by Sleeping At Last

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released September 15, 2009



all rights reserved


Sleeping At Last Wheaton, Illinois

Sleeping At Last is Chicago-based singer-songwriter, producer and composer, Ryan O’Neal. His upcoming release Atlas: Year Two consists of 25 singles to be released throughout 2015-2016, highlighting the themes of Life, Senses, Emotions, Intelligence, and Enneagram.

SAL's music is frequently heard on popular TV Shows and Film like Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Bones, and Astronaut Wives Club.
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Track Name: Porcelain
the door broke when you slammed it shut,
and the cracks kept reaching long after you left.
through the floorboards, branching towards the hall,
like vines that never rest...
climbing like fire through the walls.
a single spark that claims the whole forest -
i know, i know... it's all for the best.
but honestly, i would rather be
safe from a distance than here...

when i fell to my knees
to sew the damage shut,
i couldn't believe...
a bright, staggering light
came flooding into me
from out of the seams.

so i reached deeper in
and pulled my whole world wide open,
and for each broken mile, a billion
miracles happen at once
in everything... in everything.

but i'm safe from a distance, right here.

everything i love
was made of porcelain,
ready to break.
but the bright, staggering light,
it anxiously waits inside.
like nesting dolls, the secret hides.
and like every birth,
it was a necessary pain...
i know, i know...
it's all worth the wait, worth the weight.
Track Name: Chandeliers
when all of the pieces align,
when the balance is clearly defined,
we'll sigh and we'll settle down
for the first time.

but held in museum display,
time pulls us further away.
and when we rebuild it,
all of the details fade.

into the tide,
where the sun fills our eyes,
only silhouettes
will remain in the place
where our rare bird of grace appeared.

in our pale imperfect light,
our palms will stabilize,
and your brightness
will close our heavy eyes,
and we'll dream with you.
we'll dream with you.

when we awake, we are left
with the eggshells inside of the nest
and the promise that one day soon,
it will come back to us...
when we reach into the night,
where the water will rise,
your wings will unbend.
in your brilliant display
all our worries will wash away.

on pale, imperfect eyes,
chandeliers rely...
and the brightness will
weave lace out of light
when we dream of you.

in our pale, imperfect light,
our palms will stabilize,
and the brightness
will close our heavy eyes,
when we dream of you.
we'll dream with you.
Track Name: Naive
religion is a breeding ground
where the devil's work is deeply found,
with teeth as sharp as cathedral spires,
slowly sinking in.

God knows that i've been naive
but i think it makes him proud of me.
now it's so hard to separate
my disappointments from his name.

because shadows stretch behind the truth,
where stained glass offers broken clues
and fear ties knots and pulls them tight.
it leaves us paralyzed.

but in the end such tired words will rest.
the truth will reroute the narrow things they've said.
the marionette strings will lower and untie
and out of the ashes, love will be realized.

God knows that we've been naive
and a bit
nearsighted to say the least.
it's broken glass at children's feet
that gets swept aside unexpectedly.
Track Name: Slow & Steady
you carved our initials
into these family trees.
but when the branches are bare and broken,
love is so hard to reach.

we've learned to brace for the worst
and to read the last pages first,
surrender feels safe.

maybe the soul is the soil that holds the fallen seed,
or the light pouring down in between the rain clouds,
daring life to reach;
or maybe it's the rings in the trunk of the tree,
a birthmark time will leave
to measure the past.

but we can't dream when we're wide awake
or fall in love with a heart too strong to break.

faith is expensive to taste,
and time is borrowed loose change
that's already been spent.

maybe the soul is the tone of voice
that unearthed the words that we needed...

maybe the soul is a suitcase that holds the backup plan
a collection of keys and the patience we need
to start again.

maybe it's the thresholds that swallow us whole
as we learn to let go,
in spite of the dirt on our clothes.
Track Name: Clockwork
there is glass between our touch,
phantom limbs of former love...
and the truth is that I am so terrified

that the callous is deeper
than the surface of our skin.
and it takes us twice as long,
it takes us twice as long to heal.

we'll lift up the ground to see
the system of roots beneath.
gears turn, endlessly,
to bring the world back to life
like clockwork, when it dies.

the cadence of beating hearts,
the click of its moving parts
grows louder and louder
from this restless earth...

