3 a.m. reflections

November 13, 2020 - Good Day to Be Alive 

Years ago when I moved to Tucson, I walked my dogs at sunrise. Some mornings, I’d cross paths with an elderly gentleman wearing a Korea Veteran cap, a cane in one hand and his dog’s leash in the other. One morning, I asked him how he was doing. He replied, “I’m still walking’, the birds are singing’ and those clouds are clearin’. Ain’t it a good day to be alive?”  

That one interaction shifted my perspective - quieting my woes and planting seeds for what would become a studio recording over a decade later.  

I went home and began writing “Good Day to Be Alive.”  

The unfinished lyrics, melody and chords lay dormant in the archives of my journal and mind until 2020 when my band and I began recording “Roots Run Deep”. I knew this album would be the perfect home for the song. I finished it, and we recorded it.  

Such a small conversation left a deep imprint on my being, and became part of the “roots” that shape me.  

Thank you to my band and musical co-inspirers – Doug Floyd (electric guitar), Jay Trapp (bass) Ralph Gilmore (drums) and Seth Murzyn (violin) – for rockin’ the tune, and to Steven Lee Tracy at Saint Cecilia Studios for his stellar production and engineering work. 

Here's the studio recording:

And here's our debut live performance of it:

May gratitude fertilize our soil and love shift our ground, allowing our roots to grow deeper and more interconnected. 

"Communion" - Reflections on the evening of 6/1/2020 

A cloud hovers over my city. Heaven touching earth,
displaying the beauty of dark and light, soft hues of hope in between.
  
The people gathered in my town tonight, peacefully, respectfully.
A sense of communion, communal grieving, empowerment.
Wanting a better way, to create a better story.   

As the evening came to a close, all it took was one.
A some-one, broken deep in the heart
to ignite the brokenness of the other-ones 
until the factions began.
And communion was over.
And the old story of “us vs them” began again.   

Meanwhile, a cloud hovers over my city.
Nature’s communion. Heaven touching earth. 
An endless offering to humanity – in the air we breathe to the earth that sustains us.
Everything we need to thrive - but only when we are in communion.

 

Light to the World 

December 24, 2019

It was winter solstice, the longest night of 2010. I felt that familiar energy palpable in my veins, like an intense vibration, of a song wanting to emerge.  

Mary.  
   The story.  
      The archetype of every human...being completely vulnerable and outcasted while carrying the spark of divinity within. Terrified by that spark, yet going forth on faith to fulfill the quest to bring that spark into the world.  

It was this story, the longest night of year, sirens outside of my house, and headlines of our war-torn world that inspired my writing “Light to the World.”    

Three weeks after writing this song, the tragic shootings of January 8th, 2011 occurred in my town of Tucson, Arizona. Three days later, I played “Light to the World” outside of Gabrielle Giffords’ office at our community vigil. There were many people, many stories, many faiths and many differences. Yet we had one mission: to grieve in Unity, and in Unity, heal. That night, this song took on a much deeper meaning as we gathered, lighting candles and invoking light into an extremely dark situation.  
 

"She wanders through the valleys and the hills 
On this dark, dark winter’s night. 
The leaves left the trees, 
The townspeople cast her to the waning light. 
Searching for a home, searching for a place to rest her head 
There is something inside of her wanting release 
On this dark, dark winter’s night. 
The star in the heavens reminds her of Light Divine 
Where there is no fear, no separation, no suffering, only One. 

And the angels sing,
"Glory, come lay your head,
Glory, and you shall be fed 
As you bring forth 
Light to the world 
On this dark night."

I walk through the streets of the desert 
On this dark, dark winter’s night. 
Treading with a heavy heart 
Broken by the war raging around me. 
Red and blue sirens are singing in the key of tragedy, 
Yet the Peace that passes all understanding 
Is standing here, holding me. 
The star in the heavens reminds me of Light Divine 
Where there is no hunger, no hate, no greed, only One. 

And the angels sing, 
"Glory, come lay your head, 
Glory, and you shall be fed  
As you bring forth  
Light to the world  
On this dark night."

