you?" Pelley asks.
"Of course. Every good writer or filmmaker has something eating at them, right? That they can't quite get off their back . And so your job is to make your audience care about your obsessions," Springsteen says.
What a great way to see the dramatic moves we make in life. And how curious that our brilliance is sometimes confined by the system designed to free it.