Paper Cup

I live in a haunted convent
some nun's stuck here angry at it all
she keeps me awake til daybreak
slamming those doors in the quiet hall
but I just stare up at the ceiling
no way she could see what you already gave me
her prayers echo through the courtyard
not knowing I'm the only one now who can save me

cause there's a place I came here looking for
there's a place in the shape of this hole
where I picked up every coin you ever threw me
now they rattle like a pebble at the bottom of my soul
you don't know how many days I stood here
waiting for the spirit to come in and fill me up
now in the dark I'm tasting the dregs of grace
from the bottom of a paper cup

so I'm strapping on my backpack
stepping over cobblestones & tiles
this guitar's not too heavy
these shoes are due for a few more miles
I'm getting closer to that mountain
following the steps, using up all my best tricks
I'm just waiting for your signal
but I know I'm the only one to open my lips


coming up from the bottom of the city
don't know who I expected to be meeting
like a splinter in my head you rub my ego raw
but you're the only chorus ever worth repeating
hot on the trail of what used to make sense
afraid I'll never find you in another place
but maybe the reason that I try to find what's left behind
is just to look with kindness on my own searching face

when I've finished what I've started
drunkenly I'll stumble down the hill
nobody understood me
but still I sang & I drank my fill
there's sand & stones sticking onto my shoes
everywhere I go, now I walk on foreign ground
I'm through bending over backwards
cause I know I'm the only one who can turn me around


I really did live in a haunted convent, when I lived in Spain for the second time.
This is a song about that experience, or more specifically,
about trying to reclaim the feeling of coming within reach of the divine in a certain place
and realizing that actually you can
experience it anywhere if you play your cards right.