Down Here – The bottom of the Bell Curve

Down Here

by David Wilcox

ignatsevichserg / Pixabay

This is one of my top 10 now, I think.

It climbs a little higher up the ranks as I age. But I think I just now declared it in the 10 somewhere. (I reserve the right to change my mind.)

It’s by a genius songwriter who–like all geniuses from a (slightly) more rural and fringe background–get really clear and deep with the simplest and most rudimentary of metaphors. Not simple people; they are brilliant. But they can express lofty things with simple means. You can tell when a rural genius is getting really deep and about to go over everyone’s head when they start talking about farming or camping metaphors. Only the simplest and purest of beauties and joys and fears and anguish can endure past all of our constructed values.

Down there

Maybe I will one day fully understand this piece. When I was younger I thought I got it all well enough. But life has cut me down to size enough to know my first or second pass at something is almost completely untrustworthy. First impressions, indeed. Maybe you think you get it too.

I imagine that perhaps this comes from a place in which someone finds himself or herself stripped of the truths they thought they had. The foundations they thought they stood on. Finding company in other people that can’t find any company–right before being pushed into the pit of forgetting and being really alone. Feeling like they fit and suddenly finding they have either been kicked out, or the whole circus up and vanished while they weren’t watching, leaving them behind. Broken faith, broken politics, losing everything perhaps. I don’t know. But I’ve been there many times. And each time I’m there it feels like it takes longer to get out. Maybe I can’t really leave.

from the album, Underneath

(The hatch is closed)

Under the castle in the land of snore,
down in the dungeon where the weird are stored
all the different and the outcast sneak back home
after laughing in the bright lights all night long.
I’m lucky to be down with the cast aside
safe from the madness of the world we hide
with everybody free to come and go
under the radar of the status quo.

Down here, we always got each other
Down here, and it’s how we know
Down here, that we’re sister and brother
Down here, in the land below.
Down here, we see you looking in
Down here, with your longing stare
Down here, we got a feeling of belonging
Down here, because we’re not up there.

So you want to get close to the wild and strange
you want to stand at the edge of the river of change
You got a hungry soul, but a cautious mind
so you can’t quite leave your world behind.
So you come for a visit, but you lose your nerve
out at the edges of the bell-shaped curve
But I saw your soul when you dropped your fear
and came walking in the world of the wild, down here.

Down here, we always got each other
Down here, and it’s how we know
Down here, that we’re sister and brother
Down here, in the land below.
Down here, we see you looking in
Down here, with your longing stare
Down here, we got a feeling of belonging
Down here, because we’re not up…there.

I was only 4 maybe she was 5.
We were playing in the car parked in the drive
and it all started off with the one mistake
and that was the lever of the parking brake.
At the bottom of the hill we cranked it hard,
missed all the bushes in the neighbor’s yard.
And then picking up speed, running out of time,
we drove right into our lives of crime.

There but for the grace…

 

I used to look at crazy people like animals in the zoo–interesting but behind thick bulletproof glass or acrylic in some sort of contained ecosystem…this is completely false. False sense of security on both sides of that cage. Incomplete sense of reality.

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