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Traveling Light

from Lo, Above the Earth by Patrick Clifford



What I believe in
What I'm achieving
Let’s leave those alone for tonight
Shadow’s falling where I am
But-- whether dim, or dark, or damned--
Tomorrow I'll travel in light
We’re a people born with leave to take
We wander, we wager, we welcome the stakes
And the critical looks that that’s sure to invite
I don't know how long I will be
Just keep a candle lit for me
In the window, in your prayers, in the night

Farewell to blessings I recall
Farewell to catching my every fall
Farewell to falling to my knees without a fight
Farewell for now
If fortune's kind I'll retrieve the trove I'm sure to find
For now I'm traveling light

I told you, "Here's what I perceive: I do believe I'd so believe
If I could see a little more in black and white
But my path's ordained by dint of all these other hues and tints
Beyond those gray, grave, and contrite.”
So much less I could have said
Before you shook your head
But I'm not sure it would have helped us anyway
Now when I listen as I ought
There’s just stillness and the thought
That there's still so much less that I could say

I cannot see my feet beneath me
I cannot see the road before me
I cannot see the trains I hear careening, empty, through the night
Still, I can keep my heart with you
I can ask the same in return, too
But nothing more: I'm traveling light

Is that a shadow of a doubt?
I can barely make it out
Here beside me-- only, no, not quite
Still, better a shadow than a seed
Could it be, that time is all I need?
That in time it'll all be all right?
No, to hell with all the rest
I'm seeking love made manifest
Gonna see it stand up and extend to full height
I'm gonna find where Grace abounds,
I'm gonna take a look around
See what else abounds
See what I can set right

I do believe my heart could burst
I believe I don't know what's the worst:
This hour of grief,
This hope,
Or this hindsight
But I believe the night has numbered days
I believe the light arrives and stays
And I believe that faith is thought, equipped with wings for flight
I believe it’s here that you must stay
I believe you know I can't say the same
I believe in the journey
And in traveling light

In August as a kid
I'd sit out for the Perseids
And ask them all these questions outright
Of course the answers never came:
They all fell silent, all the same
Though wish I may and wish I might
Now-- cloudless, moonless, cold--
This December night withholds all mercy
As though for a higher price
Familiar constellations dim;
The stars seem just a whim,
Just splattered paint,
Just so many tumbled dice
But I will not be resigned
No, instead it calls to mind
A long-ago and far-away night
When, through a billion miles of void,
To leave the luckless overjoyed
Came traveling light


from Lo, Above the Earth, track released December 21, 2012
(c)(p) 2012 The Irish Side LLC.

Creative Commons image source: www.flickr.com/photos/theyoungthousands/2897364533/


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Patrick Clifford New York, New York

Patrick Clifford is an Irish-American musician, songwriter, and producer.

He performs and records Irish traditional standards; skillfully crafted original songs and compositions; and discerning covers of contemporary Irish and American songwriters such as Pete St. John, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.

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