Lyrics by Jeff “Reddog” Kirkendall & Dennis “Doc” McCracken
Vocals by Doc McCracken
Guitar by Bubba Hudson
Recorded by Behind-the-Tack-Shed-Studios, Nashville, TN 2/2/96
Dear Readers & Listeners,
I wrote the foundation of this song when I had been through enough hard times in life to appreciate the fact that facing the truth is not only the-right-thing-to-do, it can also be the most mysterious and exciting.
The song shares the notion that facing the truth and doing the right thing have an intuitive rhythm. When practiced and done well, you don’t have to think. You sense the mood, act, and experience the quiet joy of the truth setting you free.
This song came in a dream. Bubba captures this quality with his truly fine guitar work. The magic of Doc’s vocals brings the message home.
To listen, click the black bar “Download File” below. Then click the download.
Replies and sharing are greatly appreciated.
Many blessings to you and your relatives,
FIRST VERSE Come with me; let’s take a ride On an Arapaho pony called Dreamer Wrap tight your legs; let loose the reins Open up your eyes to your Redeemer Yes, listen to the call of your Redeemer
VERSE TWO Come with me, on a starlit night Ride to the edge of all you know Sacred canyons, whispering winds Mysteries you’ve yet to know There are powers you have yet to know
VERSE THREE Come with me, and I will show you The light your spirit longs to show You’ll cry out with passion, and you’ll weep with joy To find out who you are, you must surrender Yes, to know who you are . . . surrender
VERSE FOUR Come with me; take a leap of faith On this war pony called Dreamer If you ride with me, I’ll set you free I’m what your soul’s been yearning for Yes, I am Truth, your Redeemer On a pony called Dreamer The truth is your Redeemer The truth of Dreamer
I have prayed with people from wildly diverse faiths, races, and socio-economic groups. I have prayed with people in the midst of some of the most cruel circumstances a family might experience in life. Someone was sexually tortured or terrorized.
Prayer helped. It helped them and helped me.
I have counseled sexually terrorized people for thirty-four years. I have studied the subject, written about it, spoken about it, and even sung songs about it. I continue to create a body of work that will help those who suffer for such sins of others after I have passed on. I continue to pray my way through the challenges.
To stay sane, I walk somewhere in nature every week. It is truly good medicine for me.
The longer I walk, the more distant becomes civilization. As I walk through miles of rolling grassland wilderness, I become more humanly isolated. I can see things coming for a thousand yards in every direction. There is no one to surprise me. I am free and safe. There is only the wind in the grass and nearby meadowlarks calling for my attention.
As I walk, my prayers and movement become a ceremonial ritual. I call it The Spirit Trail. I express my gratitudes, my fears, my pains, and my passions. I ask for guidance in knowing how I might use my unusual knowledge and experiences to do the greatest good for the greatest number.
And so it was recently.
After some time of intense walking-communication, a quiet pleasure came over me. It was accompanied by a growing faith that I would know what to do when it was time to do it.
I came back to grounding when I realized I had a sticker inside my boot. With a smile of peaceful satisfaction, I sat down on the earth to loosen my boot. As I did, I admired the mountains forty miles to the north. As I tied off my boot, I gazed at the snow-capped sacred peaks a hundred miles to the north-east. I then stood and turned my head to the distant mountains in the east. More magnificence.
After a significant pause, I turned around to see the mountains to the south.
I stepped out on the front porch this morning and heard a wonderful sound. A flock of Canada geese, flying in formation, called out as they passed over my humble Northern-Arizona long-house. I smiled of course. I am always touched and uplifted by wildlife. Somehow they give me hope that the beauty of mother nature will endure beyond mankind’s greed and violence.
I was reminded of an experience five, six years ago about this time of year when I was worried about finances and any number of things. I was driving my vintage Chevy short-bed pickup out the dirt road from Apache Wells to the highway on my way to work. Another Canada flock, maybe some of the recent flock’s relatives, were flying unusually low in the same direction I was driving.
As I took a bend in the washed out rocky road, our paths became much closer and parallel. For that relatively smooth stretch of road we kept pace with each other. I had my window down and leaned my head out to feel wind in my face like a blissful hound dog. To me, it seemed their honking was just for my benefit. I looked the leader in the eye, and I am sure they were urging me to fly on faithfully into the future.
