Wayfaring Lyrics and Song Notes

1. Wayfaring Stranger

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger

a’travelin’ through this world of woe

But there’s no sickness, toil, nor danger

In that bright land to which I go

 

I’m going there to meet my father

I’m going there no more to roam

I’m just going over Jordan

I’m just a going over home

 

I know dark clouds will gather round me

I know my pathway is rough and steep

But beauteous fields arise before me

Where God’s redeemed their vigils keep

 

I’m going there to meet my father

I’m going there no more to roam

I’m just going over Jordan

I’m just a going over home

 

Song notes:

This is a traditional spiritual, and it has many variations. I chose to keep the chorus the same each time, “I’m going there to meet my father,” rather than moving through different family members because the most beautiful and most essential thing about our someday destination is seeing God, our Father. I love how it describes that place as “beauteous fields.” On a trip to see my grandparents in Idaho a few years back we drove up a mountain road until we reached a mountain top plain with golden wheat fields spreading far in front of us, and the sunset turned the whole broad plain into a great big shimmer. That is the picture I have in mind when I think of “beauteous fields.” But of course we’re not there yet, and meanwhile we still have a steep pathway to go.

 

2. Stepping In

Where in all the clanging years is some clarity?

Where in all this circling is eternity?

Is the idea of some meaning a golden illusion?

A smokescreen or a pipedream confusion

 

I think I’ve always been afraid of futility

What if all that’s left at the end is the end of me?

But though our bodies may groan with the clinging dust

We hold the promise of eternity here in us

 

Chorus:

So I’m stepping in, I’m stepping in

Into the world that’s in front of me,

Into all that I can see

Stepping in to the room, into the view

 

Yeah, ‘cuz time takes our lives but life takes time

We’ll never turn the wheel of living on a nickel or dime

Gotta lean in and spend it and pour it out

What is given free will beautifully still be found

 

Chorus:

So I’m stepping in, I’m stepping in

Into the world that’s in front of me,

Into all that I can see

Stepping in to the room, into the view

 

When the weight of the years finally falls away

And our vision is filled with the breaking day

We will lift up our weeping and songs of praise

To the one who redeems all our days

 

Chorus:

So I’m stepping in, I’m stepping in

Into the world that’s in front of me,

Into all that I can see

Stepping in to the room, into the view

 

Song notes:

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope… For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” Rom. 8:22-24a

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Eccl. 3:11

“For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Ps. 103:14

“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven…. thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15:49, 57-58

“The desire of the righteous ends only in good… [He] gives freely, yet grows all the richer….” Prov. 12:23-24

 

My natural inclination when I was in my twenties (not so long ago ;)), and still to some degree now, was towards apathy—is anything worthwhile really? Not that I didn’t function on a daily basis, but investing in anything beyond the immediate took some convincing. One of the best things about my husband is that he has pushed me to grow in this area, but mostly just by being himself:  joyful, curious, willing to work. God has also been gracious to me and “filled my vision” up with the beauty that is coming. Slowly I have seen how this is refracted into my daily life here and now, and I hope I will continue to grow in stepping into each day knowing that in the Lord it is not in vain.

 

3. You Carry Us

You say, ‘Come to me, you who are burdened,

Cast your cares on me

Yet too easily I find the hurdles

I’m stumbling and dragging my feet to your side

Saying, help me to see:

 

Chorus:

You never tire nor grow weary

You never falter nor fall down

Strong and mighty is your mercy

You carry us like lambs within your arms

You carry us like lambs within your arms

 

Every splendid sun is given in mercy

Every star hangs on your word

When you speak again with the joy that’s enduring

It echoes in every corner of earth

Saying, ‘Have we not heard’

 

Chorus:

You never tire nor grow weary

You never falter nor fall down

Strong and mighty is your mercy

You carry us like lambs within your arms

You carry us like lambs within your arms

 

Bridge:

O, those who wait on you renew their strength

Those who wait on you will renew their strength

For the joy of the Lord is our strength

For the joy of the Lord is our strength

O, the joy of the Lord is our strength

 

