Collapsing Stars-“The Storm”

photo credit -Nick Busse


Whoa, have you ever had a day where you opened it up to anything? Where time and space didn’t matter and you could tumble in any direction of your choosing?

Today was one of those for me.

I have been handed some rough news here and there. Alone, each bit of news isn’t much, but collectively, all that negative stuff can get under the skin. So, I set aside the day to lean into my way of dealing with the weird inner voice that shouts, “You are not good enough”, hoping to quiet it.

Dig in…dig in…dig in.

I play music, lots of music. I listen to every submitted track going back as far as I need to. Then, if I am not satisfied, I research and study what others are listening to at the moment. I find lots of tunes that make sense and yet I continue digging. One will strike a chord deep within me, if I am a patient listener.

While listening and researching on my porch in the warm sunshine of the afternoon, something caught my eye. I didn’t pay much attention and continued on my joyous music seeking journey.

When my puppy looked at me longingly to go on a walk, I stopped what I was doing and took her out. Instead of going on a regular afternoon long walk, I chose to wander in the backyard with her. Then, I noticed her pawing at something and I immediately stopped her. That’s when I saw the sweet chipmunk.

I knew my dog wasn’t capable of harming it, it must have been struggling and wasn’t able to get away. I was suddenly slammed with the tragic fragility of life. The little chipmunk was hurt and made every attempt to struggle and move away.

I called my dog to get back on the porch. She was tenderly looking at me a bit worried. After years of barking and stalking chipmunks through her breakfast room window on the world, I think this was her very first physical encounter with one. She was blatantly confused at the normally feisty rascal’s inability to scramble away.

It wasn’t okay, but thank God it was still alive.

Little did I know that the rest of the day would be filled with my worried observations. I checked on it frequently…looking for its tiny chest to rise and fall. Several times it moved positions and I was hopeful for a possible recovery. I was also thankful for the dear life it held onto tightly.

Just before the setting of the sun and the quiet darkness that gently eased into the backyard, the chipmunk moved away from the protection of our shed steps and ventured out into the unknown of our backyard. It seemed exposed and vulnerable.

I worried even more.

So now, I have experienced worry, a few tears, and a odd calm spirituality all in connection with this tiny furry creature that is in my backyard. The chipmunk’s little life represents so much more than my own silly worries and fears. My chipmunk friend called me out on my personal negative wallowing and put everything I fear into perspective.

Unfortunately, I know there are terrible predators in my backyard. As the dark veil of night took over, I prayed for that little creature, with every prayer I could think of and even anointed those prayers with a few tears.

It is now about time to go and check again. I have tried to wait longer and longer between visits, hoping something miraculous might happen and the chipmunk is nowhere to be found.

This hurt chipmunk seemed so tragic and the victim of something so cruel, on this glorious spring day full of emerging buds, and flowering blossoms.

Tragedy and beauty together, having a moment….


Why not?

Life pushes on, seasons change, children grow, rejections happen, marriages begin and sometimes end, babies are born, hearts are broken, friendships are celebrated, and lives tragically end with and without warning. For every yin there is a yang. Within every sadness there is a quiet but important hidden joy. They work simultaneously in wild harmony. So, today as all of these things take place in our crazy storm of existence, my most predominant need is to seek out the joy.

And so, as I expected, a song appeared magically and pulled at my heartstrings. This song  unfolds so mindfully, I hope you will be patient and wait for its lovely unveiling.

“Alter your outlook and beauty awaits…”

Collapsing Stars-The Storm

“So it goes
The passing days
While we slow-
ly melt away
Mayhem tomorrow
And guilt today
Alter your outlook
And beauty awaits

The calm before the storm
Plays on
Accountable to no one

The calm before the storm
Plays on
Accountable to no one
The end comes
We’ll finally see what we’re made of
Where will we end up”

While listening to this beautiful song, I discovered Collapsing Stars recently released a newer song ahead of their sophomore album. How does this connection happen to me? I truly believe nothing is by accident. I was meant to find this next song, today of all days. I am still worried about that poor chipmunk….


Collapsing Stars-Pay Your Last Respects

“Will they love you while you’re here
Will they decorate your grave

Pay your last respects to those who won’t be coming back
Make your last attempt to hold onto the other side
Hang their pictures on the wall
Remember what they look like
Pay your last respects and keep their memory alive

Will I see you once again
At the end
And I’ll be waiting
I’ll be waiting till then

Pay your last respects to those who won’t be coming back
Make your last attempt to hold onto the other side
Hang their pictures on the wall
Remember what they look like
Pay your last respects and keep their memory alive.”

Collapsing Stars



Collapsing Stars gently blends folk, Americana, and blues into bittersweet thoughtful melodies. They are a four piece from Minneapolis MN, Ally Strycharske on cello, Mike Langhoff  on percussion,  Adam Heaney on bass, and Justin Wayne Nelson on guitar and vocals. Each of their songs comes to your ears in soft gentle whispers, but lyrically punches your emotions with force. They have seamlessly created music with meaning and depth. As a top 100 pick by NPR for SXSW, it will be interesting to see what comes next for them.

I am listening.





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