All my life,
I've been treading paper in the space between the words.
And there implied -
is that I'm but another body for the birds,
carrion, absurd and accidental atoms -
beating air, carrying on;
unwitting orphan of an unyielding despair.

But linger on, just for a moment,
until we can ascertain if something's wrong with me -
or the assumptions of these self-indicted brains.
Because I contend that all of this -
is more than just a meaningless charade,
that each and every moment is a bottle with a message hid away.

If anything means anything,
there must be something meant for us to be,
a song that we were made to sing.
There must be so much more than we can see.

But all our lives,
we've been treading paper in the space between the words.
And there implied's the thought -
that we are barely more than bodies for the birds, carrion.
They say that we're just accidental atoms beating air,
carrying on and on,
unwitting orphans of an unyielding despair.

But our hearts tell a different story,
our hands feel a different pulse.
If anything means anything,
there must be something meant for us to be.

If anything means anything,
there must be something meant for us to be,
a song that we were made to sing.
There must be so much more than we can see.

Something fathomless,
deeper than our pride can dive;
numinous,
higher than our hearts can rise;
transcendent,
further than our thoughts can reach;
immanent,
closer than the air we breathe.


Lyrics submitted by Mortisfacio3

Treading Paper song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationThere's a lot of excess words in the lyrics that don't need to be there. For example the first line is simply, "All my life, treading paper in the space between the words."

    scbaseball12 is pretty spot-on for the most part. This song is pretty easy to grasp. Despite the dark themes it ends on a hopeful note which is really nice. Dustin is definitely of the Christian faith but this song is overall very spiritual and not necessarily Christian. I'm practically Buddhist and I can connect with this song on a pretty deep level. That is the beauty of Dustin's writing.

    For anyone who still doesn't get it let me put it simply. Live by your hearts and what you FEEL is right! Just for a second consider that maybe what American society and culture are spewing aren't necessarily the best things for humanity in the long-term. Try as you might but science CANNOT explain everything. What do you feel?
    Davidlesson September 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll my life,
    I've been treading paper in the space between the words. (Dustin has always fought against what science has taught us through books and media hence the title, Treading Paper)

    And there implied -
    is that I'm but another body for the birds,
    carrion, absurd and accidental atoms -
    beating air, carrying on; (We all are here on earth and will have the same inevitable end)

    unwitting orphan of an unyielding despair. (we are just orphans to the universe that know nothing about what will happen or happened before us)

    But linger on, just for a moment,
    until we can ascertain if something's wrong with me - (we are still alive until we can know for sure what is wrong with us)

    or the assumptions of these self-indicted brains. (we assume that our own thoughts about why were are here are wrong because of what we read and are taught)

    Because I contend that all of this -
    is more than just a meaningless charade, (dustin doesnt believe what he hears and thinks that our existence is more than meaningless)
    that each and every moment is a bottle with a message hid away. (self explanatory)

    If anything means anything,
    there must be something meant for us to be, (he again challenges that we are here for a reason)
    a song that we were made to sing.
    There must be so much more than we can see.

    But all our lives,
    we've been treading paper in the space between the words.
    And there implied's the thought -
    that we are barely more than bodies for the birds,carrion.
    They say that we're just accidental atoms beating air,
    carrying on and on,
    unwitting orphans of an unyielding despair.

    But our hearts tell a different story,
    our hands feel a different pulse.
    If anything means anything,
    there must be something meant for us to be. (we know that we are here to make connections and are not just a physical presence but rather a spiritual one)

    If anything means anything,
    there must be something meant for us to be,
    a song that we were made to sing.
    There must be so much more than we can see.

    Something fathomless,
    deeper than our pride can dive;
    numinous,
    higher than our hearts can rise;
    transcendent,
    further than our thoughts can reach;
    immanent,
    closer than the air we breathe.
    (This last verse he talks uses the words fathomless, numinous, transcendent, and immanent to describe why we are here and tries to explain that it is all beyond our thoughts and feelings. we are way more than just beings existing on earth. This song may or may not relate to God and dustins christian background although I like to think it isnt, rather it is just a generalization or at least thats how I take it. beautiful song..my personal favorite off the new record)
    scbaseball12on September 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentInteresting revelation I got on the key lines "Treading Paper in the space between the words"...Words denote meaning, definition, character, purpose, direction...as opposed to the spaces in between them (as a blank page). Furthermore...the posture of being contained in this space b/w words is resultant of ignorance...ignorance toward anything BUT logic (fathomless, transcendant). Ignorance toward deep intuition. It's interesting to think that he alludes to atheistic evidence/logic as treading space (emptiness, lacking substance) and the invisible, intangible, unfathomable aspects I believe he refers to as words (substantial, vital; the hidden, underlying reason for our existence).
    Perspectiveon October 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPretty amazing lyrics, as always.

    Dustin is the best songwriter around who can communicate the despair and transient feeling that accompany nihilism. But he also communicates the hope that one can turn to in the darkness...
    StillSearching18on September 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPretty amazing lyrics, as always.

    Dustin is the best songwriter around who can communicate the despair and transient feeling that accompany nihilism. But he also communicates the hope that one can turn to in the darkness...
    StillSearching18on September 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song has a lot of the themes that have been contained in many other Thrice songs before it.

    I can't help but think of To What End, when I hear the words "absurd and accidental atoms beating air". I think its a song about the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life. It also echoes the Platonic theme that appears in almost every Thrice album; there is something out there that we aren't able to seedirectly, and that we aren't getting the full picture through our senses of what is really going on, but that this is where the real meaning in life is to be found.
    kegoolsbyon September 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song appears to be a response to Bertrand Russell's stance on atheism. One of the lines from Bertrand Russell is as follows:

    Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's salvation henceforth be safely built.

    In response, the lyrics appear to point out the failed logic of man...
    eeeeeeeeon September 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Absurd and accidental atoms" should be "sudden accidental atoms" according to the lyric sheet.
    kungfuasauruson October 25, 2011   Link

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