And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was lyin’ still.
Said I gotta do something
About where we’re goin’.
Step on a fast train
Step out of the driving rain, maybe
Run from the darkness in the night.
Singing ah, ah la la la de day
Ah la la la de day
Running to stand still | The Joshua Tree, 1987
2017. Somewhere © Veronica Lisi
Redemption is one of the elements you bring in the Christian religion. Jesus Christ is identified as “the Redeemer,” that is, the one who brought salvation among men through the purification of souls. He is called the redeemer of everyone and this element of universality really allows the sinner to feel “recoverable” at anytime. It is the hope that turns a simple man into a believer.
Running to stand still speaks of redemption, but it moves away from the Christian God to plunge into human solitude. Down here there are places where “salvation” can be bought, places where there is not a redeemer for everyone but there is only one’s redemption through a different “god”: drugs. Drug addiction is dealt with as if it were a religious rite, a forbidden eukaristia, to which few unlucky “believers” are entrusted with.
The song does not have any element that can allow to think of social denunciation, on the contrary everything is slowed down, dilated, catapulted into depression and in human illness with a sprawling sweetness. The addict is transformed into a “needy person”, a lost traveler in the dense mesh of society which scuffles without targets on the sidewalks of life.
Dublin’s neighborhoods with a bad reputation – like the American ones – look like decadent cathedrals: “devotees” wander in search of their divine ascendance through pushers dressed up as priests. The poison flowing in the veins takes on the appearance of liquid hope spreading where despair has taken over. The night suddenly looks like a filter from which you can see the light.
It takes a breath and starts running. There is the song, “La La La De Day”: a subtle melody, an irrational prayer murmured in a faint and kneaded voice. It begins to spread, delicate and solemn, as in a small church: a last unforgettable prayer before slipping slowly towards death.
Depression crushes us to the ground and locks us into blind tunnels. We are blocked, immovable, isolated, and no one seems to see the chains on our wrists. The drug gives us the feeling of running through the night, seeing bright stars and flashing in the distance. That is how we begin to run to our idea of freedom, towards a new future, towards a goal, in search of that redemption that can save our soul. But when we reach the end of the line and turn our gaze behind, we do not see any monster chasing us: we just left everything that kept us alive, we were fleeing but we did not move even by a meter. We still lay there, in that decadent cathedral at the boundaries of society, lying in a wet corner. The only difference is that our soul is running far away. In the last moment of life we can observe it: you are far away, but we remain fixed.
Without sins, of course, but without anything else.