such open sky

by Gretchen's Wheel

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1.
I’m sorry but that war in your head is here to stay, and you’ll grow around it like a tree, fixing it in place. You’ll find out how it feels to break a heart and that it suits you so much better the other way around. You’re not as strange and broken as you think you are. You’ll battle with an enemy no one can see, and you’ll forget yourself for a while, but then you’ll remember. You should know that when you wave away the days like flies, the years will also comply. All the thrills and defeats you’ll feel flare and subside. You’ll live to see the world end more than one time. You’re not as strange and broken as you think you are. Better days are coming than you’ve had so far.
2.
interloper 03:45
Everything will not fall into place when one of the pieces isn’t made to fit. The very idea that I’d ever conform—it’s just wishful thinking. Always the interloper, getting into something I can’t understand—only to find that someone’s there before me to stack the deck, poison the well. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself. Creeping through the hydra-headed days, overanalyzing every move. Then daring to brandish the sword that I wield—well, I’m no warrior. Tilting at a windmill, my aim isn’t all that true. Falling back in line, never able to follow through. I will stop at nothing. I stop at nothing all the time.
3.
heat death 02:51
Confused by the chemistry—fascinates and repels. Is it a bug or a feature, keeping me circling? A self-fulfilling prophecy, a tempest in a pot of tea. There’s really nothing here to see. Heat death of a universe: this way, a world ends—not a bang but a whimper, just like it’s predetermined. The sum of chronic tendencies that don’t deserve your sympathy—there’s really nothing here to see. How the foolish have fallen through the cracks that seemed so small, and come to find out there’s more room than I’ll ever need.
4.
land on zero 03:40
The more you say, the more you’ll have to replay, so just try to keep your demons to yourself. It’s good to learn, better to already know. Some things take too long to understand. Taking a trip without leaving the room, retracing every step. Promise today to be different tomorrow—it’s one you’ve never kept. You don’t remember—don’t know when you picked it up, but you never put it down. False insulation. A quiet overexposure. Safe and unsound. Backwards from ten, land on zero again, then see if anything has changed. Needle to groove—carry you through the dark that comes so early in the day.
5.
One tiny misstep—I’m at the bottom of the stairs before I even know I’ve fallen. The severity of a consequence often exceeds expectation. What a time to be alive! Who can concentrate? I can’t shake the feeling that it’s getting very late. The conceit of finding faces in everything—they say that it’s hardwired to personify all that we see. Narcissists by nature, we’re convinced it’s really all about us. I know that I can be pretty slow, and in another time I’d already be weeded out. But if every sign is saying it’s all downhill from here, shouldn’t we move to higher ground?
6.
One extreme or the other feels about the same. Punishment or prize—even in my eyes, better than nothing. Pulling both ends of the rope just to make it move. The beast is never fed, famine in my head, bewildering hunger. Running in place, and I’m not slowing down. Changing my mind but never turning around—a surefire way to stay within the pattern. I can handle all the pain, psychosomatic wounds. In this infernal machine, the waiting between is all that can hurt me. Running in place, and I’m not slowing down. Changing my mind but never turning around—a surefire way to stay within the pattern, holding true to form before and after.
7.
Sometimes the world feels upgraded, and maybe there’s mystery and chance. Faraway scenes seem within reach, all the good is enhanced. And I’m slipping into the past, before I stopped waiting for magic, and time hadn’t yet begun to unravel the tapestry’s fabric. I don’t really want to see clearly. I’ll try as hard as I can to believe this one a little while longer and fall for the sleight of hand. The contrast in days is so stark now, and they’re distorted in the rear view. Turning rabbit’s foot to monkey’s paw—the one trick I know how to do. I made it to the edge of the map where I had heard there would be monsters. I was hoping it might be true.
8.
When you’ve gone from someone who could never to someone who already has, it’s amazing what you learn to accept. Shake your fist, then adapt. Nothing is in its proper place. Shapeshifters from a dream all around me. I woke up in this uncanny valley. Up to down and front to back, through the looking glass. Have I lived long enough to become the villain? Will I revert in time? I just want you to be all right, and I want you to be not all right. Nothing is in its proper place. Shapeshifters from a dream all around me. I woke up in this uncanny valley. Jaws that bite and claws that catch, through the looking glass. It’s the new reality—strange and unfamiliar scenes, and I don’t know who to be.
9.
sharp relief 03:44
All of your notions have been preconceived. You’ve worn the thoughts threadbare. They’ve fallen to pieces, scattered like leaves, transparent as thin air. You can’t be disappointed if you’re determined not to be. The ending of the sentence: a relief both sharp and sweet. Nobody had to tell you that want teaches what plenty will never know. But now you’ve found that the lessons get repeated until you learn you don’t want anymore. You won’t be disappointed or live in make believe. Within the hall of mirrors, things are not what they seem.
10.
You were a child, reaching out brave and true for big things in the next room. And I couldn’t step into such open sky, where on the crest of uncertainty you loom. I’m learning to hunt for you. Say that you’ll never run too far away—even with all the answers out there, where it’s brighter but no one will care half as much as I care about you. I’m learning to hunt for you.

credits

released October 2, 2020

tracks 1-9 written by lindsay murray
©℗2020 lindsay murray (bmi)

track 10 written by robert pollard
©1997 needmore songs / music corporation of america (bmi)

produced by lindsay murray at home in westmoreland, tn

with:
jon auer - lofty heights, hamilton, ontario
brendan benson - readymade studio, nashville, tn
nick bertling - bertling noise laboratories, west lafayette, in
matthew caws - room in the roof, cambridge, uk
larry crane - jackpot! recording studio, portland, or
ira elliot - shedley grange, sarasota, fl
louie lino - resonate, austin, tx

track 1
lindsay murray: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards
nick bertling: guitars
matthew caws: backing vocals
ira elliot: drums
louie lino: keyboards
mixed by nick bertling

track 2
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
brendan benson: backing vocals
ira elliot: drums, handclaps
mixed by jon auer

track 3
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
nick bertling: lead guitar, mellotron, drums
mixed by nick bertling

track 4
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, piano, mellotron, celesta
nick bertling: drums
mixed by nick bertling

track 5
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass
louie lino: keyboards
ira elliot: drums, tambourine
mixed by larry crane

track 6
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
nick bertling: guitar, drums
mixed by nick bertling

track 7
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, mellotron
ira elliot: drums, tambourine
louie lino: keyboards
mixed by louie lino

track 8
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, mellotron, synth
nick bertling: drums
mixed by nick bertling

track 9
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, mellotron
louie lino: mellotron, farfisa, synth strings
nick bertling: drums
mixed by nick bertling

track 10
lindsay murray: vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming
mixed by larry crane

mastered by andy reed at reed recording company, bay city, mi

artwork by lindsy davis - www.lindsydavis.com
photo: johnny murray
layout: lindsay murray

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