(Red) Wire

I love people that help and things that promote change and last night I stumbled onto the (Red) Wire launch and being a music fiend, I was very intrigued by the site and concept.

What drew me in was U2’s new Christmas video, their cover of  “I Believe in Father Christmas”.

I don’t know why I love U2 as much as I do.  I’ve never traveled halfway across the world to meet another band or singer. No other group or voice has influenced me to write mad, passionate poetry.  No other band can make my heart hurt quite the same way, either.

I bought my first U2 album in 1984.  I still remember that December in ’84 where I didn’t really study as I was so lost in my world of books and music and crazy Jane writings. I would lie next to the little Christmas tree someone snuck into the Annex’s third floor and write while listening to U2 on my headphones. The Annex, a former sorority house at UCLA converted to housing overflow from various sororities, was a strange place for me to live and I ended up there by default after unexpectedly losing my nanny job in Beverly Hills. I wasn’t happy there. I felt lost and overwhelmed.  I was always trying to do something different, take those risks I still take, and nanny job bombed and I felt like a failure.  And because it was a live-in position in Beverly Hills, losing the job meant losing where I lived and the only place I could find to take me was the Annex’s third floor with its big room with dozens of beds.  Each girl had a narrow bed, a night table and a place for clothes and that was it.  I ended up spending a semester there, but my favorite memory was lying next to that little Christmas tree that December listening to Bono sing.

There’s a quality in Bono’s voice, call it a yearning, that made me feel, and hope, and dream, and I still use that to write, but most importantly, I still want that quality in my life.  I never want to stop dreaming.  Never want to stop believing the world can be a good and loving place. 

It’s December second and I believe in Father Christmas.


  1. I do too! I love this holiday season…Unfortunately I have not gotten any of my decorations out yet but hope to on Thurs or Fri. I love burning a candle, personally Home for Christmas scent is my fave and reading by the fireplace and tree. Or playing Xmas music and baking cookies with my kids is a wonderful feeling. My grandmother and I used to bake every year together. She makes the most amazing old fashioned Italian Christmas cookies every year. She is turning 81 on the 23rd and still tries to not have to make them but we won’t let her quit! And on Christmas we will try to steal each others bins of cookies from her but it’s all in fun:) I went online the other night just to hear Bon Jovi’s Xmas song because I just felt like it. My husband thinks I am crazy but I think I am rubbing off on him as he wants to go shopping tonight by himself and I haven’t even started yet! Hope you are enjoying your season so far…Can you believe that next year you will have this awesome little surfer baby to shower with gifts also?! How exciting is that?

  2. I first heard U2 in my church parking lot when a family friend told me about 40 and then played it for me. I think I was eleven. When I had twin spinal tumors removed in 1987, I laid for weeks in the hospital bed clinging to my bible and THE JOSHUA TREE for solace and support. In 2001, U2 played on the roof of the TRL studios to promote ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND. The studio just happened to be across the street from my office in Times Square. I stood alone in my conference room watching them from afar and hearing their music bounce off the buildings surrounding me. Words can’t describe it. The first and only time I’ve seen them live was at the Meadowlands that same year in October, little more than a month after 9/11. It was an experience that only worship has surpassed since and at the time, really spoke to and soothed the pain I was feeling for the loss of friends and my beloved towers. So I’ve marked many big life changes/events with U2’S music. My heart holds a huge place for Bono and the boys whose music has inspired and consoled and entertained and uplifted me as well as just being really groovy rock ‘n roll, blues, and soul food.

    So – I get it babe.

  3. jane…i saw u2 when they came here last time! we had a suite at the key arena and it was heaven. my first song i feel in love w.was sunday bloody sunday! still love it!

  4. U2 has always been one of my favorite groups. Always will be. I didn’t really discover them until about ten years ago, lol, when they’d been out and about for awhile. They’re a staple in my playlist.

    I blogged about your book and movie, today! I’m so excited for it. We’ll be sure to announce it at the chapter holiday party on Saturday, send everyone home to watch it!

  5. Happy December!

    House is decorated, trees are up, only outside lights need to be put up by Jeremy to complete the festive ambience. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It has always been my favorite time of year. KJWL is on the radio 24/7 with Christmas tunes that just make me happy. Kids had fun decorating their own trees in their bedroom. Now I have to finish my Christmas shopping!

    Hang a wreath on the door and put out some red candles, and that will at least get you started on the holidays.

    And while I vividly remember your holiday parties and how you went all out, Jane, it is okay to not go all out once in a while. You have my permission!

  6. Jane,
    U2 has always been a cut above other groups. Did you ever see the movie “the Temptations” about a rock group in Dublin, Ireland? They had soul, their “manager” said, because at that time (in the 80s) being from Ireland was on par with being black in the U.S. It is one of my favorite movies because I am of Irish heritage and I relate to the movie. Being Irish makes you a poet by birth, almost, and U2 took that creativity and love of language and combined superior musicality with monster results. To put it simply, they ROCK! The quality you heard in Bono’s voice is the empathy he feels for people and it is heartening how he has matured to do all his does to make the world a better (and better sounding) place.
    I haven’t seen the video and will have to
    check it out and put on their music as I continue to decorate and enjoy the season.
    Many are celebrating the birth of a child who had a message for everyone to love one another, and you being with child, no wonder you believe in Father Christmas. I believe, too!

  7. Jane… I too will never stop believing that the world is a good and loving place. After being prompted by my mother, in Visalia, to check out one of my old classmates website’s… I found my way here and was delighted to see how successful you have become. Your writing is inspiring and your determination even more so. I look forward to reading more.

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