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03. fluorescent

by Switchfoot


i am the moth

beating his wings against the dusty window

outside of your dull fluorescent light

youth was dark with the simple things

you had your light

i had my wings

you were the brightest star in the black night

my fluorescent girl in the city light

how long, my fluorescent favorite?

how long until you are mine?

today, tonight, today, tonight?

how long, my fluorescent light?

the spiders and the ants, and the dance goes

two by two into arks of oblivion

ours is a desperate song:

'youíre not that bright, iím not that strongĒ

and our outcome looks exceedingly clear:

we are always separate, always near

how long, my fluorescent favorite?

how long until you are mine?

today, tonight, today, tonight?

how long, my fluorescent light?

how long, my fluorescent favorite?

how long until you run out of light?

a year, a month, a day, a night?

how long, my fluorescent light?

you lead me on

with your pseudo sun

your light might not be all that bright

but in the dark it feels so strong

my wings canít last this long

Behind the Song:

luorescent: story behind the song - by Jon Foreman

“You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.” - Plato’s Republic

I was watching the slow demise of a moth outside of a gas station window. He was struggling in vain, in a futile attempt to reach the dusty fluorescent glow beyond the window pane.

I looked back down at my cell phone and marveled at this strange light that often holds me captive. The moth and me: both of us transfixed, consumed by a hopeless pursuit, a glow that can never be acquired. How many lights that I have chased seem to shine so bright until I see them for what they truly are? How many hours have I wasted running after phantoms that could never offer me meaning or truth?

On a cloudy night, the artificial light shines brighter than the stars. And what dark days are these- Looking for light, Looking for meaning, Looking for purpose... Like a flower bending towards the sun, we are inclined to all end up chasing the brightest thing we can see. A ghost, a myth, a fear, a fancy... 

I looked back to the moth and wondered, which endeavor was more absurd? A moth, spellbound by the artificial glow of a gas station fluorescent light? Or me: looking for love, meaning, purpose, acceptance somewhere within and beyond the LED screen of my iPhone. Both of us chasing ghosts on a summer’s night.

We don’t need the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave anymore, our postmodern prisons are much more entertaining.




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