For Sandy

Meditation on Friday

The world is not a perfect place.
There is injustice here, unfairness,
dismissal of what’s best and true,
in us, in others.
But you cannot keep love in check forever.
You cannot keep what’s right in limbo for too long.
You cannot keep trust in solitary, confined to darkness.
You cannot keep the strength of your rebellious soul
in a prison box of belief or the attacks of popular opinion.
You. You will leak out into the world
without anybody’s required passport or stamped, indifferent permission.
Without knowing, without trying,
your dignity will be known for exactly what it is.
No matter how you try to hide,
the self can be bricked up and hidden only for a short while.
You know that and you know
it cannot last.
All walls
are meant to be broken,
all chains
are meant to be severed.
Joy is meant to pierce even the jailor’s distorted heart
and children are meant to skip true
to the music of a gracious, original sun.

The world is not a perfect place.
Some kill, and not just the body,
for the thrill and pleasure of the power
to fill a hole and find again their own elusive center.
But you. You! You don’t give that kind of life away.
You find the sanctuary, the secret,
and you call, even if misunderstood for a lifetime, to those around you.
You find the mystery and sing it out as a home for all.
You stop giving in to depression, anger, fear and the common self-destruction.
You remember — for all — the heart’s fervent song
of welcomed peace, of what is right
of what bonds us and what is our love,
of what calls us forward to possibilities
we cannot possibly fully know, but trust,
loving the unknown irony of our collective solitude in space
and our sometimes awkward work together,
self-deceived as it might be.
You, after the pain, still give
to the meadows and mountains
and the big seas our common hope
to make this our better place
to make us a better people,
to remind us of our dreams and our humble rights,
the ones we have lost all too often
to the raw, wounding, unforgettable wars
of color, gender, nation, identity and spirit;
to remind us of our humble rights
to care for those we care for,
to love who we will love;
to be together — or to be alone for a lifetime —
to be exactly who we are, and in our way always
to celebrate the sweet, transient,
unfathomable, incredible
people we
are meant to be.


RSS and email subscription, monthly Unfolding Leadership newsletter, search and other functions may be found at the “Further Information” tab at the bottom of this page.


  • Dan, this is so beautiful and inspiring….I was tearing up as I read it!!! (in a good way!)

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational words and wonderful heart filled with hope and love for all.

    Warm regards,
    Samantha Hall

  • Dan,

    That is an absolutely beautiful piece. It is also very timely. You have no idea how much that helped me at the very moment. Thank you.

  • Samantha and Ryan!

    Thank you both! It’s kind of you to take a moment to comment. I so much appreciate your presence here as part of the community we share.

    All the best to both of you!

  • A stunning moving post as stunning and beautiful as you are Dan!

    It’s like you whispered the echos of my soul and you unveiled the shadow of my heart.

    Thank You.

  • Thank YOU, Lolly. I love the poetry you have added — wonderful!

  • Dan, So beautiful and moving–wrapping me in a cloak of understanding and joy, opening crystal images for me to explore and hope to become. Thank you for sharing your talent and your soul.

  • Lyn, thank you for your lovely response to my poem. I appreciate you!

  • Bravo, Dan! Your words are lilting, and uplifting. Grace, spirit, heart, soul, and love carry your message. Thank you for sharing your precious beingness with us!

  • Thank you so much, Debbie. It’s great to hear from you. I hope all is well and wonderful in your world.

  • Kadi Rae wrote:

    Thank you Dan. Another soul-stirer from your centre. And oh how bittersweet, how appropriate, the image of “Bar” La Llorona.

  • Ah, Kadi, you got the image and the emotion. When I found the photo in a file of pictures I took in Morelia, it touched me and I thought it might touch others, too — if they knew the legend and felt the irony of the bar.

    Thanks for noticing another part of the poem!

  • […] Meditation on Friday by Dan Oestreich […]

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.