Exhilaration of Exile

by Memory Mines

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released August 7, 2017

Exhibit A written and read by Tom Polinko.

Exhibit B written by Chris Atkins. Tracks 1-8 read by Chris Atkins and track 9 read by Bob Atkins.

Guitar effects help and manipulation by Tom Polinko on tracks 4 and 7.
All other music by Chris Atkins.

Recording and mixing by Chris Atkins.

Album artwork by Graham Burkum of Awful Creative. Album artwork concept by Chris Atkins.
(Artwork depicts the glory of God shining through the lens of the heart of mankind revealing the need for the Gospel or blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

Mastered by Cody Bailey of Bailey Recording.

Dedicated to Isaac Whitman and the Whitman family. Isaac escaped the Exhilaration of Exile before he left us unexpectedly. His brothers and sisters in Christ will see him again soon. He is exactly where he wants to be.



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Memory Mines Omaha, Nebraska

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Track Name: Disintegration of Meanwhile
Exhibit A:
I do a lot of things, but none of them well. May I be casted into the shadows where all the good men have fell. Wasted away to pages of history, left blank. So, I and this pen can relive again and men think me to be clever. For no one will know. Not the angels in heaven or the demons below because we philosophize on things in which we do not know or can be known, searching for all those lost souls, begging to know if we are truly alone. Cause there is not a pill that can cure me from what I want and at the heart of it all, I am truly lost. So, will we drink ourselves to nothing as if there was a purpose to give up or will we willingly close our eyes forever or will we just tie them shut?

Exhibit B:
Standing on edge of bed. Toes hanging off. No courage to fly. This room is my heartbeat and my home. All time spent here. Could be floating in space. Could be sinking in the ocean. Could be evaporating into the wind. Wing clipped. Dives are spirals. Defense mechanisms engage. Teaching myself to enjoy what I hate. No windows in these eyes. Closed doors with no handles. Lifting off in a lie.
Track Name: Walls Rise
Exhibit A:
You tried to escape being alone, but when you melt into your chair in public, feeling the molecules of someones words float through you. When people are around but you cannot feel their presence. It's like living on a foreign planet, wandering. Music becomes artificial, movies become untasteful, love becomes unbearable. There isn't a question I can ask nor an answer I can get that will get me what I am looking for. Pinpointing moments of where it began thinking it held a key to unlock the future, only to no avail, sinking further into a day in which light would not shine. Gathering help to hear, you think too much, you are not special, and I don't know what is wrong with you? Passing judgement in a chair you have been buried beneath for years. Maybe we aren't too different. One was a paycheck and one was for livelihood. The way back is a hard.

Exhibit B:
Fade into chiming bell. Compacted. Compartmentalized. No marketing. Hiding in the street noise. Hiding in the shade. Cycle starts. Wheel spins. Greetings taken slowly or not at all. Force a smile or they’ll think you hate them. Make a joke or they’ll ask questions. Work until you bleed to leave your mark. Let your actions speak louder than your words, because you don’t want to talk about it.
Track Name: Think of Her
Exhibit A:
If you walk away who is going to carry me home? Because I am a million miles away from my own body. I am not strong, I am not like you, I am scared. As I wiped the tear from her cheek, I have never been good at being a man. Just tell me your fears? How can I because the only thing I am afraid of is you. Now the future makes me ill, risk tears at my gut, and I am scared that you are leaving, but you were always leaving. Now I am leaving. Just a walking casket and it isn't fair to my mother to bury a son who is still alive. Just barely beating that dark cloud. Step after step, heavier than the last, I cannot last this way. You can have my sleep, you can have my joy, you can have my mind, but my body is left to ones I love. I am sorry because they should have been given the power I gave. They were the only ones I should have ever loved.

