Week 35: The Sidewalk

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Mount Everest - The Sidewalk Download it on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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So I crawled over the places I have been
And in the traces of the world I found my friends

And the continent was bursting at the seams
So like my heart at first I thought it was a dream

I’ve felt this country burn like coals
Underneath my fingernails
By God it feels like home

And it’s real and it feels you
And it comes and goes
Like I come and go
And the feeling grows
And I’ll leave
And I’ll breathe
What I’m feeling I just don’t know

I was standing by myself and I had this thought
That I’m like everyone who ever stood upon this spot

I was thinking about the sidewalk
I was thinking about the paths that must have crossed
Right on this very block

And would that we could ever know
A million hearts pass by and there they go

And it’s real and it feels you
And it comes and goes
Like I come and go
And the feeling grows
And I’ll leave
And I’ll breathe
What I’m feeling I just don’t know

Notes
 width=This week I started off reflecting on a long drive I took last week to North Carolina, but I quickly keyed in on a single moment as the focal point of this song. The moment was when I walked out of a basement parking garage on the lower east side of Manhattan, stood on the sidewalk, and looked around. This was the first day of a trip where I would look for friends in the nooks and crannies of America (my friends have worked their way in deep and you can find them in a lot of places). I stood there not quite knowing what to expect, and I saw a city so much like the country she calls home: big in an unwieldy sense, and filled with people trying to do their best. When I am confronted with humanity on this scale I usually write a song. The central questions: who are all of these people? What are they feeling, and who felt what when they stood just where I was standing? These are the kinds of questions that interest me. I’m fascinated by the concept of the individual in the context of the whole. Humanity en masse has no concern with what a single person thinks or feels, but every person who has ever lived felt just as deeply as any other person. I’m amazed at the number of life-stories never told. I think this song seeks to acknowledge that if you step outside of your house and look around, you might not learn the details of these stories, but the sheer number of stories might impress itself upon you. To what end will this impress upon you? I’m not sure, but personally, I just marvel at it.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.
~Jesse

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