We wander through the valleys and the hills
On this dark, dark winter's night.
I reach for your hand and walk beside you, 
my lantern grows bright. 
The star in the heavens beckons us to light divine, 
Where there is no fear, no separation, no suffering, only One. 
And the angels sing, “Glory, come lay your head. 
Glory, and you are fed, as you bring forth  
Light to the World,  
As WE bring forth Light to the world,  
As we bring forth Light to the world  
On this dark night.”


~Amber Norgaard lyrics from “Light to the World”

Middle-of-the-Night Words and Melodies 

Oftentimes, lyrics and melodies awaken me in the middle of the night, and then play over and over in my mind until I let them out. This past week, a distinct vocal riff of C-D-E-E with the words "May I be love" was haunting me. And this is what it became - my Thanksgiving week mantra set to music. Actually, it may pertinent for any day. Or better yet, maybe every day...as a reminder to live mindfully in gratitude, acting from that place of Love.

May I be love, 
May my soul shine its light 
Even in the hardest days,  
The darkest nights. 
May I know peace  
As my own 
On this journey home. 

May I feel grace, 
May I know that I am One 
In this corner of creation, 
We are greater than our sum. 
May we live each day 
With a song of thanks 
For this journey home. 

May I see through the brokenness - 
Be part of the blessing just beyond. 
May I reach through fear, 
And offer a refuge from the storm. 

May I be love, 
May my soul shine its light 
Even in the darkest days, 
The hardest nights. 
May I speak Truth - 
The Truth that sets us free 
To be the best of what we came here to be. 

May we live each day 
With a song of thanks 
For this journey home. 
May we live each day 
With a song of thanks 
For this journey home.

A New Story 

I remember when I worked as a young nurse in Alaska. My brilliant colleague had recently arrived to work with us. She grew up in India. One evening, we were walking on the tundra (probably berry picking, but I don’t exactly recall). She looked at me and said in her thick British/Indian accent, “Amber, I do not understand why kids here go to school and shoot each other. In India, it is a privilege to go to school.” 

That was 20 years ago. I lived in Bethel, Alaska, and the tiny town was still reeling from a school shooting in the mid-90’s. 

The societal illness underlying this story continues to spread and plague my beloved “United” States of America.

I recently watched the documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.  Amazing life. Phenomenal woman. Nobel prize winner and much more. Her writing opens people to connect to their feelings and witness through story that love can transcend the most trying, painful times. She literally lived her words, If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”

There is a new story that wants to be written.  It reflects Martin Luther King, Jr’s words, “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.” 

This new story is a reckoning of minds, hearts, words and deeds. It doesn’t come through blaming and finger-pointing, but rather through a deep accountability in every human conscience - being aware of each thought that turns into word and then into action, and how this projects into the world. Does it heal or does it destroy? 

It is a story of union, starting from within oneself and moving out into the community. It’s a story where my country lives up to its name UNITED States of America, where we can fly our flags at full mast because we love our neighbors as ourselves, and hence, do not destroy one another. It’s a story that welcomes diversity to the table for its gift of perspective. In this new story - respect, diplomacy and consideration are valued more than money and fame. It’s a story where we strive to heal each other, build healing systems and as my former boss in Alaska once said to me, “leave this world a little better than when we got here.”   

 

 

It’s a simple story; and it’s not a matter of if we can do it, but when will we choose to do it? 

Light Remains 

Slowly...over space and time, 
   the details of the darkness begin to fade,
   and the trauma ebbs a bit further
   into the archives of the heart.

Yet the Light remains...

Strong, subtle, soft, silent --
Growing and expanding into infinity,
Waxing in completion --
Through the stories we tell
   of heroism, connection
   and feats of love.
Fully alive --
   in the candles we light,
   and in the sparks of inspiration
   that we act upon
   and make manifest while still  in this "earth" realm...
                                                                        
Sparks of light 
   existing only
 Because once upon a time 
   in a sacred space,
   we walked upon Earth together
   and now are forever 
   embedded
   with the Light
   that we witnessed.


,

Orchestra of Pigeons 

During my sunset walk, I passed a group of pigeons, who suddenly lifted off the ground upon my approach. They were in perfect orchestration on lift-off, and the rush of wind under their wings bathed my senses. Circling above, they innately knew how to move together as one unit. And then as if the great conductor of the sky gestured them to land, they lit in unison, each in place upon the telephone wires.

