The Art of Fully Being

by Jon Watts

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about

The Art of Fully Being was recorded at the Pendle Hill spiritual retreat center outside of Philadelphia. Jon took six months of meditation and reflection to worshipfully complete his process of intertwined writing, recording and producing.

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released March 15, 2007

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Jon Watts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Quaker poet-producer-songsmith in West Philly.

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Track Name: The Art of Fully Being
Jon Watts | The Art of Fully Being | Lyrics

I can’t wait to get home
I’ve been living alone
and that’s entirely inside of me
It’s playing with my bones

I’ve released two things in at least three weeks Now a third release is imminent
I’m sending it in peace

Now that’s Zach Speakes on the microphone
and there, I said it
He gets credit for the introduction poem

Now watch me get nice with it
pay the right price and it pays you back in ice
every night
Get psyched

This is Jon Watts everything
I’m setting things right
You can listen when you’re finished
or even just beginning
I’ll just start it off now
if it’s anything, it’s pending

This is the art of fully being
of freely being me
of existence in the ministry
and living in the dream
This will counteract suppression
Things can be just what they seem

So I’ve released all the ghosts in me
now I’m listening to see
how I feel when they’re around me
how controlling I can be

So be free everybody
(my relationship with me)
This is the art of being
let’s just see what we can be
Track Name: Instructions for Us(e)
Jon Watts | Instructions for Us(e) | Lyrics

These songs don’t say anything
you don’t already know
love your life, listen
and chew your food slow
climb trees and be happy and listen to your pain experience the spectrum and let go of your shame

Its all the same
I write reminders
don’t idolize me please
treat me like a post-it note
then idolize the trees
and life and earth and all that’s in between
we’re made of space so listen
because silence holds a key

You should use this album to return to listening
and when you’re ready, turn it off
and listen to something

Because I don’t exist inside of this
it just captures a moment
It’s good to look inside this book
at memories it’s holding
but I’m not here
I’m somewhere else continuing the story
Just because it’s written down does not make it euphoric

It’s like
sometimes good and sometimes bad
and sometimes it’s just
boring

So
welcome, welcome, come on in
You’re welcome to enjoy it
Or turn it off and sit on rocks and listen to the morning
Track Name: Songs That I've Released
Jon Watts | Songs That I've Released | Lyrics

I’ve got to release these songs
Even when I want to hold on
the thought at fault is wrong
As long as I can live I can love
Maybe even longer than that
And if you asked me when I’m coming back
ask me again
and then run and tell a friend
because I ask that every minute

And while you’re out of this body
I’m living in it
While you’re thinking in detail
I’m feeling infinite
A little bit of pain
a lot of symptom
that’s the language of the body
I hope you’re listening
I hope you’re listening, so listen in to symphonies.

And if the chords don’t match up
pretend it’s meant to be
a little instance of forgiveness for this symphony
And that forgiveness that you’re giving me
that shit is meant to be
and that’s the grace of good intention

We hold onto this fear of never ending
living and sinning
and pretentiously intending
but not far from the beginning
you just may find that
you were never pretending

I can hold my fingers up and
tell you all I’ve lost
I can live intentionality
anticipating costs
I can feel emotion deeply
utill there’s no emotion left
I can feel my lungs collapsing
I can fill them with my breath
I can open up my eyes
I can close them if I want
I can eat breakfast for dinner
and dinner for lunch
or combine them all together
and call it all brunch
Oh, brunch

I can live into the victim role
where damage takes it’s toll
I can stop doing anything
when doing it gets old
I can be a living healer
prescribe love for pain
I can show you how to do it
Come dancing in the rain
I can climb trees or let the trees climb me
I’m so free and now so are these songs
that I’ve released
Track Name: I'm Great
Jon Watts | I'm Great | Lyrics

One day I was walking down the street
I’ve got beats in my feet
I need something to eat
I’m going to bounce from this town
to get a pound of mouse pals
Around smiles I frown
to put down the bound styles
The ground is shaking making fakers
statement makers
hate your neighbors
Do favors like Quaker saviors
helping people meet their makers
Singing it out forsaking traits of culture
I’ve got a vulture
He flies around telling me how profound I am
that I should form a band
and call it Hand up Your Rear
I began something here
Freakin’ can we appear
to be first or rehearse any curse
and see purse immersed in dirt
Coming from a place where it hurts
and this verse is over

I’m great
Living in a Jon Watts state
I take a late fate date rape
rivers and great lakes
The tape may break
say we can belate fate delay
I’m playing the beat
forget your crates
OK

I’m playing with the beat
infinity
Living with me can be easy
Let it be
Everyone sees me and please don’t feely
speak of the bee’s knees and leave me fiending
I’ve got some problems
got to solve them
Look at how my soul takes ahold
involves them
it’s a long bomb falling from the bogs of Boston
and I’m long gone looking at the fog
I’m long gone looking at the fog.

