A video which reminds me that I should probably trim my hair, organize my kitchen & play my guitar more carefully, but no- these things will never happen.
I don’t really believe in female instrumentalists, for starters. I always thought I hated male instrumentalists as well, until I recently discovered David Rawlings & Stevie Ray Vaughn & both of them blew me away. Normally, I hate listening to people play guitar. What could be more nauseating than a pointless guitar solo followed by audience applause? But these 2 guys just have something inside of them that comes out through their fingers and it touches me, I don’t know where or why.
I noticed David Rawlings also uses the same pink capo as me. That is where the similarity ends, of course, but do I care? No. I don’t aspire to be something more than I am. I think the crude & rustic will have a seat right next to the skilled & refined at God’s table.
The hill was high, I couldn’t climb
though I knew you were there.
A world of green surrounded me
it stretched out everywhere.
So I got back in my car and drove
to try and find a home.
I thought of you, the whole way through
it made me feel alone.
I thought of you and of the field
with the hill that was so high.
A temple built to something
that lives only in the sky
Everything is always high
and always far away.
I tell myself I must never stop and
I will get there someday.
Many gods and many men
have lived upon a crest.
Though the clouds pass over all of them
it is you I like the best.
All these hills and all these gods
and each man has his own.
Except for me, a tiny breeze
still searching for a home.
A tiny breeze who when she flies
is cut down by the winds.
They slice my heart and splay it
like a butterfly and then
Then I can scale these hills, but even so
my shadow looms so small
that to you it was just the same as though
I was never there at all.
Big men shadow over me
there is no other way
than to watch them with admiring eyes
through a film of gray.
For me there can be no other way for me
than to lie back on the ground
and to let the dreams wash over me
until a home is found.
A home that could be anywhere,
a home so hard to find.
Oh God, but please let it be somewhere real
not somewhere in my mind.
Someplace real, someplace strong
mountainous and grave
nothing flimsy like a butterfly
with her wings upon your leg.
Everyone has gods upon
these hills where claddows fly.
Except for me, I have only you
and only in my mind.
I reached for you, but there was no use
the world was large and green.
It stretched out wide and endlessly
like the sky within a dream.
And who am I, but a dot so small
that no one else could see
as you passed me by invisibly
your shadow touching me?
As you passed me by just like a plant
pressed flat upon the ground
just a thing too small to be cared about
when hills are all around.
Professor (to me): “What do a crystal and the sky have in common?”
Me (thinking I must have misheard him): “What?”
Professor: “I said, WHAT DO A CRYSTAL AND THE SKY HAVE IN COMMON?!?!”
Me: “Uh, what, um, I don’t know… maybe that they’re clear?”
Professor: “NO! THINK!! THINK!!! WHAT DO A CRYSTAL AND THE SKY HAVE IN COMMON?!?!?!?!?”
Me: “Uh.. uh… I guess they’re both maybe, um…”
Professor “HUMANS CAN’T LIVE IN THE SKY AND THEY CAN’T LIVE INSIDE OF A CRYSTAL, EITHER!!!”
Growing up in Kentucky, no one had ever pointed out the interesting fact that humans can neither live in the sky nor inside of a crystal, but once these words were spoken, I instantly recognized their truth. It is one of the few golden nuggets I collected from my four years at UVA, and hardly a day goes by when I don’t shout these words in my own ear.
What does that have to do with this song? Well, I suppose one theme that flows through a number of my songs is the feeling of being trapped in the sky and trying to come down to earth, or alternately, being trapped in a crystal and trying to break free. Perhaps, you could consider this a song about trying to find someone who will smash through the crystal and drag you down to earth.