1. Orbit

From the recording Orbit

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“Opposition is actually the natural prerequisite for union. As a result of opposition, a need to bridge it arises.”  ~ Confucious (The I Ching or Book of Changes: Richard Wilhelm translation)
“What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
Aren’t the events happening around us simply metaphors for what is going on inside us? And are we not now a global community connected by technology? I believe that all of this separation can be seen as but an illusion, meant to be dispelled and healed. 
I wrote the first part this song at the end of a long, isolated winter, the year after my father died of early Alzheimers. I hadn’t written in a while, and I just woke up one day and wrote the first two verses, chorus, and the beat.
When I first heard Brett Thorngren’s mix of Orbit, it hit me hard. Of course it was about a romantic interest from whom I had been separated! 
So after a year or more of the pandemic, vaxxed and ready to tackle my bucket list: one of the most important: to go to Pearl Harbor, from which I had written a song, and an album, and had always wanted to see, but didn’t feel was possible. I made it happen. But after that, which can best be described as a “pilgrimage,” another level of meaning to this song hit me. Because I realized that this song was recorded at a time when I was literally in the middle of a breakdown, that when I was finishing writing and recording it, I was actually separating from - myself. What followed that time was a long period of extreme depression and inactivity. But I did reconnect, finally, in 2019, and began putting out music again. And I still have no memory of writing the rest of the song, and certainly not of recording it…
Yet one more trip / quest: to Key West, most importantly, to the Ernest Hemingway house, (his writing being possibly one of the most significant influence on my own; the ruthless editing, a reduction of the narrative to its most salient points) I understood the song on yet another, and I believe the most important level, that it was ultimately a song about healing the separation on this planet. And though I am the guinea pig - the model for this narrative, make no mistake, as I had realized long ago, the more personal the piece, the more universal it becomes.



What I wouldn't give
to be closer than this
I fall from dreams
to covers that are
drenched in tears and sweat

ten light years or a lifetime
if we could only see
how dark is
the space between us
not so far now as then

We roll 'round the same sun
reflecting the same moon
you're in my orbit
you're circling my head

why I wouldn't choose
to stand there in your shoes
we close our eyes
to complications
both generous and true

At first I didn't see you
and you there all along
I wind my watch
the wrong direction
and pray we'll meet again

We roll 'round the same sun
reflecting the same moon
you're in my orbit
you're circling my head

it's an infinite rotation
whatever time you bend
can we be in the same place
as we are of the same mind
as opposites can mend

there's a curious appeal
the shock of something real
a hazy picture
of promise wasted
we’ve tried so to forget

synchronous engagement
the physics of attraction
something greater
separates us
and pulls us back again

We roll 'round the same sun
reflecting the same moon
you're in my orbit
you're circling my head

© Written by Elizabeth McCullough 2021 (ASCAP)