It's like
I’ve got something that I could have told you
I’m not telling what my soul involved
because I’m out doing mics
got to be nice
living at night
I’m gonna live in building tenemented within the price

I’m great
Living in a Jon Watts state
I take a late fate date rape
rivers and great lakes
The tape may break
say we can belate fate delay
I’m playing the beat
forget your crates
OK
Track Name: We Are Lovers of Our Lost Earth
Jon Watts | We Are Lovers of Our Lost Earth | Lyrics

I’m like friendship
because I’ll never go away
I’m like a drop of rain on a cloudy day
and I’m awake
as if I never went to sleep
And now I’m dancing in the street
as if there was no street

Now I’m alone and I’m surrounded
I could try to find myself a home
but houses are too grounded
My living situation here
foundations just been founded
I spend my time considering
consideration’s boundaries

Don’t look at me
(because I’m old)
Don’t say you’ve heard of me
because my story’s not been told
I’m living underground this year
The surface is too cold
It’s a land-side landslide
re-routing these old roads

Inhale exhaust.
Exhale love.

This is about roads in Portugal
and things I’ve left behind me
struggles I’ve climbed to find
peace of mind inside me
When blind luck leads us there
it’s fine
but just look between the lines
at all the lives denied

We deny love
so it’s about hope
and it’s about how everyone has courage
in their throat
It’s about the lies that vie for our attention
leading us to places too tangential to mention
I could give you names
and I could name dates
and I could focus on the means to end all the debates
but this is music
It’s elusive
I’ve produced it exclusively
and it leads to loose conclusions
which destroy illusions usefully

I don’t like running in place
so now I’m walking in the city
Carbon-monoxide in my lungs
I feel empty
We’ve cut down all the trees
so now it’s up to us
We’ve got to inhale exhaust, exhale love

Inhale exhaust.
Exhale love.

Now I’m exhausted
I haven’t done this much coughing
since I was lost in Boston
It’s a softened offspring

We are Lovers of our Lost Earth
And it makes us fighters because we know
how much now we have cost her
Some of us are somber
others find a way that they can speak
while they’re choking
That’s not a path I’ve chose yet
We can each pick up something
and find a way to get a little bit of breath
Track Name: I'm Sorry Brian
Jon Watts | I'm Sorry Brian | Lyrics

He said he loved her
We were friends then
sharing secrets with each other
like the fact that he loved her
and I held that secret tight like it was mine
But in the limelight, I can see my timeline

I was looking for my value in
the things I had accomplished
like the women that I wanted
and the ones that had fallen for me
You know the story

Now I know it wasn’t worth it
I was working in earnest
I mean, I didn’t even deserve it
this fact I wasn’t worthless
But I just didn’t have the courage to say
“fine, Brian. She’s yours.”
Or even “Hey Brian, I think she’s mine.”
And so I led you to believe
I was a friend and not a thief
whose intention was to steal
and then to observe you spin your wheels
I’m like sorry

I’m sorry Brian
I don’t have an excuse
If I had an excuse it’d be used
I’m a little brother with a used excuse
and a follower who followed the abuse
I adjusted to environments
one shouldn’t adjust to
The environment, myself stand accused
But that shouldn’t make you sorry
because I’m the one who’s sorry
as I look to the past and I conclude
I’m sorry Brian

So the confession I have is
I was better than you
Or that’s how I thought and acted at the time
But I’ve realized since your innate value
I’m not afraid of all the ways it threatens mine

I tried to do to you what others did to me
My only measured worth was watching others' envy
So I encouraged it
this anger and the jealousy
and all the while behavior remained friendly

And in a way
I would say that you were better than me
I mean the ways that you forgave
when you were settling things
I let my fear persevere
You watched my meddling bring
us to that place and then you faced me with your love

It was manipulative. It was subversive.
It was destructive and I’m here to say I’m sorry
I saw that you loved me.
I abused your trust
and I want to say again to you I’m sorry
I’m sorry Brian

I’m sorry Brian
I don’t have an excuse
If I had an excuse it’d be used
I’m a little brother with a used excuse
and a follower who followed the abuse
I adjusted to environments
one shouldn’t adjust to
The environment, myself stand accused
But that shouldn’t make you sorry
because I’m the one who’s sorry
as I look to the past and I conclude
I’m sorry Brian
Track Name: Friend Speaks My Mind
Jon Watts | Friend Speaks My Mind | Lyrics

I found Quakers when I was just a kid
and now I’m studying them
I hope you know how that is
I’ve got George Fox on my right, James Nayler’s on my left
and Margaret Fell is holding us together
give her some respect

