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