Thursday, October 14, 2010

CommUNITY Poem

By Shawna Ray, ©1/21/09 Ref: John 17:23
Poem inspired by 2009 Inauguration Day.

Is there a place called Unity
Where we can live in community?
With love at the center, a true sense of peace
Even when at times we do not agree?

Is there a common ground where we stand?
Open to reach across many lands
Giving and helping with loving hands
Finding the strength to begin again

Are there friendships that break through walls?
Moving beyond what seems comfortable
Breathing the moments when we get to know
New friends that help us to learn and to grow

Is there a place called unity?
Inviting each soul to whole, complete
Walking in faith as we learn more daily
Seeking to understand other’s beliefs

There we accept and humbly embrace
Differences of culture, religion and race
In God I trust, forgive and give grace
Friendships take patience, commitment to wait

Sharing communion, sharing this life
Playing and laughing; spending the time
Showing a love flowing from the divine
Open to questions and wonderings why

Come Unity! Come through, come along
Come forth, Come back, Come one, come all
Come on, come about, come across, come down
Come to the point where hope abounds

Let us live freely; celebrating diversity
Reviving our nation; uniting families
Together with God’s heart, mind, spirit and body
Serving and loving, commUNITY

Celebrate ONE Day of Unity on 11-11-11

With a heart and passion for unified diversity, I received a vision in 2007 for a day of unity, “That ONE Day” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of in his “I Have a Dream” speech. I have a dream that ONE day, 11-11-2011; we will come together in unity to celebrate our diversity and connect in commonality, building peaceful, mutual relationships beyond cultural boundaries.
Personally stalled while still searching for a job to bring in needed income to support my family as a single Mom with two children, and still writing songs and stories independently, I have no idea how any of this will come about. I just have to get it out there and would love to share more of these ideas and work toward this goal, recruiting a leadership board of empowered visionaries who can help to make this happen. I am sure I am not the only one who received this call! In John 17:21-23, Jesus prayed, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…That they may be one as we are one; I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity…” This is NOT about religious agenda. Every ONE is welcome in my heart. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” as Stephen Covey taught in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Auditioning for Oprah’s OWN show in Atlanta with ideas for a program called OPEN that would help connect and foster understanding among people of different cultures and backgrounds, I felt confident that was the way to go, but did not receive a call-back. I still love ya Oprah!
So, I have been drawn to 11:11 since I was a kid and it usually comes with some sort of “aha” moment or when I wake up from a dream of significance, that I notice the time on the clock and say a prayer or make a sort of “wish” when I was younger. For a while I even experimented with holding my breath until the clock changed to 11:12. Ya, that’s just goofy. Anyway, I don’t know what all this is about, but I’m finally getting up the nerve to share the vision I woke up with on 11-11 three years ago. I recently searched 11:11 and found some very interesting articles on the web where people shared similar stories. Some of the 11-11 stuff creeps me out, but obviously there is something going on. I have found some very cool websites and there is a day of peace on 1-1 and some amazing earth work happened on 10-10-10 this year, so that’s cool. It could just be like when you buy a certain type of car; you tend to notice them more on the road. Our mind connects us when we become more conscious of things. Obviously we were made with these senses for a reason and maybe it is a way we might also be intended to connect and unite in this. Incidentally, when I was posting this blog initially, I looked up at it was, oh ya, 11:11. OK. I like to think that it is because we are ONE.
Moving forward, if there is anything you can do to help, I am seeking positive peace partners to join with me in this mission. I would greatly appreciate your consideration, support, and prayers. Email me, to connect. For more information on my qualifications as a Public Relations professional, see And as soon as funds are available, I will get this website up and running at
Thank you. Keep it open,
Shawna Ray

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Season of Change, a song by Shawna Ray

Sentimental seasons, necessary change
Equivalent reasons for joy and pain
Questioning direction, I find I’m asking why
Feel the helter-skelter shifting over time

Silence in the winter, growing in the spring
Laughter in the summer and autumn brings the wind

Blowing by, colors fade and we fall, but get back up again
There’s a time for each season of change

Every shade of color has a different hue
Single source of light is giving each their view
I can’t see the end but circles come around
Evolving creation speaks without a sound

Silence in the winter, growing in the spring
Laughter in the summer, autumn brings the wind

Blowing by, colors fade, and we fall, but get back up again
There’s a time for each season of change

I see light from the clouds and a rainbow appears
I see bloom from the trees and the growth in our years
I see LIFE all around through our laughter and tears
And each season, each season of…
Silence in our winters, growing in our spring
Laughter in the summer then autumn brings the wind
Blowing by, colors fade, and we fall, but get back up again
There is time for each season of change
A time for each season of change

