Tag Archives: songs

To All My Relations

August 28, 2011

On this small road winding through, it’s one step taken at a time. If my mind doesn’t remember the way, the blood in my veins pulses with knowing it, and the knowing of it courses through me fiercely, like I might burst with it, might fragment like broken pieces of wood, scattering.

I want to cry, I want to shout, I want to close my eyes, dream away the dark, dream until even my waking hours are of nothing but hope. I want to run, run and soar across this landscape howling with abandon, my voice flinging what eerie wails of sorrow and the sudden shrieks of joy only the earth beneath my feet and the sky above have cried.

I want to hold small children and comfort them, I want to stand in the middle of a field under a radiant sun, a warmth that could quell the chills that come with changes. I want to stand on a cliff so I can feel what it’s like to teeter on the edge of falling and not make a sound. I want to dive into a mountain pool, reassuring the water by my body turning cold that I am living, so my warmth can try to melt the icy past that causes me to freeze sometimes, even now, then rush to the surface, calling upon the wind to give breath to all that needs saying.

I want to know who I am and who we are, I want to hear my own songs echoed in others’ voices. I want to recognize myself in what others tell each other, I want to tell you my dreams. But most of all, I want to tear all I know apart until I come to the heart of the matter, speak softly, flail like an abandoned child, laugh until tears come to my eyes and the earth shakes with me, and hold you as if we were dying to live.

I say I am powerful, for I have made choices and will make them again, and I want to mold myself into words, spell them through my own motions, dancing them over and over, until, springing into action, I am whole and freed of standing still.

I say I am an ocean, for there is so much living within me, because I am gentle and strong, both crashing waves and tide pools hosting young. I am water, for I cannot be contained, I am the fires you lit on the hills, for I burn to rekindle the dreams we have lost, to leap into what is to come. I am drifting leaves, I am the cry of ravens and the lost and the found. I am the wind, for I will not stop rustling between the trees and around the faces of our children until I have carried all our tears and all our songs around the world. And I am the landscape that calls, that calls, which is why I must answer, speak for myself.

Strength is not just the courage of facing death, or hardship, or loss. It takes courage to love, to feel your own joy and the happiness of others engulf you and sweep you away, out of your own cocooned fur lined shelter you call your head. It takes strength to walk the path of those who have gone before, to weep with those whose despair has never left them. It takes strength to lie still, giving into another’s touch, to another’s dreams, and even to acknowledge needs of my own. I only hope I have that inside, when it is my turn to grow up, take my place in this world. And first I will return,and then, and then, and then, I cannot even imagine what will happen next. What will happen next?

Perhaps nothing will happen. Perhaps I will simply sigh with relief, or find nothing at all. But that will just mean more choices, more wondering, more wandering… and for a while now it has never been an easy thing to call somewhere home. It is all I long for. It is worth searching for who, for what you love, even if you never find it, even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Trees do that: witness, become part of, the passing of generations. Why not us, then, rooted as we are to the earth, our hands reaching, many leaves reaching across many branches for each other, silently guiding us back to our beginnings.


I woke up with a sadness that is not entirely mine.

Nothing but tears
Nothing but tears
For years, for lives  I’ve never known
Something that cannot be said

That I can only feel
As real as waves on sand<
As real as what whispers to me
Of the small bits of earth and sky I am.

Nothing but songs,
Nothing but songs
And the long wail
That just reaches home.

Colors fade, races blur,
We all want our children safe,
To keep alive what we always were.

All around the world, the eyes
And hands, of every people ever been —
They hold their children in their arms
And look around at what is left to them.

Nothing but shades of blue and green
Of brown and red and grey
Tearing souls from ancestral lands,
It still goes on today.

Nothing left but stories,
Nothing left but songs
And the few who can share where we come from
And to what place we might belong.

Why carry fear and hate inside
Toward the generations of the past?
Are there ways to heal those kinds of wounds?
Build and love and not destroy
To make sense of us at last.

Stop the world, and just reach out,
Can we not forgive?
I think, before we can be reconciled,
We must sing all the songs,

Remember how our world was made,
For each story has some truth
We all have the right to live
To pass these things on to our youth.

Differences are beautiful
And differences aside
We are at once just who we are
We can wipe away the others’ tears
The ones we each have cried.

Reflected in the wild sea,
Reflected in the desert sands,
We meet each other
Eye to eye,

And having found ourselves there,
Mirrored back to us,
Perhaps we'll love,
Or at least understand.</

We will sing all our songs,
We will cry all our tears,
And there will be strength to move on
Free the world of control and fear
And start to trust each other here.