Song: This World Apart

When I was a moody, confused teenager back in the late 80’s, I dealt with a great deal of my awkwardness and depression by writing songs. Or at least, writing song lyrics. My inability to read sheet music or play an instrument precluded me from crafting actual *songs*, but I wrote lyrics with melodies in mind and with basic pop/rock song structure in place. All in all I wrote about 40-50 of these don’t-call-them-poems until finally putting the habit to rest sometime in the early 90’s, not coincidentally around the same time I lost my virginity. I would like nothing more than to sift through those teenaged memories and post them in all their self-indulgent glory on this blog. Problem is, the notebook I kept them in was accidentally thrown out by me during a purge of unnecessary things prior to moving into a cramped studio apartment in 2004. Their loss haunts me to this day, as I really had intended to keep them forever as a reminder of who I was and how I used to think. Alas, it is not to be.

Flash forward to the year 2009. While I would occasionally jot down a verse or two of lyrics when the moment hit me over the years, I hadn’t written an entire “song” since those long ago days of mangled youth. Then I went out to dinner one night with my parents, part of a biannual ritual we had been having for years where we would meet once in the spring on their way through town on the drive from their home in Texas to their summer cottage in Nova Scotia and once again on their return trip that fall. After this particular visit I found myself very introspective on the ride home, thinking about all the changes in my life that had occurred since they had retired south in 1998 and how little they really knew about the new “me”. Our conversations remained stuck in the me they knew, the friends I had during the years I had lived under their roof, the ideals I once held. My mom would talk about relatives I hardly knew and I would do my best to update them on the few names of old friends that I still kept in decent contact with. I was stunned to discover just how far apart we had grown.

Added to that was the fact that my mother was constantly asking me about my (non-existent) dating life. She forever worried that I would wind up alone, a thought which clearly frightened her more than it did me. Despite my attempts to convince her over the years that I was quite happy with my social life and my circle of friends, she never went away convinced. Again I realized just how different we were.

I love my parents. I can never thank them enough for all they have given me and done for me over the years. But in a way we are very much strangers, despite all the shared history. When I got home that night after dinner this song poured out of me. It the first of its kind I had written in over 18 years and to date, the last.

-Woof 2016

* * * * *


Our yearly dance has come and gone, those careful steps so gently spun
In and out, around the floor, the who’s and what’s and nothing more
Forgotten names, unearthed for show, to satisfy the me you know
These timeless lies I’ve learned to weave, that I may bow and take my leave

It may seem hard to understand just why I do it
To package life into a slideshow of the past
But if you knew who I am now then you would see that
The part of son is just the role in which I’m cast

You gave me life and built me strong, passed on your views of right and wrong
Left room to breathe, and dream and grow, and when I must you let me go
For that I’ve done the best I can, to face this world a thoughtful man
Ensured that I would bring no shame, upon your good and trusted name

But therein lies the paradox of this existence
By staying true to what you’ve taught me I’ve become
An opposition to your current ways of thinking
Though I love you I find it hard to be your son

This world apart is more than distance
This world apart is more than time
This world apart is one that’s spinning
Into a world that’s become mine

I hear the fear, it’s in your voice, for you can’t understand this choice
How can I spend this life alone, as without love there is no home
But on the stage that is my life, the one without the child or wife
Under those lights I find I thrive, and they’re what makes me feel alive

I only wish I had an answer to your question
The one you ask in hopes that happiness is reached
Just trust in me that all you’ve done is not forgotten
Even if it means that I can’t practice what you’ve preached

This world apart is more than distance
This world apart is more than time
This world apart is one that’s spinning
Into a world that’s become mine

I’m not ashamed of where I’m from nor where I’m going
And though this journey takes me further from your view
You must keep faith I’ll make you proud and won’t lose hold of
These ties that bind my heart and keep me loving you

This world apart is more than distance
This world apart is more than time
This world apart is one that’s spinning
Into a world that’s become mine


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