future gardens wait patiently below
and somehow we smell them blossom
through the snow.

still unsatisfied,
we chase what we're denied.
as generations wait,
we can't resist the taste of possibility.
gears turn, endlessly,
to bring us back to life again.
like clockwork, we begin.
Track Name: Unmade
when we were young
our words were innocent -
whiter than snow,
awkward and slow.
now when we speak,
we risk an avalanche.
but that's not enough now
to reroute our plans.

i believe that we've got it wrong, got it wrong.
we'll realize when it's said and done, said and done,
that in our words we've lost so much more
than we've ever won.

the aftermath
is cracked wood where fences stood
and the broken bones of our childhood.

in our trembling fear,
we put words inside God's mouth.
we cover our tracks
and get so proud of ourselves,
we get so proud of ourselves,
we get so proud of ourselves
when we get away.

i believe that we've got it wrong, got it wrong.
we'll realize when it's said and done, said and done,
that in our words we've lost so much more
than we've ever won.

it's in our nature to complicate,
but in the end it's the casualties
that carry all the weight.
Track Name: Timelapse
only the eyes of owls can be seen here;
they are the stars, they radiate.

and every constellation
is a fraction of God's DNA
that we were made to notice and navigate.

as the moon commands the tide
to balance the weight of change,
we must learn to follow all the same.

when the northern lights were born,
the color poured into our eyes,
like tipping a glass with the ocean inside.

into the darkness,
we will send our symphonies -
a shorthand of existence,
a slowly turning key,
the voyager will leave us
with this modest memory of home.

when the sunlight wakes the earth
from its deep sleep,
all creatures bloom.
and through lifted lashes, all is new.

as a newborn recognizes
its mother's voice from inside the womb,
may we remember the warmth of our youth.

the overture was written,
like the calm before a storm.
with hummingbird precision,
we must follow every chord...

time-lapse reveals a slight of hand,
it unties the rules of time and plan.
stillness is only a state of mind,
a blind spot that brightness has left behind.
wet paint is a privilege that we will find.

as the wrist of an artist
pulls the foreground into the frame,
we must learn to focus, all the same.

all these restless conversations
have tied a string to every living thing,
and our illustrations will draw them near.
Track Name: Birdcage Religion
so slowly i'm losing
who i've sworn to be.
a promise in pencil
that years have made so hard to read.
i've spent my life building walls
brick by brick and bruise by bruise...
a birdcage religion that whispered me to sleep.

but time is spinning silk
that coils ruthlessly;
with the devil's patience,
it binds my hands so quietly
that soon it becomes a part of me.

so soften these edges and straighten out my tie.
and help me remember
the hope that i have compromised.

please be a broken record for me.
Track Name: Green Screens
if only worry could make it change,
suddenly our world would take new shape;
on miles and miles of green screens
love hangs on invisible strings.

so roll up your sleeves,
this could take some time.
everything waits on assembly lines - but not here.
in the emergence of plan,
we'll be surrounded by hands.

the storyboard outlines our escape
and second guesses will be erased;
on the cutting room floor
everything falls into place.

if only our futures could be tamed,
suddenly our past would have no say.
and in the emergence of film, pouring overhead,
our bodies relearn how to feel.
and somehow the screen embodies every ideal
as the orchestra so sweetly reveals,
and the background artist carries us there...
the conflict compliments repair.

we're all on the edge of our seats,
we're all on the edge of our seats
until the end.
Track Name: All This To Say
all this to say,
our future is a blank page
that we chose to pour ourselves into
when God pressed play.

and we'll drag our pens
into these parallel lines
to record and to articulate
everything we find.

as decades unlace,
we'll pause and carefully trace;
our shadows are puddles of ink
that our memory saves.

layer by layer, the framework was formed
on an epic of paper:
we breathe to explore.
fast-forward motion
will gracefully show
the flickering story
that all of our sketches unfold.

before we were born
God gently told us the truth,
but understanding is something that stops
as our bodies bruise.

so we'll concentrate,
constantly rewinding tapes.
was the ghost just a glare on the lens
that our minds create?
our minds create...
when God pressed play.

layer by layer, the framework was formed
on an epic of paper:
we breathe to explore.
and fast-forward motion
will gracefully show
the flickering story
that all of our sketches unfold.