I picked up Once a couple of years ago, when I was back in college after an extended break. They had a radio station which would take anyone who signed up, so I wedged my way into an evening slot and browbeat my friends into listening. It turned into a peaceful hour, braced by a bike ride between home and the library. One night, I played "Berliners", because it did then and still does make me weep with a kind of astonishment, mourning, and hope. I'm not quite sure why this one in particular knocks me around so. I remember very clearly the day the Wall came down in 1989. I was in the tenth grade in high school, at my little school on Maui. Sixteen years old. We watched it on the large TV, live(?) via the new satellite dish our computer teacher had finagled out of the school. Pulling, cheering -- the recordings in the background of the song are probably yawners to folks younger, but to me they evoke a surge or astonishing idealism and possibility. You know how it is with Spirit. So this brings me to my tiny 3-month-old daughter. All the usual considerations: what sort of world have I given her? Will she get to help reach across falling walls, or hide behind rising ones? I'm just another sappy parent, giving up my responsibilities to the next generation.