When I play music, I feel that amazing conductor of Life at work extending through all of us - through me, my bandmates, the listeners - and for that moment, we are together in vibration and rhythm, each playing a role that contributes to the unique experience of that moment. It is a sense of profound communion.


I think about how powerful we are in this place. This place of Oneness...where we share a common mission - where we choose to play a part in the song of connection, love and healing...

Or not...

For it's always a choice, and we always share in a mission - be it constructive or destructive. We can choose to make breezes or hurricanes, peace or war...ultimately heaven or hell as we walk together upon this planet.

Either way, when the dust finally settles, what's left is the Oneness that continues to exist...the amazing life force that brought us here and continues to shape shift our beings...that continues to spin the earth just right for the sun to rise and for humanity to awaken to new beginnings...if we choose.

To the orchestra of pigeons...job well done.  Thank you for a fabulous performance on my walk this evening.

Nature has a way of reminding me that it's my choice of how I fly...scattered and separate, or together and in grace.

Support POSSIBILITY!! 

 
As an independent artist, YOU are my record label. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has sponsored songs and pre-ordered. AND THANKS TO ALL OF YOU who follow my music, come to shows, and invest in my recordings. Because of you, I continue to create music and share it within the world. From the depths of my soul, I am infinitely grateful.

Possibility has been a huge communal effort. I am deeply grateful to work with producer Steven Lee Tracy at Saint Cecilia Studios. Many phenomenal musicians contributed their time and creativity to make the songs much bigger than I ever imagined.

The album will be officially released August 28, 2015. Pre-orders will be shipped out in early August.

Thank YOU for being part of my music.
 
We're in the last week of studio work. If you'd like to support this creation, here's a special "support the new album" deal through Friday, July 17th:





$50 - ONE SIGNED POSSIBILITY CD + SPECIAL THANK YOU IN THE CD LINER NOTES

 

Name(s) for liner notes:
  - SUBMISSION CLOSED - THANK YOU,  EVERYONE!  - 

 


ALSO THROUGH FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH, THERE ARE STILL SONGS AVAILABLE TO SPONSOR (see below). 

If you're more comfortable paying in check or cash, call 520-444-7831 or email fireweedmusic@earthlink.net, and we can arrange that!

POSSIBILITY will be officially released August 26, 2015. Pre-orders will be shipped in early August.

 

 

 

 

SPONSOR A SONG!! - SUBMISSION CLOSED - THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

Be part of bringing a song into the world. For each person or group that sponsors a song on the new album, you will get your name(s) in the liner notes, hand written lyrics of your song, one Possibility CD for every one hundred dollars spent, AND a digital MP3 of the song e-mailed to you on or before July 29, 2015. 

--- Only one sponsorship opportunity available per song ---

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---- SPONSORED!! Thank you, Redflower & Zelda!!!  ---- "Made of Light"
This is the final track on the album. An intimate, solo acoustic guitar/vocal performance. I want listeners to feel like I'm sitting next to them, singing a lullaby to their soul.

 

 

 

 


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----    SPONSORED!! Thank you!!!   ----  "Let My Soul In"
This might be the "prettiest" song on the album. Extremely intimate piano/vocal performance with beautiful cello, violin, viola and acoustic guitar woven throughout. Healing.

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$400  -  "Wide Open"
A dark night of the soul mixed with a hint of morning light. Joe Ferguson's acoustic fingerpicking laced with Doug "Hurricane" Floyd's mesmerizing electric guitar licks, layered with piano, strings, bass, drums, vocals. A journey of depth and resurrection.

 

 

- SUBMISSION CLOSED - 

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 ----  SPONSORED!! Thank you, Diann & Mersadies  ----  "Follow the Light"
Showing up amidst the ever-changing, unexpected journeys of life. "I surrender to this Life, to the dark I do not hide, I walk strong in stride, I live from inside...I follow the light."

 

 


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$500  -  "Alchemy"
My Midwestern roots. Planting seeds and growing love. Blue collar rock 'n roll. Doug "Hurricane" Floyd diggin' into the guitar, Jay Trapp (bass) and Ralph Gilmore (drums) layin' down a solid toe-tappin' groove, Steven Lee Tracy on organ and Ms. Sabra Faulk on harmony vocals. I'm in heaven playin' acoustic guitar and singin' my heart out.

