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Episode 06 Parting

April 10, 2011


Words and Music–Richard Allen
Produced by David Barrett at the Abattoir of Good Taste

Vocal and Guitar–William Thaumatrope
All other instruments–David Barrett.

Separation from any deeply felt emotional relationship may take its toll on both parties. How one reacts to separation depends on ones character, the nature and depth of the relationship, and upon who makes the decision to leave. Relationships are rarely entirely equal in terms of power but perhaps one of the defining characteristics of a loving relationship is that in whatever way it occurs, some kind of balance of power has been achieved; the individuals concerned are happy with their roles vis a vis one another and neither feels the exercise of power, or if so, recognizes it and bestows forgiveness.

When a power imbalance in a relationship is exercised and felt, without the presence of forgiveness, it is very hard to rectify, for the actions that any party might make to correct it may only serve to intensify the disparity. It is not simply that one is more powerful than the other, but that power becomes asymmetrically distributed; thus imbalances, perceived faults, and minor slights emerge all over the place like a virus or like cracks in the ground that spread from an underlying fault. We name that underlying fault with the deceptively simple phrase: incompatibility. How much suffering in human relationships would be alleviated if we had at our disposal an incompatibility recognition device.

One of the reasons that words fail upon separation is that the cloud of perceived slights, wounds and misunderstandings, is distilled in the moment when one party decides to leave. It is like a revolution, once the die is cast there is no going back, and any discussion compounds the agony, even for the person who does not want the relationship to end. Indeed, in precisely the situation where words might seem most needed, where the act of leaving does a profound injustice to the person who is left behind, words really cannot help, other than in affording anger to be vented. And in situations of greater equality, both parties know why it has come to this and silence is a way of acknowledging the sadness and of mourning the loss of something that once pulsed with life and that has now turned to stone.


One last drink before I go
It’s closing time for us you know
All those memories we share
That’s what we’ll take out from here.

Were there something I could say
Were there words I’d find a way
But silence is our only friend
Speaking would prolong the end

I sense the bite of winter air
Use a scarf upon your hair
Time’s a healer, so they say
Let’s say goodbye and walk away.


Parting, we don’t belong
Feelings, they linger on
Loving, that day is gone
Can healing lie here in this (a) song?


From → Thaumatropemusic

One Comment
  1. Geoff permalink

    Quite poetic – lovely lines: ‘But silence is our only friend/ Speaking would prolong the end’. The final sentiment (‘Can healing lie here in this (a) song?’) is also touching, and rings true in the context.

    The text of the last verse (Jennifer) is missing, by the way. Geoff

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