I also remember a goose encounter in the middle of one of my high school football games. We were under the lights on a near-freezing Friday night and getting ready on defense for our opponent’s next play. That was when my dear friend and team captain for that game, Jim The Hangman, called for the team’s attention. As ten of us all turned in unison and looked, we saw Hangman’s arm in the air and his finger pointed to the sky. The moment freeze-framed for me. The steam from our hard breathing poured through our face masks as we all looked to the night sky on cue. Perhaps the crowd thought we were praying.
The honking was distinct, and our entire team smiled as we recognized what it was. Then us tough guys all laughed at realizing what we were simultaneously sharing in the middle of that game. For that precious moment, we were all country boys tickled by mother nature and our own teenage comaraderie.
Good goose memories.
So today, in spite of all national economic indicators, in spite of all the horrendous world-wide challenges, I have just a bit more optimism and wonder for the days ahead, and I would like to pass some of that along to others.
Hello. My name is Jeff. I am a recovering writer. I can’t help myself. I just have to write
things that I want to remember. Mostly I want to remember the stories. I want to remember what I learned, the people I met, the unusual experiences, and how it all unfolded.
I am regularly amazed and grateful for my life adventures. I am rich with memories.
Talking about my late wife Carol at the Peregrine Book Company was fantastic. It was like bearing witness, or describing a rare and beautiful phenomenon in nature, or giving a toast to her in front of my peers.
Let me back up.
I belong to the Professional Writers of Prescott. It is an organization and a monthly meeting of local authors, writers, poets, readers, all getting together to share our crafts, learn from each other, and hopefully inspiring one another to keep writing and sending out our messages in a bottle.
Five of us were at the Peregrine Book Company in Prescott Arizona to tell about our Co-authoring Adventures.
Carole Bolinski, who brought us co-authors together, told the audience of her experiences sharing with her brother. Their book of poetry is titled Pearls Beneath The Rind. Bill Lynam told of him and his brother bicycling and mopedding across Europe a decade after World War II. They also “footloosed” their way through South America and back across the United States. His book is Footloose Pilgrims. Connie Johnson engagingly told the story of her and her sister’s collaboration on their book Farm Kids, A 1950’s Wisconsin Memior
Herbert Windolf recalled his precious long-distance relationship with a German woman, whose poetry he translated into English. Herb, an accomplished poet himself, dazzled us all by reading a poem in German and then the same poem in English. His book is The Year Mirrored in Poems.
It was marvelous experience collaborating with these writers, these kindred spirits, holy scribes, keepers of ancient traditions. I had a nice laugh with the audience when I finished my presentation by explaining that I was going to convince my colleagues Carole, Connie, Herb, and Bill to join forces, rent a van, and go on a national book tour of our own.
I know it doesn’t sound that funny the way I describe it now, but it really was cute and everyone in the audience laughed. As a storyteller and teacher and entertainer long ago, it felt great to be back.
I spoke of my experiences co-authoring the book Without Consent: How to Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse with my late wife Carol Jarvis-Kirkendall. I explained how our writing together was a big part of my decision to marry her. We were great together saving families. easing suffering, and sometimes helping send bad guys to prison. She had my back, and I had hers, and sometimes when people are really good together, one plus one can equal three. Our work has been a healing influence in thousands of lives.
I read my popular storyMarriage Decision Vision. (Click here). I explained that I made a promise to Carol early in our relationship that when she left this world, I would be holding her in my arms. She would know that she was safe and loved and had lived a good life. I told my listeners that I kept my word and that was just how Carol passed.
I thanked everyone there for coming. I thanked Susan Lang for the pleasure of speaking at the Peregrine Book Company. I explained that if anyone in the audience would like to know more about the child on the cover of Without Consent, they needed to read my Indians & Aliens – and unexpected short stories.
I further explained that if they bought both my books that day, I would ride home with them, do a dramatic reading, and stay for dinner.
Five writers present their adventures collaborating with a spouse, friend or sibling. Hear the struggles, conflicts and laughter that each writer experience on the journey to complete a book. One has to do with developing a transatlantic friendship. Another is a coming of age experience.
The other authors share about soul-mates finding one another and sibling harmony. These story tellers reveal how in co-authorship their stories and poetry exceeded what one could have accomplished alone
In memory of Carol Jarvis-Kirkendall April 28, 1937 – November 20, 2013
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I grew a garden this past year.
It was a first of a lifetime.
Never done this before. Never grew flowers. Never grew anything edible. Never understood how Carol could get so enthralled working her hands in damp earth. Never had that desire myself. Never expected I would.
Didn’t need it. Was doin’ fine without it. I mean “What’s in a flower?” You can buy it all at the grocery store or find a farmer. There’s no profit in a garden.
But she taught me to be open to new experiences.
So in honor of Carol Ann, the woman who inspired so many memorable firsts in my life. . .
and with some help in getting started,
I grew and tended my garden.
It was earth hand-tilled by Carol in the weeks before she passed. She used to sit out there on a cushion using her little hand-spade, digging up weeds and tossing them aside, picking stones and placing them where she thought they ought to be.
She took off her gloves to knead the earth with her fingers. She had hands-full of love for all of life. She tended her gardens with a quiet feminine reverence. She said her gardens loved her back.
Gardens can love you back? I know you men are thinking I am over the edge, but hear me out.
I tended my garden as Carol would have. It was not long before I began to have moments of insight. Like little pieces of a spiritual puzzle, the vision became more clear over the passing year.
I called it a memorial garden. When I tended it, I talked to Carol as she sat in her rocker watching and listening to me. She used to ask me to tell her a story. So I told stories and told her how much I miss her. I told her how grateful I was that I learned so much from loving her for twenty-eight years.
Well here’s the the thing that really surprised me. I mean knocked my socks off
All this stuff bloomed!
Carol’s Memorial Garden grew sunflowers and snow peas right off the bat. Ate a lot of peas. Zinnias took over one side and seemed to just go on forever blooming. Then some weird green thing grew five feet tall, and overnight, burst out with a flower like I have never seen before, and then popped out with eight more, all of them bobbing in the breezes, happy as clams at high-tide. Call them Cosmos. Turns out both flowers are related to the daisy.
All through those bloomings, down on the ground a vine was growing and stunning me with ongoing hand-sized yellow/orange blossoms. As it got cooler at the end of the season, I finally harvested two pumpkins for pies
I put a lot of love and reverence into the garden like Carol would have. It was a great experience. I love the fact that I am still inspired by her influences.
Of course, autumn had to show up. The food and flowers dried up brown, dead and gone. One year after my beloved’s passing. my garden’s beauty faded and is blowing away with the cold winds.
But check this out. I have placed seeds in envelopes for next year. I am preparing for spring. She would be proud. She’s probably chuckling right now.
(excerpt from the forthcoming novel Grace and Dreamer by Jeffery Kirkendall)
Jack was considering asking Grace to marry him.
During this time of great contemplation, he was driving his truck to the cabin he and Grace were staying in for a couple of weeks of writing. On a little-traveled two-lane blacktop, among the springtime Ponderosa pines, he was startled by a large hawk flying dangerously close in front of him. He put the brakes on and watched as the bird soared up onto a nearby hill and landed at the top of a bare dead tree.
Jack pulled off the road, and stopped. The hawk was beckoning to him. He deftly eased out of the truck, walked over and slipped through a fence, and then he strode towards the crest of the hill and the old tree and the great bird. As he came close to the bird’s perch, his winged brother tilted his head for a last look, nodded, and lifted off to the east.
Jack stood still in the light breeze and scanned the valley below, much as the winged one had appeared to do. Then before him he noticed a distinct depression in the earth. It was long and narrow and strangely looked just the size for a human to lay in. Jack had read of an Indian that went on a vision quest, fasting for days while lying in just such a hole on top of a hill. So Jack laid down in the earth.
As he laid there and looked about, he thought the soft natural bed was deliberately located on the hill so that someone lying in it was positioned in an offertory fashion before the sky above and earth below. So he closed his eyes and opened himself up to a prayer, asking God to guide him in his important life decision.
He was suddenly taken with the image and sense of an old man standing still before him, a man who appeared peaceful and carried a staff. He looked at Jack until Jack realized he had just asked in his prayer, “Should I marry Grace?” The old man had come with lightning response.
The old man made a slight gesture with his staff, and Jack had an amazing vision of many attractive and sensual women surrounding him in a public venue. They showered him with attention and adulation for his many worldly accomplishments. Jack felt some of the sensations of that vision as it lingered, and then instantly it was gone.
Before him again was the old man. Jack understood him to say. . .
or you can marry this woman and live a life of greatness.
The vision vanished. The gentle sounds of the birds in the meadow returned.
Alone on the hill, lying in the grass and sunshine and a gentle breeze, Jack sat up and looked across the valley.