Chorus:

You never tire nor grow weary

You never falter nor fall down

Strong and mighty is your mercy

You carry us like lambs within your arms

You carry us like lambs within your arms

 

Song notes:

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary… they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Is. 40:28, 31

“The heavens declare the glory of God… Day to day pours out speech…There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard…In them he has set a tent for the sun, which…like a strong man, runs its course with joy.” Ps. 19:1-5 (excerpts)

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and…he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Heb. 1:1-3a

“Therefore…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” Heb. 12:1-2

 

I currently have two small children, which means opportunities for sleeplessness abound. Usually this also means opportunities to be grumpy and impatient also abound. One particular day I realized this acutely and had to step back and ask God to give me strength and help me look to him for endurance, and Is. 40 was especially relevant and comforting. I tend to see connections between different passages of scripture (perhaps too many?), and the connection between joy and strength in some of these verses struck me. I am sure there is more there than I currently see, but just reflecting on God’s creative power, tirelessness and joy have strengthened me. I would encourage you to look up the scriptures I mention below and consider these things.

 

See all of Is. 40, Ps. 19, Mt. 11:28, 1 Pet. 5:7, Neh. 8:10, Heb. 1:1-3; 12:1-3, Lam. 3:23ff

See also Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton (Like a child saying, “do it again!”, God has never tired of saying to the sun, “do it again!”)

 

 

4. With Words

One night I had a dream

of all the questions I’d ask,

of all the ways to glimpse behind your mask

 

But with the morning sun

and dizzy day they fled

Still I am asking, do you have regrets?

 

There’s a lot of space between us,

mountains and valleys and sky

When I was a child I thought I’d fly

Now I’m still trying to find a way

to build a bridge with words

 

Words are such funny things,

they flood us and leave us dry

Yet once in a while they heal us and bring us life

 

Like honey of golden sun,

like sudden snow on your face

Like flint striking flint, can you see the grace?

 

There’s a lot of space between us,

memories and failings and tries

When I was a child I thought I’d fly

 

Now I’m still trying to find a way

to build a bridge with words

Now I’m still trying to find a way     

to build a bridge with words

 

Song notes:

“Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Prov. 16:24 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver… Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him.” Prov. 25:11, 13

 

Sometimes I am quite literal, and in the case of this song, I literally had a dream one night where I thought of all the perfect ways to say and ask what I would want to say and ask of a particular person that was on my heart. Of course when I woke up I couldn’t remember any of those perfect things. Particularly nowadays I feel like there is so much communication, online especially, and yet it mostly just feels overwhelming, not healing. Proverbs is full of this contrast (there are plenty of suggestions to do things like close your mouth and then at least no one will know you are a fool) but still gives us beautiful pictures of the value of good words, fitly and graciously spoken. In the middle of so many words there is still room and, in fact, need of good words. This is my goal, even as I am unable to remember the perfect things I dreamed of.

 

5. Where Is There a Star?

I get a little lost sometimes

A drifting boat in a careless sea

Wandering and wondering

Taking on water in a heavy heart

Taking on water in a heavy heart

 

And where,

Where is there a star?

(Where is there a star,)

to guide me home?

 

I’m coming up empty in a crowded room

Making things up as I muddle through

Winded and waiting

Wishing for water in a dried out world

 

And where,

Where is there a star?

Where is there a star,

to guide me home?

 

Straight lines are so comforting

Trees that lift their hands up to the sky

Standing and staying

Taking in water to their thirsty souls

Taking in water to their hopeful souls

 

And where,

Where is there a star?

Where is there a star,

Where is there a star,

Where is there a star,

to guide me home?

 

I know,

There will be a star

There must be a star

Oh, there will be a star

To guide me home.

