Where the Wasteland Ends

I first learned about Theodore Roszak from listening to Margot Adler’s drive time radio show on BAI, Unstuck in Time. She talked about his book Where the Wasteland Ends, a book exploring the evolution of the counterculture, and I went out and bought it and soon thereafter wrote this song. If interested, you can read more about my history with Margot in the introduction to So Many Times Before, another one of my songs on this site also written for her. I particularly remember a phone call she received from a rather irate listener. Some of the older lefties that listened to the station often called to complain when the talk got too hippie-ish or New Age, and this guy was lecturing Margot that she had an obligation to instruct the younger generation. She took a beat and said: “I never really thought of this show that way. I just feel like I share what interests me and if a listener feels like he or she is “home” then the show is working.” That’s how I feel about all my writing and Margot gave me the context and the courage to believe that that was acceptable. I do miss her.

Where the Wasteland Ends

Years of fear, years of gloom

Too much searching, too much room

While my body was a tomb

For my soul

Self‑indulged, fat and smug

While the dust under my rug

Reinforced the walls I’d dug

Around my hole

But despite the ropes that bound me

And the way the past would hound me

Morning came that finally found me

In control

For I’ve just begun

To learn to touch the ground I walk upon

And to keep my eyes upon the sun

And to listen to the stars when day is done

 

It was senseless, quite unreal

It was thinking how to feel

It was being well concealed

In my mind

What you said was what I heard

Not the meaning, just the word

The profane and the absurd

Aged like wine

And I drank ’til I was sated

Never drunk just dissipated

Yet now I’m intoxicated

All the time

 

For I’ve just begun

To learn to touch the ground I walk upon

And to keep my eyes upon the sun

And to listen to the stars when day is done

 

Cost me dearly going my way

And I nearly lost control

But I’ve clearly made it to the highway

Going home, going home

 

I broke down and confessed

Gave up all that I possessed

For uncharted wilderness

Of sand and stone

From in here to out there

Oh, the wasteland is so bare

How could anybody dare

To cross alone

Yet I find day by day

At each stop along the way

There’s a friendly face to say

Hey, welcome home

 

For I’ve just begun

To learn to touch the ground I walk upon

And to keep my eyes upon the sun

And to listen to the stars when day is done.