“It's a great life if you don't weaken. You call yourself a son of Adam, but where's your missing rib?” You dig your fingers deep into my adolescent side. Any joy I had with you was always uneasy. Your smile only appears with pleasure in my pain. "Don't let anyone shame you and don't you shame yourself. Don't reveal your weaknesses or let anyone take advantage.” I stole more from you than at my age I could count knowing a decade later you saved in part for me. You made down-payments on four houses, paid student salaries, saved an inheritance for grandchildren, among other secret generosities. Sometimes I dream of your approval. You lock tearful eyes with mine to tell me that you love me, that I make you proud though your wisdom never took. I wake unable to reconcile the image with my memory, your expectations and the person that I have become.
Track Name: To Purge Our Poisoned Veins
Love is not all we need yet it's a decent beginning. Love is not all we need though without it we have nothing. Rabid ideals can tend toward worse damage than serpent tongues. Vapid images inhabit our minds; self-compliments for convictions to which we’ve clung. Some claim to well know the meaning of their love. They ponder posthumous fruit, premeditating the rate of growth and measure thereof. Empathy doesn't quit costing. I'm getting very good at my criticism. I’m losing almost all of my heart but it's time to give the winged concrete feet or at least weigh them down to where they hover above level ground where their insights can be reached. If all the water is turned to wine how do we purge our poisoned veins? Only sober can we severe the vines that serve as ancient chains. Let’s stoke our torches brighter than reported tomorrows. We’ll never-mind encroaching shadows. Let's stoke our torches, raise them high above our heads. We’ll celebrate in the light that we have shed.
Track Name: Needlework
Riding the rails at nine years of age. All you've ever known vanishes into snow-covered plains including your Siberian home numbered instead of named, the countless sufferings of dictatorial regime. Cattle cars don't afford basic amenities. No room to spare carrying so many dreams. As the train brakes you see a boy there not much younger than yourself scurry behind the barest frigid shrub squatting to relieve himself. Then the car starts to move. His father jumps out scoops him up half clothed without protection for his dignity. The train would pay no mind, the cold show no mercy. You carried these memories and more to a foreign land you couldn’t speak the language of nor afford but for the generosity of other snow covered plains. 70 years on you are wiser for the pain. You’ve learned to work it and the land in your favour. Your family means more to you than anything. You remind us at every gathering what we enjoy, why you came here, expressing tearful thanks while holding our hands around the table. Clicking needles. Sewing stitches. Weaving webs of comfort. Watching your garden grow. On your knees, by your bed, every night, every morning on behalf of friends and neighbours, your precious family. A notebook of scratches open before you filled with requests over years all marked with praise despite unasked-for answers. Clicking needles. Sewing stitches. Weaving webs of comfort. Watching your garden grow. Arthritis robs you of religious postures, the ability to kneel then hold your needles. A sudden decline, a loss of sight then most of your hearing. A move away from memories into the scent of death. You attempt your rest on a bed of knives the negligent make. Nothing serves relief only the company of family. Clicking needles. Sewing stitches. Weaving webs of comfort. Watching your garden grow. As wounds tunnel through your body for two years now you writhe in a state of living hell. You batten down the senses, weather what you must to enter port on crystal seas. You moan those words a prayer and a song repeating into unknown epochal dawn, "No more pain, no more suffering. What am I to do, I worship you…”
Track Name: Indifferent Skin
Detached and unconcerned. Callous and uninvolved. Distant, disinterested, carless and unaffected. Critic, cynic, stoic, analytic, skeptic, static. I wonder if the sad truth is too apparent; that we all are hiding things beneath the veneer of hardness. Thinking nothing can crack our toughened husk. As if by wearing the pessimist we are protected against impending extremes, what the future may hold or loose, downturns in narrative theme. So as if it serves some broader use we hunker down with our doubts. Cynicism is just a front for hope, stoicism, a front for passion or can’t you feel it? Are you the exception believing brightness isn’t a state for us? A lesser man might ask if we are worse off now or when our naive wonder kept our view to the sky and to the moon as a promise of a new day’s dawn that would dazzle our eyes. Science affirms our bias. Optimism is added to the list of man's best friends, instilled in us by our very genes. Our nature to assume and attune to hope that our selfish successes are not just selfish sins. So let’s shed our indifferent skin to lean in. Let the whole world affect you. Lean in with all your attentive weight. Lean in. Uncertainty is part of the process. Lean in. Never abandon your investments. Lean in. Don’t neglect the dissonant truths. Lean in. Let no convention remain unquestioned. Lean in. Don’t apologize for your passion. Lean in. Don't resign yourself to failure. Lean in. Preserve no secret doubts. Lean in.