 

Song notes:

I come from a family of earnest space cases and this means that it is not that uncommon to find myself in a room wondering what I am there for. “I get a little lost sometimes” can refer quite easily to my everyday experience. J But I also get lost in my life in general, not remembering “what I’m here for.” A theme for me, and perhaps for other people nowadays, is that while there is plenty of noise and goings on, there isn’t always a lot of wisdom being offered, or a lot of people to look to for guidance. I am grateful for those that have invested in my life, strengthening me over the long haul and being an example to me. It is these sorts of people who remind me of the real, tangible hope that I have. And of course the next song (Paradox) has something to offer in this area as well.

 

6. Paradox

You’re the riddle and the lullaby

The puzzle and the missing piece

The gold I own and the untapped mine

The thirst I know and the hidden wine

The paradox and the light to see

 

‘Cuz you’re the builder and the homeless man

The broken jar and the glory full

The word of power and the silent lamb

The crimson blood and the white-washed wool

The righteous judge crucified by thieves

 

And I am one of them, I am one of them

I am one of them, I am one of them

 

Still you’re the place running and the place I flee

The one I love in my apathy

The song I sing in the silence bare

Still the one who’s faithful there

The God of those who wait, yet hope in you

 

And I am one of them, I am one of them

I am one of them, I am one of them

 

Will you heal me, will you heal me

Will you heal me, will you heal me

Will you heal me with your scars?

 

Song notes:

There have been a few books that have stuck with me and my thinking over the years, one of which is Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. In one chapter he describes the cross this way:

 “As we have taken the circle as a symbol of reason and madness, we may very well take the cross as a symbol at once of mystery and health. Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its head a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms for             ever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its center it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers.”

Just recently (long after writing this song, which begins with “you’re the riddle”), I read this quote regarding the resurrection in an article: “For those words [Christ is risen from the dead…] to gain meaning, we must have our hearts at least a little broken by the brokenness of the world, and yet have felt eternal things that this world suggests but for which it cannot satisfy our desires, so that the Resurrection becomes, not an arbitrary violation of natural laws, but a possible answer to a riddle that pervades the world, the riddle of glory and mortality woven together in all things yet irreconcilable, unless it be in Christ” (The Grand Coherence by Nathan Smith, Touchstone Magazine, May/June 2019, p. 46).

Paradox can be a way to describe many things or pairs of things about God that, while we know they are both true, they are hard for us to understand and so we have to hold them in tension with each other. While certainly not on the same level as true things about God, paradox can describe things about myself such as how I both seek after God and am apathetic. This has a parallel in Paul’s description of himself in Romans 7:19, ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” In this case however, it is something I (and Paul) ultimately hope will be changed, and it is changed through something else paradoxical: “by his wounds we are healed.”

 

7. We Have Come to the City

We have come to the city of the living God

Strong and shining, built by a skillful hand

Where no thief breaks in, and the gates are open wide

The dwelling place of God with man

 

There we see him, Jesus the Righteous One

And we hear his voice like thunder speak

Shaking heaven and earth with a new and better word

No longer strife with God, but peace

 

Let us offer up our worship

As we’re entering our inheritance

A kingdom never shaken

A kingdom that will stand

 

For he has made us a people of his very own

Sons and daughters, welcome at his throne

And like living stones, we are built into his house

How can we keep from crying out?

 

Let us lift our voices with shouts of joy

As we’re entering our inheritance

A kingdom never shaken

A kingdom that will stand

 

For our God is a holy and consuming fire

Yet by mercy, we are not consumed

Christ at his right hand is our joy forevermore

At his right hand we will not be moved

 

So let us give our lives in living sacrifice

As we’re entering our inheritance

A kingdom never shaken

A kingdom that will stand

 

Let us lift our voices with shouts of joy

In his temple we cry, ‘Glory!

Glory to the righteous one,

Whose kingdom ever stands.’

 

Song notes:

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house… to offer spiritual sacrifices… You are…a people for his own possession.” 1 Pet. 2:4-5, 9

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance… I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Ps. 16:6, 8

“The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness… and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” Ps. 29:7-8a, 9a

“And I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb… and its gates will never be shut by day-and there will be no night there.” Rev. 21:22-23, 25

 

Much of this song is taken from Heb. 12 so while I won’t reproduce the chapter here, you are welcome to look at it in its entirety. I enjoyed weaving it together with scriptures from other places, some of which I included above. As a church musician I am often looking for music that fits with a particular passage of Scripture and sometimes it is pretty difficult to find anything about a topic. I wrote this song partially because of realizing there wasn’t anything similar to it, and partially because it is such a hopeful and glorious picture. The write of Hebrews says, “You have come,” not one day you will come, but you have come already, “to the city of the living God.” There are of course some things that have not yet happened, but they are so assured to us that we have already come to them, and to God himself and to his people. And though God is a consuming fire, worthy of awe and worship, we have confidence as we approach him because of Christ’s offering on our behalf as it says earlier in Hebrews 10:19 and following: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus… and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart.”

 

8. Yours and Mine

Remember that time, it seems like a time away

You glanced my way with a funny laugh unfeigned.

Your keychain a-swirl set my heart all awhirl

Standing in a hall, a boy and a girl

 

We had simple plans, in our hands just two simple rings

Imperfect and young, we still have new songs to sing

Oh-

 

Last night I laughed at you, and the candle blew and flickered

You danced and swayed with your sunny face unfiltered

We’re moving out of the places we hide

Settling in a love more yours and mine

 

We’re settling in a love,

We’re settling in a love,

We’re settling in a love,

We’re settling in our love.

 

Song notes: Being married has really been a great gift to me, and in many ways I would describe it as slowly coming into the light, the light of knowing and being known and being free in that. It strikes me as I write that what a great picture that really is of coming to know God and being known by him and yet being free. The lyrics here also are getting at the sense of being at home in the relationship and the simple joy that is found there. 

 

9. O God, Our Help

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come

Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home

Under the shadow of Thy throne still may we dwell secure;

Sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure.

 

Chorus

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home.

 

Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone;

Short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun

 

Chorus

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home

 

Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away;

They fly, forgotten, as a dream, dies at the opening day

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,

Be Thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home

 

Song notes:

This hymn text by Isaac Watts is based on Ps. 90, the passage that my husband and I had at our wedding. The thing that has stuck with me from the passage is once again the idea of being at home, and in fact, that God himself is our home. Of course this song has other things that go along with that: God is our hope, our shelter, our guide, while we are transient (in the psalm, we are “like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers,” vv. 5-6).  And yet as we find our home in an eternal God, there is hope of life eternal for us as well. Who else would we rather have as our guide than the creator in whom we find our rest, the one who is the beginning and the end?

 

10. Follow On

Down in the valley with my Savior I will go,

Where the flow’rs are blooming and the sweet waters flow

Everywhere He leads me I will follow, follow on,

Walking in His footsteps till the crown be won

 

Down in the valley with my Savior I will go,

Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow;

With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear,

Danger cannot fright me if my Lord is near.

 

Down in the valley, or upon the mountain steep,

Close beside my Savior will my soul ever keep;

He will lead me safely in the path that He has trod,

Up to where they gather on the hills of God.

 

Refrain:

Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!

Anywhere he leads me I would follow, follow on,

Up to where they gather

Up to where they gather

Up to where they gather on the hills of God.

 

Song notes:

This is the second of two hymn texts on the album, the lyrics of this one (also known as Down in the Valley with my Savior I Would Go) by William O. Cushing. This song brings us back to where we were at with Wayfaring Stranger but this time with the confidence that whether in the valley or on the mountain, if we have Jesus leading us, we do not need to fear. The original melody is a bit more chipper than mine, which I think is fine, but I do hope the melody and harmony as I have written them bring out the complexity of the path a bit more, and yet the unshakeable and clear hope of God’s presence both along the way and where we are headed.

 

11. There at the River

I’m a broken record with grooves in my mind

I’ve been singing a theme I am bound to repeat

Oh, teach me a new song with love as the lyric

For I know, I know: there is help in time of need

There at the river that flows, Oh

 

I’ve been begging the question, I’m a beggar at your door

Tomorrow’s sun will see me begging there once more

Oh, lend me a penny and this day my daily bread

For I know, I know from your fullness we receive

There at the river that flows, Oh

 

I’m tree in the desert in a dry and weary land

The sands of time of time are blowing and I’m thirsty once again

Plant me by the waters and I’ll grow up strong and tall

For I know, I know you’re a fount of life to me,

There at the river that flows, Oh, oh, oh

 

Yeah, there is help in time of need;

From your fullness we receive;

You’re a fount of life to me,

There at the river,

There at the river,

There at the river that flows

 

Song notes:

“Blessed is the man… [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night… He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season.” Ps. 1:1-3

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’’’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive…” John 7:37-39

 

I have found myself seemingly learning the same lessons over and over and at some points it can seem like I haven’t made any progress. Sometimes my response makes it even worse, fixating on the problem, rather than thinking in a new way. I am grateful for the Lord’s patience and continual guidance and mercies that are new every morning and haven’t run out yet. Through His word and His Spirit and His people, my mind and heart are slowly becoming less of a broken record, and more of a new song.

 

12. Our Hope Is Sure

This water’s deep, over my head

Still faith I’ll keep, for underneath the veiling sea

For refuge I have fled

 

Chorus

And my hope is sure

My hope is sure

It is certain and secure

It is an anchor for my soul

It is an anchor for my soul

 

Like drifting waves, we rise and fall

To harbor safe, we are carried by what’s buried,

At the bottom hope remains

 

Chorus

And my hope is sure

Our hope is sure

It is certain and secure

It is an anchor for my soul

It is an anchor for my soul

 

Bridge

So hold fast, O my soul, hold fast

To your confidence, hold to the end

O, my brothers and my sisters, hold fast

To his promises,

He will lift your heads, he will lift our heads

 

And our hope is sure

Our hope is sure

It is certain and secure

It is an anchor for my soul

He is an anchor for my soul

 

Song notes:

“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” Heb. 6:17-20a

 

The book of Hebrews has ended up as sort of the background for the whole album, and in this song I wanted to sum up all the “wondering and wandering” and encourage myself and others to consider Jesus, our hope and the anchor of our souls, who has gone ahead of us.  I also hinted at the myth of Pandora’s box (or jar) because it caught my attention how, in the myth, evil was released from the box but then hope was left inside. In a beautiful contrast to that idea, Jesus took on all sin and evil on himself, died and was buried (left at the bottom so to speak), but then was raised. The grave could not hold him. Instead, he is our forerunner into God’s presence, an anchor in our future home. Because of this, we have hope.

 

13. Somewhere Better

I found the heart of life on a sandy coast

When the tide was low and the wind was blowing in our eyes

There were lanterns glowing up and down the shore

A thousand places where darkness was cast out

And my grandfather knew this place and what he was looking for

The dull roar of the ocean our constant companion 

And dull too were my hands but my heart was a lantern burning in the fog

Yeah, I found the heart of life but I left a part of me behind

 

I found the heart of life in a river town

Somehow taken by all the roads that winded in the hills

Though the ties that bind are hard to quantify, 

What I know is the lonely were welcome

Taken kindly in by those with wider hearts than I

Though the valley was flooding 

Still deep fruit was budding

Like the apple and plum trees

Our hard ground becoming open to it all

I found the heart of life but I left a part of me, 

Yeah, I found the heart of life but I left a part of me

 

Bridge

These memories are gold, the places I love best

But they burn me like a coal, they’re more than I can hold

Sharpened arrows in my chest,

Oh, they’re sharpened arrows in my chest

Pointing somewhere better

 

I found the heart of life on a clear-eyed plain 

Where the lakes and trees are glimmering in light

But there’s still a better part,

Oh there’s still a better part to find

 

Song notes:

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Heb. 11:13-16

 

This final song is both very personal to me and my experiences (real places and people that have been formative in my life in all their simplicity and beauty) and also, I think, pretty universal in describing the bittersweet experience of life. I’ll leave you with these two well-known quotes from C.S. Lewis that describe it beautifully.

 

““If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

 

“In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very             intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of         it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

 

            C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory