Week 500 // The Long Way

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Past
Blind my eyes with words like that
Think a while ’til meaning falls flat
All my words to the wind
Send them out and back again

Home
Still exists in photographs
Towering earth and blades of grass
Who were we all back then?
And God would I choose that again?

Nothing lasts

Every mile comes to a crawl
My own choices led up to that
Hiding out at the end of the world
Only works out if the earth is flat
Burying my heart only made it worse
Digging it up and it’s still intact
Nobody every gets lucky like that

Time
Set my watch and lose it all
Lost in a dream if I recall
Vines crawl up through the wall
Squeezing bricks they break and fall

Nothing lasts

Every mile comes to a crawl
My own choices led up to that
Hiding out at the end of the world
Only works out if the earth is flat
Burying my heart only made it worse
Digging it up and it’s still intact
Nobody every gets lucky like that

All the one way streets
The wandering fools
The endless track
The sacred rules

Catch it up north
Heading astray
If the wind won’t blow
We can take the long way

Think about home
I’m looking to you
Honey I don’t know
What the world will come to

The cracks that show
The moment will wait
If the wheels don’t roll
We can take the long way
If you will it so
We can take the long way

When the wall breaks
Follow the tune
Your friends all there
They’re singing to you

All the cracks that show
The moment will wait
If your feet won’t go
We can take the long way
If you will it so
Let’s go the long way home

Notes
Writing 500 songs in 500 weeks is a thing somebody can do. I’m not the first to do it. My dad has written a weekly (now twice weekly) long-form newsletter on healthcare policy for longer than I’ve been doing this project, so he understands this whole thing better than anybody else I know. When he saw how nervous I was to write this one, he reminded me that it’s just another song. He was right of course. This is the thing I do. But gosh, I had a hard time with this one. I wanted so badly for it to transcend my skills and body of work, for it to touch lightly upon all the pain and hope in the world while also feeling like a personal whisper in every listener’s ear. For the record, that’s ridiculous.

I’m thrilled to post this. I’ve taken the long way to get here. I have spent nearly a decade at this task, and it now has arrived at this beautiful round number having held my hand through every fantastic and catastrophic moment that I’ve experienced in that time. I think of this project, and I no longer understand in simple terms what it is. I’m perplexed and elated.

It’s funny to post a song at 500 weeks twice proclaiming that “nothing lasts.” Despite the enduring nature of this work, I think it might actually be the central theme of my writing. This whole time I’ve been singing of the past slipping away, of moments evaporating, of holding on to who we were, of accepting change, of making peace, of letting go, of greeting the future, of becoming. This one follows those themes, but with a note of patience. Letting the past be in the past doesn’t mean the future is at your door. We still have the present to contend with. Wherever we’re going, we’ve got to take the long way to get there.

Thank you so much for listening. On we go to 501 and beyond. You can come along if you like.

~M.E.

1 thought on “Week 500 // The Long Way”

  1. What a fabulous song to be number 500! The effort on this one, and the effort to bring forth all 499 of its older siblings are a gift to all of us. You have always been a very good musician, and over 50 songs you have become a remarkable poet/philosopher/observer of the human condition. For 500 weeks it’s been a delight to anticipate and then discover what one will find on every Monday from Mount Everest. This was not just another song. Thank you!

    PS: Nice piece of graphic art too!

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