A Thousand Years


Lyrics to Christina Perri’s song: A Thousand Years

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

One step closer
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

*For you dearest.

More than an Email Postbox

Imagephoto by Babak Tafreshi

It was more than that…

It was a heart

A multitude of colours

It was a song

A familiar knowing…

It was a smile shared

A sense of longing

That was no longer longed for,

Yet still longing

It was a lifetime of missing,

Yet knowing it was there

It was a universe of surprises

All the while trusting

The divine timing

It was more 

Than just an in-box

And a note…

It was love finding it’s home.

© W. Wolf 2014

What Does a Tree Say?

ImagePhoto by Philippe Manguin

 “For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

ImagePhoto by Ruud Van Empel

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

ImagePhoto from Visit images.search.yahoo.com

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

~Hermann Hesse~

*dedicated to Voyager

A River Flows in YOU

Note to my essence: “Life is so precious, yet in our daily lives we are usually carried away by our forgetfulness, anger, and worries, lost in the past, unable to touch life in the present moment. When we are truly alive, everything we do or touch is a miracle. To practice mindfulness is to return to life in the present moment.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn~

cellist: Leron Zamir Forte

*Leron Zamir Forte is a rising cellist who hails from Dallas, TX. Mr. Forte has performed extensively in the southeast region as well as being a studio cellist. He has made appearances with the MTSU Symphony, the Sewanee Symphony, and Roy “Futureman” Wooten’s Black Mozart Ensemble.

*an excerpt from his website:

The Vibrations Underneath


In between city layers 

Living as or amongst players

Bursts of light reach past a silvery shroud

Through soul cracks of cloud

Towering, grey steel turns to gold

While shadowy asphalt shivers in cold

A wintry wind rattles spindly fingers

But the tremble of life still lingers.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

**photo by Alexander Bauer**


Inside It’s Snowing


Sometimes the solace falling gently

A lace heart delicate and fragile

Sometimes a delightful crunch under toe

And yet to be trampled under way

But those are the weather conditions


Sometimes the howling wind in the head

A whirl of snow that blinds in confusion

Sometimes coldness of the soul

A paralysing grip leaving emotions helpless

But those are the weather conditions


Sometimes the ice begins to melt

A thawing into vulnerability

Sometimes piles shovelled aside

A necessity to see the path

Those are the weather conditions


Inside it is snowing

For god-sakes the purity!

The renewal of spiritual cleansing,

Shadows releasing new light

There is nothing one can do

……About those weather conditions


Copyright © 2006 Salem Islas-Madlo

photo by Roy Green

Looking Out The Barn Window


The Ability to Receive Love


Patterns tightly bound to my inner demons have recently resurfaced into my awareness. Resurfacing because of the fine line between fear and love. Creating a portrait from the map of my soul. I was again at a place I knew well…this time I had taken a different route…but first I will share a road I had travelled before.

Looking at an old entry journal I made last year around May, it reads:

“Today a person from a virtual community I’m part of called Spiritual Unite, wrote to me, “What a sweet and beautiful heart you have.” That simple message triggers a waterfall of tears. Later I met with a colleague who said something similar, but I feel lost. I feel forgotten and alone. I feel gone. I feel like a no one. An anonymous. The other day I posted something on Facebook that went something like this: “At the end of the day, I only ask myself: Did I love enough? Did I laugh enough? Did I make a difference?”; but these questions only remind me of the weary monotonous. Today I feel like a failure. I feel like I’ve let myself down. What have I done that is enough for myself? I have been longing for the tenderness of love all my life. The love is in my heart and pours out to all of life, but why doesn’t it flow out to myself? Why is it so hard for me to love myself? Why doesn’t it seem that I don’t have enough for myself? Am I so unlovable?”

At this point in writing my journal entry, I had paused to listen to the song, “Burn it Blue,” performed by Caetano Veloso and Lila Downs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28YMEB–XsU

Continuing I wrote, “I don’t have to do enough for myself because I am enough. I don’t have to seek love because I am love. I AM that I AM. It’s my mind that keeps telling me I need more time….to find, to sort out, do, achieve, acquire, become, or understand something before we can be free or complete. I think I won’t find salvation…that ‘state of freedom’ because I’m not ‘good enough.’

NOW is the only point from where I can get there because I’m already there. I find love the moment I realize I AM love. Now is the only access point, so it isn’t about being loveable because I already am. I am approachable. I am enough. It’s about focusing my attention into the now deeply. Concentrating mindfully. Being mindfulness.”

I was at a familiar place in the landscape of my soul, however this time I had chosen a different way to move forward. I had to pass through the townships of pain, suffering, and even devastation. I checked my compass, and it was the right direction. Wending my way through the shadowy forest of self-doubt and insecurity, I came to a glen touched by the mysterious beauty of love. I was home.

Inner portrait maps show us back to the treasure chest of worth. Guiding us back to our divine beauty. Along the way we learn not only the value of giving love, but of receiving love.

“Through our maps, we willingly become a part of their boundaries. If our home is included, we feel pride, perhaps familiarity, but always a sense that this is ours. If it is not, we accept our roles as outsiders, though we may be of the same mind and culture. In this way, maps can be dangerous and powerful tools.” ~Debbie Lee Wesselmann~

“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.” ~Reif Larson~

*Portrait by Ed Fairburn

More of his artwork can be found at: