Springsteen’s Reflections on Life Mirror My Own

My idol Bruce Springsteen has a new album out, “Letter to You,” along with a documentary film. I caught him talking about them on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Can’t remember the last time I felt so inspired.

The Boss described what it was like going to the funeral of a lifelong friend from his very first band, The Castiles, formed 50 years ago. He said the experience “opened a vein of creativity” that lasted about 7 days, the time it took him to write most of the songs on his album, the first in a long while with his legendary E Street Band.

Springsteen said he’s now the only living member of The Castiles, yet he still carries all his old bandmates and friends, along with his old selves, around in his head. “You’re all the you’s in that car you’re driving,” he said.

As someone just a tad younger than Springsteen who once lingered in his Volkswagen Beetle to hear every note of Born to Run on the radio when it was released in 1975 before playing his own gig at Doc Watson’s Pub at 11th and Locust in Philly, I was mesmerized. The conversation carried me to that time, and even further into the past and back again. And it inspired this poem, soon to be a song (I hope).

There’s A Crowd In Here

There’s a crowd in here

A crowd of me’s

Like a pulsing, buzzing hive of bees

The me who cried in my mother’s arms

And the one who shouted false alarms

The boy who broke the window at school

The teen who dreamed of being cool

The college kid with his guitar

The nowhere man on the stool at the bar

There’s a crowd in here

From different ages

Like a memoir of a thousand pages

 A chapter on my childhood traumas

Fighting fear in my pajamas

A chapter on my beauty queen

With a couple of chapters in between

Fighting bullies, lifting weights

Trying drugs and tempting fates

There’s a crowd in here

Walking in my shoes

Sharing all my highs and all my blues

Worshipping Elvis and his hips

Kissing a girl the first time on the lips

Learning to ice skate on Carnegie Lake

Recording his first song in just one take

Working in factories and road paving crews

Writing stories past midnight and paying his dues

There’s a crowd in here

And it’s making me whole

Strumming my heartstrings and soothing my soul

Reminding me of all I’ve endured

Showing me pictures of places I’ve toured

Strengthening me through fears defeated

Mellowing me through hardships repeated

Softening me through love and giving

Making me appreciate living

There’s a crowd in here

And I’m grateful for that

It makes me a multidimensional cat

A cat who’s learned to see in the dark

Who’s old but still trying to leave his mark

Who’s graying but still poised to take that leap

Who sleeps more but still has promises to keep

A cat whose cradle has room for two

Up whose sleeve there may still be a trick or two


Martin D. Hirsch
Martin D. Hirsch
Martin Hirsch started building his own communications consulting practice in 2017 after a career spanning almost 35 years with one of the world’s leading international healthcare groups. He’s led internal and external corporate communications, brand and reputation management, and crisis and issue management. Working in both the United States and Europe, he has advised multiple CEOs and collaborated with colleagues all over the world. Martin’s strengths include executive consulting, strategic message development, content marketing, storytelling, communications training, public speaking, mentoring talent, and inspiring organizations to advance beyond their limitations.Lately he’s been helping clients by writing keynote speeches for top executives, developing strategies for pitching new business and explaining complex issues, ranging from how to apply new digital health tools in the pharmaceuticals industry to making sense of the rapid and complex changes challenging employees to maintain their equilibrium at major corporations. Martin also works as a faculty adviser at the New York University School of Professional Studies, helping graduate students with their Capstone Papers. His speaking engagements have included presentations at the IABC World Conference, the European Association of Communications Directors Summit, the Corporate Communications International Leaders Forum, the European Commission Communications Directorate and the Rotterdam School of Business Reputation Forum Netherlands. More recently, he was a panelist at the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association conference on expat issues held at Pfizer headquarters in New York. Martin’s writing, including essays, letters and poems, has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Europe. You can read his blog on MUSE-WORTHY, here on BIZCATALYST 360°. He received the American Association of Journalists and Authors 2018 Writing Award for Best Personal Story Blog.

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