“The Guest,” the last in Abel’s Rainbow Songs cycle, is an achingly appreciative evocation of an alter ego figure: a friendly phantasm who appears “to set me straight” in times of travail and uncertainty. This better angel helps the singer-narrator to float, unaffected, above the rat race’s “madding crowd” of conformity and hustle – giving welcome assurance, even in the face of the world’s shallow and meaningless trappings, that “you will endure.” The piano accompaniment supports the vocal lines with musings that are alternately dreamy and bustling.
It rises like the tide, imperceptible at first.
And then, before I know which shape it assumes,
it’s standing next to me -– my spirit’s double.
Not fearful, but a friend who comes around in times of trouble.
She may work her magic again.
Her face looks a lot like mine, but ageless.
What torments me she hardly acknowledges.
Some of us are in need of an empath,
but she provides a different example to set me straight.
So serene, she spans the distance between thought and word.
An elegant creature, quite sure where her path lies.
Lighter than gravity, she floats high above the madding crowd.
Moving in lockstep, they have nothing to show us two.
We merge like the river currents
winding through the teeming delta of consciousness,
harnessing our energy, then borne toward the ocean’s foam.
When my soul is healed anew
I remember the purest times I’ve ever had.
As my tears softly fall, she turns to me, as if to say,
“You will endure.”