John Whoever and Who Are They

Far From You

John Whoever and Who Are They
John VandenOever


I used to drive between New York and Iowa at least once a year.  On those very long trips there was ample opportunity to reflect on life, feel sorry for oneself, wonder where or with whom happiness might be found.  It was easy to fantasize that the answer to all life's questions might be waiting at the next rest stop.  This song came out of those powerful feelings of longing.  In the end, our longing is satisfied only by something far beyond our small desires, and happiness is found not outside us but within.


Driving this car through the valleys, the hillsides are shrouded with mist

The sun must be high but the afternoon sky shows only a pale yellow disc

And lining the interstate shoulders, the deer lie like fallen soldiers

Summer has never felt colder--I’m far from you


Stopping to rest in a churchyard, straining to read the old stones

I push through a door; there’s dust on the floor, but I’m not completely alone

I think I might hear a bell ringing, and spirits around me are singing

The words of a hymn, but I’m thinking, I’m far from you


People collect in a diner like pennies dropped into a well

They laugh and they fuss, they joke and they cuss about life in this circle of hell

I have no argument with them, it’s just not my corner of heaven

I’m up and I’m out and God bless them, I’m far from you


Mile after mile on the highway, till it feels like I’m spinning the earth

The radials hum, the mile markers sum up the cycle of death and of birth

Time seems to creep, but it flies on

I am just keeping my eyes on

An ever receding horizon--I’m far from you