This song is a rare combination of self-examination and drawn-out lyrical poetry. I gently hit the stone block with the chisel over and over, and the lines emerged. 

With you asleep beside me in the car
And Steinbeck’s ghost restringing his guitar
The windows down and open to our promised land
Your ring so bright and new upon my hand
Moon shone like sun
On Highway One

Five days married, I listened to The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen as my new bride slept beside me. We had spent the day exploring those John Steinbeck towns in California. Monterey. Salinas. Carmel. Did John Steinbeck even play guitar? I have no idea. Was his ghost in the car with us? Quite likely.

“What if I become your worst regret?”
I whispered to your darkened silhouette
But then your face injected grace into my blood
Revealing just what feeling happy was
Our new life just begun
On Highway One

My married life reduced to a single verse. Her, offering health and peace and light. Me, clinging to angst-ridden murkiness, the undefeated heavyweight champion shadow boxer of the world.

I’d go back to warn you, if that was allowed
Back to California and that magic moonlight mile
Oh baby I’m so sorry for what I have become
A prisoner of shame and a fugitive from love

That last line describes the tortured limbo that quietly became my permanent residence, my secret identity. A self-made prisoner, eternally running from love. Running in place. Running to stand still.

The redwoods whispered as we passed them by
The heavens made a cradle from the sky
Above us there, we shooting arrows through the dark
Careening toward life’s meaning’s beating heart
My web not yet spun
From all the useless things these hands have done
(lyrical loan from the great L Cohen)
Your song on my tongue
One Highway One

The concept for this song was with me a while before I actually sat with a guitar and went fishing. I knew there was something moving down there somewhere and remained calm when I felt the line tug. When you really look at it, it’s sad, for sure. And yet the central image of a journey on a highway gives me comfort. We’re still there. We’re still on it. We passed some incredible scenery; picked up some amazing hitchhikers along the way. Who knows? Maybe one day it will finally lead to the High Road which has eluded me so long.

Thanks again for listening!