Friday, September 10, 2010

Percipitous Life and Loss

Nearing September 11th always reminds me of how precipitous life can be. That date is an event and mental picture that is etched in our hearts and minds. Everyone can recall where they were when they heard the news. In 2001, my husband had left me on July 4th, (an ironic Independence Day) with our two children, who were ages 3 and 1 years old at the time. We didn’t hear from him until September 11th happened. We were scheduled for a morning doctor’s visit with the pediatrician and I got the kids ready and out the door without turning on the TV or talking with anyone. The nurses were surprised when I arrived and it was a somber atmosphere as they explained the plane hijackings and crashes that had taken place. I got home with the kids and was glued to the television when my husband called frantically, “Are you guys all right?” Thankful to know he was alive, but still bitter I replied, “Um yes, we are still in Ohio, not in New York. Where have you been?” It was so surreal and sad to hear the stories of loss over those following months. Our loss was also a struggle, and it is tough not to be angry with those who choose to hurt you. Four years later, through much attempted reconciliation, our divorce was final. The effects are still evident, although healing does come in time. Live forgive.

I sense a sort of shifting energy and have had some acute experiences, thoughts, and conversations about life, death, purpose, and God this week. A friend from high school surfaced on Facebook about a month ago and I was happy to reconnect with him. He asked if we could get together sometime. I said, “Sure! I’d love to,” thinking that time would come as we went about our busy lives. Then, I got the news Tuesday that he committed suicide. What? Why? He has an eight year old son, divorced, a nurse practitioner with a shared private practice. He seemed to have so much going for him. I remember his laugh and big smile, and the way that he would joke on the school bus. I now have a son who is the same age as I was when I met this friend. We were never super close, but we were friends and I was looking forward to seeing him again. Very sad.

There have been a few other similar life shockers recently and it is so confusing and heartbreaking, especially when someone chooses to take their own life or leave their family. Last year I walked another friend since sixth grade through her husband’s death by suicide. It was the saddest funeral I have ever been to, hearing his kids say their parting words. He had a teaching degree and had just achieved his law degree, but was struggling with chemical imbalance. It seems like brilliant minds sometimes have the hardest time feeling overwhelmed with all that the brain has to process in high stress situations. Outsiders react to the news in different ways. Some talk about it being selfish, especially when there are children involved. Some call it an overreaction and wrong decision. Some send out condolences and wish they would have just asked for help. There is help available, but no opportunity for hindsight.

This is why we need one another, to balance and share the journey, with a helping hand through the good and hard times, offering varied perspectives and insights in conversation. It pulls us out of ourselves when we seek to understand and also learn to enjoy and appreciate our differences. I sometimes wish I had a higher capacity for memory and details, so I enjoy conversation with complex minds. I am the artist type, a right brainer, and I often forget names unfortunately, (working to change this). It can be good when I am mad at someone because I wake up the next morning and forget to hold a grudge. Maybe that is a gift in disguise, the ability to let enough slide off as needed so that the dam doesn’t break. Life can be hard, but I hope and still choose to look for the good most of the time. So I just don’t get why anyone would give up all hope in this way. I am not in their shoes and I will not judge or speculate too much, but I do wonder. Some things we may never understand in this life.

Personally, I believe this time on earth is a sort of dress rehearsal and educational realm, so I am determined to stick it out and learn the lessons I will need for eternity. I believe that God walks with us through it all and longs for the days when we finally hand it over and let Him carry the load and teach us perseverance, which builds character. Surrender to life makes more sense to me than surrendering to death. Why do we fight that so hard and hold tight to our chains and reigns to the point where one would choose to take his/her own life? I hear ya, blab la bla. Don't go there. It’s real!

We have the opportunity to walk life out with those kindred souls who cross our path and share the journey. These gut checking moments have pushed me to reconnect with a few old friends that I’ve been meaning to call for a while. We took the time to reach out and catch up this week. There are others who are in the hospital, like Jacob who inspired my children’s book. He had to have surgery again this week. I made him a DVD of our shared family home videos. Those cards that often times get put off and piled up - got sent out this week. Even those I have never met, but I follow have also shared stories of loss this week that saddened me. Be well, wherever you are. My prayers go out to all of these who have touched our hearts and to the families of those who are grieving loss one day at a time. I am so sorry for your loss.

I think it's so important to let others know that you care and are thinking of them now. Anyway, it’s my blogger and I’ll write if I want to….And I will also post Heartsong in memory.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shawna Ray Links to Music, Books, Social Media

Dizzy from multiple posting locations, I'm in the process of organizing indie artist social network chaos. I promise to catch up. My new album "Open" is now for sale at CDBabyitunes, and Amazon. See my website for upcoming information and postings. I plan to share stream of consciousness and in the moment thoughts and lyrics here on Blogger. Link to other social networks from my website or listen to music on Reverb

Connect at TWITTER:
Blog and Reblog at TUMBLR:

Thank you for sharing the journey.

Keep it open,