I can’t listen to this song without becoming completely centered. Capturing that feeling of “small-and-all-alone-in-the-world” the series of seemingly innocuous, insignificant sights woven with harsh realities come together to form raw, virtuous meaning. You should probably listen to it.

“I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a building high as heaven
But the door was so small, door was so small
I saw rainclouds, little babies
And a bridge that had tumbled to the ground
I saw sinners making music
I’ve dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound

I was walking far from home
But I carried your letters all the while
I saw lovers in a window
Whisper, “Want me like time, want me like time”
I saw sickness, blooming fruit trees
I saw blood and a bit of it was mine
I saw children in a river
But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry

I was walking far from home
And I found your face mingled in the crowd
Saw a boatful of believers sail off
Talking too loud, talking too loud
I saw sunlight on the water
Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky
Saw an old woman on the speed train
She was closing her eyes, closing her eyes
I saw flowers on the hillside
And a millionaire pissing on the lawn
Saw a prisoner take a pistol
And say, “Join me in song, join me in song”

Saw a car crash in the country
Where the prayers run like weeds along the road
I saw strangers stealing kisses
Giving only their clothes, only their clothes

Saw a white dog chase its tail
And a pair of hearts carved into a stone
I saw kindness and an angel
Crying, “Take me back home, take me back home”
Saw a highway, saw an ocean
I saw widows in the temple to the law
Naked dancers in the city
How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all

Saw loaded linen tables
And a motherless colt, then it was gone
I saw hungry brothers waiting
With a radio on, radio on
I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a wet road form a circle
And it came like a call, came like a call
From the Lord

~Walking Far From Home,
Iron and Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean

Some of these words remind me clearly of sights my own eyes have witnessed, and forgotten. Like strangers on trains who I couldn’t help but be drawn to – like the violin player leaning on the wall when I took my first NYC subway ride in junior high. And when I took pictures of the trash on a country road after a garbage truck careened off a pothole. Or when I drive through the bad parts of the city instead of taking 490 home, just because. These are not significant moments in my life, or probably anyone else’s, but they teach us something about the world.

If you open your eyes, the questions you have about the world will be answered. You may not have the words to say it, but you’ll have that understanding in your gut that rises smoke-like to the mind, and you feel like the world makes sense and maybe you’ll be OK in it after all.

This song makes me feel that way.