Exhibit B:
Think of her. Careful now. No need to pull out stitches. Even if it itches. Think of her. Piece her together. The calming touch and lifting voice that breaks silence like water soaking into paper. The pockets of heat under long hair. The humid shade of a willow tree in summer. Think of her. Tight embraces. Holding each other like we’re falling from the clouds into the sea. Support beams. Support system. Scaffolding and ladders. Empathy and curiosity. Piles of black dust. Misunderstandings gathered for extraction. The burden of Brazilian Cherry. The burden of her smile. Call the Doctor. Need new stitches.
Track Name: All I Have is Me
Exhibit A:
Why is happiness not my default? I imagine it’s everyone else’s and though, I know it's not true, I can't help but put that on most strangers' faces. Defect in my innocence grew into cynical regret. Why do I care to live forever? I don't like living now and I don't like the world in which I exist, so why make something that will live on? Why tell the truth or lie or speak at all? Why rise up when it’s much easier to fall? The one I love will not enjoy the grimace of my speech and it's just a constant reminder of things in which I don't care to think. So why?

Exhibit B:
Spy found his way in. Too fast to catch. Personal information downloaded to floppy disk. Wait for fallout. Nothing. Wait for threats or invasions. None. The information had no value. Validation doesn’t exist here. No spaces left. Not for what you rolled up in. Close call. Get back on highway. Blare stereo. Dull the heart and feed the senses.
Track Name: Letting it Ride
Exhibit A:
Are you afraid that you are going nowhere? Or are you afraid that there is nowhere to go? I didn't know that everything was fleeting, so I turned to a journey to see if I belong. I traced my steps back to the land of my fathers to a land with the strictest rule and a land with loose morals. I looked for you in the rainforest and I looked for you in the desert. I called your name on mountains. I held my breath while floating in the sea. I gathered with people on the busiest street corners and I got as far away from anywhere you could get. I saw the monuments that proclaimed glamour to the image of men and I saw moments that could only be known unto me. I have dined with the richest and I have slept with the poorest. Yet, my soul longs to escape…still. I am homesick. Always have been, and I always will be.

Exhibit B:
Straight and narrow as ever. Check monitor. Incoming truths. Take small bite. Leave rest for later. Stay hungry. White perforated lines blur to solid. Roaring engine. Hair in wind. Wind in hair. Shirt fills like parachute. Brass and brushes sing dry in my heart’s Sahara. It snowed here once. I felt you in a blink of time. Bullet on wheels through the heat rays drowns you out. My lie continues in seemingly, blissful elation.
Track Name: All I Hate is Me
Exhibit A:
Why let me be so selfish? Why let me be so self indulgent? I can see the whole world, I can make great things, I can have the perfect job, house, family, car, musical arrangement, book idea, talent, love, but I will never be filled. Because it's not about what I want. No, it's not about me. Because as exhilarating as exile can be, if I want to be full then it needs to be more than me.

Exhibit B:
Be quiet me. I’m sick of hearing your voice. Gaze averts from reflection. Focus on the positive. Happy thoughts. Hold breath to hear quiet. Quiet lost in blood ringing. Break surface of apathy. Gasp for air. Lose desire to wade. Sink. Join circle with sleeping whales. Murmurs of the events of the day. Empty conversations. Short greetings and farewells. Limbo relations. Potential energy can’t catch a break. Sick to stomach from imagining existence from other people’s perspectives. Need a drink. Need a walk. Don’t do either. Think self to sleep. Anything to not hear voice for the rest of today.
Track Name: Dream of Her
Exhibit A:
If you don't ever fall asleep does the day ever change? If the day never changes how are you suppose to change your way? When you awake you forget you are new, reborn to do as all others have come and known to do. Without sleep you learn that age should be counted in sleep and not in days, because for a moment I was the oldest person alive. Consecutively, four days. What’s the longest you've ever lived? Exiled, but never alone. Home is where your mind is and they were all there. But the thing that was lost, was holding the strings and my body unraveled to my frame. I wanted to take the strings and make a dreamcatcher, but you have to sleep to dream and ghosts were more visible than I felt. The clay spoke to the maker and apologized for losing its composure. To the tears of the maker saying this is what I built you for, I love you. But this movie played a thousand times and I still can't remember their lines or mine. Reality isn't right when your brain wages war on you through the night.

