This song started out as a simple backing track for an instructional video I made on how to make a hot toddy. It was probably the first new-ish thing I had recorded in my studio since retiring from band-life. After listening a few times I thought, “this could be kind of a cool song.”
During the third part of the verse there’s a little staccato guitar part that kicks in and I kept randomly singing “tectonic plates, they shift – they shake”. (Where does this stuff come from?) So I laid the vocals down on this part and kept working on the arrangement–adding, subtracting… much like design.
Whenever I am working on a creative project my mind is actively engaged in the subtext. “Tectonic plates…”
I started thinking about relationships, whether it be friends, family, co-workers, etc., and how things change over time. It’s not unexpected, and the abstract isn’t about loss. It’s not about losing someone, or losing touch. It’s not the inevitability of college friends going on with their lives, someone moving to another state for a job, marriage, babies, death. It’s the glacial pace at which canyons are made. It’s the relative slow reflection that no one can detect over time. No one sees themselves aging in a mirror, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
I can easily think back in my life and think of specific circle of friends that have come and gone. What’s so curious is, with few exceptions, there’s never been a going away party. There’s never been a definitive moment where we knew the moment was fading. Isn’t that so beautiful?
It’s baffling, really. Maybe it’s something that you experience more prolifically or profoundly with age. It definitely makes one appreciate the good times.
The lyrics continue the geographic theme–continents drifting… glaciers carving up canyons leaving crystal lakes that reflect mountains… trees, meadows… but finally, everything ends and everything fades. It sounds terribly melancholy, but to me it’s a liberating thought. It feels free and comforting.
Breathe in, breathe out. It’s all we have.
ten years ago is where I was, is where you are
I see the distance growing further by the hour
breathe in, breathe out – it’s all I know
breathe in, breathe out – I let it go
tectonic plates, they shift – they shake
they split apart
like continents, they drift
the ocean rises up
a glacier carved these canyon walls
the glacier weeps, the water falls
breaks apart and sealed in deep
the secrets that it hoped to keep
imagine where you’d be if you were me back then
all of the youth that’s dead at thirty wearing thin
breathe in, breathe out – it’s all I have
breathe in, breathe out – it’s all we had
this folded map, a dotted path
this river flows
across the bridge, a winding road
I used to know
empties to a crystal lake, reflecting mountains in it’s wake
trees and meadows, stillness, shade
all things end
all things fade
Download a free Mp3 here.
I’m working on a wallpaper section, so soon I should have some art downloads as well. Anyway, this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever come up with, but it was lovely to get reacquainted with my love of music. Thanks for listening to my crap!