It’s that first generation we look back to
to find out what being a Friend means through and through
I don’t fully understand it
I don’t know if I can
but I understand enough to know that I am a fan

I'm like, damn, I didn’t think that I would do this anymore
I got bored
listening to lectures felt like a chore
But now I’m begging Max Carter just to tell me some more
Oh lord

So when I heard this Christian stuff
I’d get uncomfortable a lot
I’m like, What does Jesus have to do with George Fox?
And when I heard the word Christ it would make my jaw drop
but now I kind of understand the man I’ve got a soft spot

I’m not a Christian but I’m a Quaker
I’ve got Christ’s inner light but he’s not my savior
I’m on a date to meet my maker
I got down at Young Friends
with some funky behavior

Now I’m a liberal Friend
That means F-G-C
and tons of other acronyms that set me free
and I’ve been running the gammut
from Quaker camps to sandwiches
with the Young Friends crew
I know we offend you
but yo, we’re Quaker like the rest of y’all
Just ‘cause we go to bed later
doesn’t mean that midnight isn’t Quaker

And yo I’m sorry like everybody
that Quakers had to split
but just don’t blame Elias Hicks for all our problems
We’re the Society of Friends
it’s time we acted like it
and start to work together just to try to solve them

So all you Friends in the Meetinghouse
put your hands up
and then twist them at the wrist
like you just got out of handcuffs
That’s how you clap for me
you’ve got to clap silently

I’m not a Christian but I’m a Quaker
I’ve got Christ’s inner light but he’s not my savior
I’m on a date to meet my maker
I got down at Young Friends
with some funky behavior

I found George Fox living in a journal
and it’s fertile
I’m learning
I mean, I’ve jumped a lot of hurdles
and done a lot of discerning
just to get to where I’m sure that
the ancestors are working for certain
met the Spirit in person
now I’m living life nurturing worship
(in certain circles there's a focus on service)

Now I know you might say
"Well, that’s some backwards theology"
I know you might say
"Well, that’s not right"
But that’s the way that I grew up
and it’s the way that I’m presenting it
Let’s hold all our differences in the Light
Alright

I’m not a Christian but I’m a Quaker
I’ve got Christ’s inner light but he’s not my savior
I’m on a date to meet my maker
I got down at Young Friends
with some funky behavior

To
Richmond Friends Meeting
BYM
FGC
Guilford College
QLSP
Pendle Hill
Earlham College
Shiloh Quaker Camp
Catoctin and Opequon
FCNL
AFSC
Langley Hill
Friendship Friends Meeting
Ashland Vineyard

FRIEND SPEAKS MY MIND
Track Name: There's a Spirit in Iraq
Jon Watts | There's a Spirit in Iraq | Lyrics

Dear Tom,
I don’t know where you are right now
It’s just a few people who do
I’m wondering what life’s like for you now
These weeks I’ve been thinking of you
This past Meeting for Worship we held you in prayer
and as I sat breathing American air
I kept wondering what life’s like there
Are they feeding you?

Dear Tom,
My inbox is full
It’s all stories and pictures of you
It’s high time we put R-E in front of 'connection'
and hope that you’re feeling it too

Dear Tom,
I just talked to my mom
I was coming from hiking the trail
Somehow I knew that the call was about you
She said that they found you

Dear Tom,
I’m thinking of writing a song
I fear that I won’t do it right
But I know that you’re with me in loving the wrong
and not letting it keep you from life

Dear Tom,
Your children are strong
I saw Cassie yesterday on the news
She got asked some tough questions
and we’re all asking now
when our media will stop ignoring truth
And I haven’t talked to Andrew
I hear he’s not well
I can’t imagine the things he must feel
And if Spirit would give me the words
I would tell him I love him and hope he can heal

Everybody feels you, Tom
You’re not long gone
You’ll live on in songs and in our hearts
And I can do my part and make this art
Spirit finishes what it starts

Tom Fox, this is Jon Watts
Can you hear me?
Have I listened to you clearly?
I read your blog
and I know it’s not lost but we lost you
We didn’t know what this would cost you
You’re lost in war zones
We wish we had you back
but you brought the war home
There’s a Spirit in Iraq

I’m remembering back to when you where a FAP
You had a silent and a powerful presence
You had so much wisdom that you kept inside
but we knew you were wise
your silence was the evidence
I learned from your eyes not to speak all the time
To be wise means to not have to prove it
And we talk about patience and love all the time
but you showed me that someone can do it

They’re saying the battle you’re fighting is lost
because you didn’t live all the way through it
Some Christians have said that your mission is ended
and even, they’ve said it was foolish