Exhibit B:
Dream of her. Dusty buildings in breaking city. Dust dancing as armored tank rolls through. Joy on faces of few people encountered. She looks back with a grin. Leads you off the road and through a doorway. Dream of her. Up creaking stairs. Sun shines white through windows. Dust dances slow like ghost in illumination. She passes through with grace. Sounds of the street falling away. Footsteps reverberate slightly. Dream of her. Long narrow room. Rows of beds like a barracks. She sits on the second to last on your right. Sits lazily and peacefully, feet bouncing. You reach out hand. Black. Awake. Confused. I remember her face. I remember a face. I remember there being a face. I remember something about there being a face. I remember nothing. Non-existent memory has passed on to wherever it passes on to. No map to it.
Track Name: Walls Fall
Exhibit A:
Captivated by my shame. Can’t even bear to see the light. Holding on to a frame that I now spend my whole life. Finding more sleepless nights than any hour of slumber. Split into fractions, the subconscious and the broken lover. I am see-through, transparent, held together by someone else’s love. I am now the alchemist trying to turn medicine to love. Chemical equations to complete the hole inside my chest and soothing burns from the acid under my skin. If the weight of the world snapped my spine, the X-rays showed the cosmos where my discs should have been. It crumbled into itself, like a black hole and my mind followed, completely hollowed. I will fall in the spaces in between time, separated by mass and the speed of light, because the best things are hardly seen. Just watching the bending of light from my bed, blended with color, these stars were my own and no one else’s. Word, action, and deed. None could I use in full to complete the things in which I mean. You have either been exiled or you haven’t, and you either choose to be there or it chooses you. I float in space with stars at arms length. It was nice for a while, but it's getting cold… I've gotten cold.

Exhibit B:
Go for walk in the night. Need answer to questions. Lie is running out. Need comfort for heartaches. Will barter fake happiness for real sadness. Will gamble away lonely pride for humiliation with trustworthy friends. Will cut prices on time to find self, whatever that was supposed to mean. Will call demolition crew to tear down wall. Will call locksmith to install door. Don’t want to rely on self anymore. Don’t want to talk to self anymore. Don’t want to calculate worth anymore. Too many zeros. Need help. Need love, need help. The adventure was a sham. The kite has no wind. No string. No kite. Losing self. Need help. Cry out. Cry out. Waterfall eyes. Earthquake hands. Howl like dog. Hear voice. Waterfall stops, earthquake ceases, howl weakens. Hear voice. See light, hear voice. Lie is fading. Lie is forgiven. Person by campfire. You reach out hand. Touch shoulder. Person turns. Love incarnate. Sitting in the middle of the clock where no hands can reach them. Just for you.
Track Name: Exhilaration of Exile
Exhibit A:
Quiet now. The time has passed. The dark is not forever and neither is the storm. Hold onto the light and smile when the sun shines upon you. Take a seat and feel the wind. Laugh at small things. Enjoy the sounds of the city at night. Delight in the words of a friend or the laughter of your mother. Feel small in the presence of something that is great and remember that infinity is just as far out as it goes in. Maybe loneliness is more about communing with God and maybe exile is true separation, but there is no darkness just the absence of light. And remember the dark is not forever and neither is the storm. So, quiet your mind. The time has passed. Step into the light you've longed for your whole life and smile because you are finally there. You are finally without holes…you are finally you.

Exhibit B:
Storms come and go. Businesses rise and fall. People love and hate. Desires fuel and destroy. You are not really alone. Fear bites and releases. Weariness hurts and informs. Blood thins and thickens. Headaches pulse and whisper. You are not really alone. Not really. The heart keeps pumping. The wind keeps blowing. The sun keeps rising. The water keeps flowing. You are not really alone. Can’t you hear it? The light has always shined in the darkness. The love has always pushed against the hatred. The pain is only felt for what is sacred. You can escape the exhilaration of exile. You can escape the exhilaration of exile. You must escape the exhilaration of exile. There is rest to be had, but for now… into His arms... run.