Maybe We Can Finally Breathe

I wrote this poem last year, right after George Floyd was killed, while the protests were going on. A lot happened in my life since then that prevented me from doing what I wanted to do with this poem, which was make a video for it.

Yesterday I watched the closing arguments in the trial of the officer who killed George Floyd, and I felt compelled to share my poem with the world.

Now, with the verdict in, maybe we are finally making some progress and the last line of my poem has a possibility of becoming a reality.

I Can’t Breathe

I thought I was waking up to just another day

But I saw something, and could not look away

The images play over and over again in my mind

I try to understand, but no answers can I find

This was no mistake, so don’t be mistaken

A life was not lost, in the light of day it was taken

Once again we bear witness to a truth so many still deny,

as “I can’t breathe,” once a plea, now becomes a battle cry

Unarmed, but not unharmed, in peace, forever, he does lay

Adding yet another debt, to a balance no one is willing to pay

How can two men go down on one knee, yet stand so far apart?

And though they beat the same, have such different hearts?

It’s time we stand united, and stop writing this same tragic history

Together, creating a land, where every woman and every man, are finally, and truly, free

Marie Kukula-Tyner

YET ANOTHER LONG-OVERDUE GOODBYE

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I will be writing a longer post explaining why. Right now, I’m working on healing, which is requiring me to look at a lot of things in my life, especially on an emotional level.

Today, as I sat quietly in our garden, I realized that long-held anger has manifested into toxic matter in me physically. While there’s a lot to be angry about in the world right now, I don’t feel that this is new anger, and, interestingly, I don’t feel that it’s my anger.

This anger was given to me long ago and I’ve held on to it because I’m not sure I even knew it was there. But, today, it became evident that it is there and that it has been there for as long as I can remember. Now that I realize this, I will work on releasing this anger, prying myself from its terminal grips, which will allow me to discover who I am without it.

This epiphany in our garden today reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago, A Long-Overdue Goodbye (see below), when I was releasing some old emotional trauma. I end Chapter 19, Your Mind, of The Spirit Factor with this poem. I’m sharing it here because, like me, I’m sure many of you also need to say a long-overdue goodbye to something in your lives.

It may not be easy, but it’s necessary for us to not only survive but also to thrive. Life truly is a never-ending journey of letting go of things that hold us back and smother our spirits. So, today, let’s be brave together and say a long-overdue goodbye to what we need to let go of, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and discover who we truly are without what we’re saying goodbye to.

I hope that my poem helps you with this process. Read it, meditate on it, and let it be your mantra as you free yourself and your spirit.

A Long-Overdue Goodbye

I’ve carried you around for quite some time
Little did I know, you were never really mine
I took on your burdens as if they were my own,
and you gladly handed them over, then left me to be alone

I waited for you, hoping you would come back for me,
but the days and months and years went by,
and never again did you I see
I tried to move on and hide my wounds from the world,
hoping no one would notice I was just a broken little girl

I looked for someone to rescue me from the prison of my pain,
but no matter how much others loved me, there it would remain
The inner war raged on for, oh, so many years
It was a brutal and bloody battle, that would never end, I feared

But just as I was ready to surrender and let my life slip away,
I realized I had suffered a debt that was never mine to pay
So I must say a long-overdue goodbye to the sins of our family tree
For I’ve decided that it’s time for me to finally be free

Marie Kukula-Tyner

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A Long-Overdue Goodbye

Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth

Somewhere CD Cover

Since moving from Southern California to the mountains of eastern Washington over 13 years ago, I have experienced so many moments of incredible beauty in nature.

While I love each of the four seasons the Pacific Northwest offers, I especially love the winter months because of the snow.

I don’t care who you are, when the first snow of the season arrives, you feel like a kid.

Yes, by the end of the winter I’m ready for the snow to go, but there is nothing more beautiful and magical than watching snowflakes gently fall from the sky, swirling about before they land on the ground or find their places on the branches of the trees.

Snow creates a silence that we seldom experience in our lives, and it turns everything it touches into a piece of art, softening the sharp edges of the world as it does.

I have taken countless walks through the forest we live in on many a snowy days, and there is no other experience I’ve ever had that compares to the silence and beauty of those times.

It truly feels like you’ve been transported to a place somewhere between heaven and earth.

On one of those walks, surrounded by stunning beauty, words came to me that turned into the poem “Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth.” (The forest is where most of the inspiration for THE SPIRIT FACTOR came from.)

I sent this poem out in our Christmas card that year. Joe Rozum (joerozum.com), who is a talented pianist and composer, was one of our friends who received it.

Years later, Joe and his friend, gospel vocalist Stephen B. Steward, turned that poem into a song. Actually, they turned it into the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard with truly inspired vocals, music, and arrangements that brought a life to my words that I never could have imagined.

With no budget, we put together a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEdIhTuP-gc), which includes Joe and Stephen performing the song and me walking on the same forest path where I wrote the poem.

Please take a moment to watch the video, and let it transport you to that place where beauty, peace, and possibilities live … somewhere between heaven and earth.