Tom Fox, this is Jon Watts
Can you hear me?
Have I listened to you clearly?
I read your blog
and I know it’s not lost but we lost you
We didn’t know what this would cost you
You’re lost in war zones
We wish we had you back
but you brought the war home
There’s a Spirit in Iraq

I said I believed in you in an interview
I felt I had to do with Fox News
and the man looked at me
and said he fully understood
how bad it must feel in my shoes
But my shoes are fine
I feel quite a bit of pain
but the bombs here fall less often than the rain Consecutive days are relatively the same
I don’t have to hide if the Americans find my name

So when they assume I want revenge
I don’t fully understand
There are thousands in Iraq who won’t have that And we can still sit back in our comfortable chairs
and laugh and get mad about the Nasdaq

So I know what you did, Tom Fox
I know how you helped those people
And the good that you’ve done is important right now
in the face of this thing that’s so evil
Because they’re pushing the families apart
and it’s hard to pull them together
And when I think of your life
there’s a piece in my heart
that sees peace that can last us forever

Tom Fox, this is Jon Watts
Can you hear me?
Have I listened to you clearly?
I read your blog
and I know it’s not lost but we lost you
We didn’t know what this would cost you
You’re lost in war zones
We wish we had you back
but you brought the war home
There’s a Spirit in Iraq
Track Name: This is Just a Song.
Jon Watts | This is Just a Song | Lyrics

It’s not
everybody living in the same space
It’s not
one thing you said or did that brought me to this place
I’ve got to face my fear
and then say it in a way that you can hear
but it’s unclear
and so I’ll focus on the clarity I have
I’ll spread out all my maps
and then perhaps what I have to do
is chart some new territory
I love this story
but I’m getting kind of tired of adventure
Is this essential?
When can I relax?

And I can hold on
I’m so strong
It’s been a long time coming and instantly it’s gone It’s just a song

It’s not the end of the world
It’s just another bad day
so please, I don’t need you to look at me that way
I’ll be ok
And this is nothing but a song
so just listen and nod
and then secretly wonder what you’ve done wrong

It’s just my voice
It’s just the core of me
It’s just as deep as you’ve ever heard me speak
It’s just some beats on a screen
I mean, I don’t mean to mean
You see? We’ve relied on our words for too long
It’s time to make songs

And I can hold on
I’m so strong
It’s been a long time coming and instantly it’s gone It’s just a song
Track Name: Faithful in Strife
Jon Watts | Faithful in Strife | Lyrics

I just followed the Spirit like a butterfly
And when I’m fully existing, it’s like the days fly by
I can’t always say the same for the nights
but when you’re holding onto something tight
it’s hard to let go
Shit, it’s difficult to go so slow

I want to be on the go
I want to see from the go
I want my “love is cheap” and “sex, release”
and even eat and sleep on the go

Oh no
Your “love is cheap” and “sex, release”
are costing you your peace
Don’t you know when you’re paying a price?
Put away your wallet
(the Spirit gives advice)
And when you listen to your conscience
it pays you back twice
Don’t be convinced by economics
just live out your life
And when you see something wrong
don’t close your eyes
Listen to this song or look at the sky
and say “I know I’m not perfect
This pile of shit is mine
and I’ve been working and working
and I’m doing real fine
I fuck up. I fuck up sometimes
I’m not bad because I’m not standing in a line
and I’m not going to show you a gang sign”

Pendle Hill lives on, faithful in strife
at least another time to sing Auld Lang Zime
and you can say these words
to make you faithful and strong
because I promise afternoons will be hang time

And just listen
I mean listen for the bell
there’s always a bell when you need to hear it
And next time you hear this
don’t fear it

Love,
(Spirit)
Track Name: So Well
Jon Watts | So Well | Lyrics

Now let’s spread it wide open
the distance should help
you know, and keep our eyes open
I’m hoping for self that I can get it together
and while it’s breaking apart
I took a break from this letter
You’re going to break our hearts

And that’s ok, Jon
That’s fine
This world is still a great place
for us to live out our lives
Just look around
I see a tree
I see this sea of mediocrity just vanish beneath me
I can go to him and climb up into my friend
Hatred turns to love as I climb from limb to limb
It’s like that

Suddenly everything has changed
I don’t feel the same
I envision my listening as a step outside this picture frame
and looking back in
how many virtues did I claim?
How many demons unnamed
that remained fueling all my flames?

I can go for long walks
I’m connected
taking in the sights and loving late night talks
My pain’s from the same place
the universe was made
so I live it and embody it
this running in place

The air’s full of life and everything is living
so when I’m walking at night
it often feels like I’m swimming
I’m so well held
I’m so far from hell
I’m exploring my story
and it’s going so well.