 

 

- SUBMISSION CLOSED - 

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 ---- SPONSORED!!  Thank you, Melinda, Ryan and Zeus!!! ---- "Morning Has Broken"
Based on lyrics written by Eleanor Farjeon...a whole new song. I'm SO EXCITED about this one! We've got a John Lennon-esque instrumental vibe that builds into a soulful groove, with a full choir finale singing, clapping and stomping. Definitely a celebration of the new day!

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---- SPONSORED!! Thank you, Quail Creek Friends - Glenn & Mary, Pam & Carlo, Jim & Jane, and Bob & Connie!!! ----  "Possibility"
The album theme song. Nick Coventry's swooping violin and viola sound like hummingbirds singing to Michael G. Ronstadt's soothing cello. A big blues break-down in the middle with the choir echoing, "Hold my hand, help me understand, how to heal, heal this land. Walk with me through our country-side, walk with me in our city, walk with me down to our precious sea...let us set the Garden free."

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----  SPONSORED!! Thank you, Sharon Irene!!! ----  "Back to the Sea"
Eight years of writing and rewriting this one. Life. Relationship. A sonic journey through waterfalls and rivers "winding...all the way...back to the sea."

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PRE-ORDERS (through 7/31/2015):

You can order online through the PayPal buttons below; or send a check or money order to Fireweed Music Productions, P.O. Box 32455, Tucson, AZ 85751-2455. Please contact me at 520-444-7831 or fireweedmusic@earthlink.net with any questions.

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$20  -  ONE (1) SIGNED POSSIBILITY CD
Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).

 

 

 

 

 - SUBMISSION CLOSED - THANK YOU,  EVERYONE!  - 

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$60  -  FOUR (4) POSSIBILITY CDs
Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).

 

 

 - SUBMISSION CLOSED - THANK YOU,  EVERYONE!  - 

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$100  -  EIGHT (8) POSSIBILITY CDs
Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).

 

 

 - SUBMISSION CLOSED - THANK YOU,  EVERYONE!  - 

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EXTRA'S & HOUSE CONCERTS:

 

 

 

 

 


$50  -  ONE (1) SIGNED POSSIBILITY CD + ONE (1) HANDWRITTEN LYRIC SHEET 
Choose any one of my songs, and I will write out the lyrics on special paper. Make sure you specify in the little box below which song you want me to write out. It can be any of my songs. Shipped early August.
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$500  -  5 SIGNED POSSIBILITY CDs + SOLO HOUSE CONCERT IN SOUTHERN AZ
I will come to your house and perform for two hours. You are welcome to help me make the set list. Please call or email me to arrange time and date during late summer, fall or early winter. Tel: 520-444-7831 / E-mail: fireweedmusic@earthlink.net.
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$1000  -  10 SIGNED POSSIBILITY CDs + SOLO HOUSE CONCERT
I will come to your house and perform for two hours. You are welcome to help me make the set list. Please call or email me to arrange a date that works into my 2015-2016 tour schedule, otherwise you can help me with travel and accommodation expenses. Tel: 520-444-7831 / E-mail: fireweedmusic@earthlink.net.
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"Now I sing a song to you
Now I sing a song to me
Of release, of our release
All the stones are rolled away
And we rise to a beautiful day of possibility..."
 
 
THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF MY MAKING MUSIC IN THIS WORLD.



 

Soldier Song 

Years ago, I wrote "Soldier Song" in honor of my loved ones coming home from war. This "war" continues today. Since it is Veterans Day, I wanted to share this song.

In gratitude for your bravery and service...and in love and light for the healing of humanity.

Amber

SOLDIER SONG

Lay your weary head down
Upon my chest

Can you hear my heart beat

I can feel your heart bleed

As I hold all the pieces

Of your war torn Soul

As I sift through the pieces

Of my soldier come home


My soldier come home
My soldier come…


Oh…my love, it’s been a long year

It’s been a long year

Now you are here

You are here

With me…


Lay your guns in the light

It will cleanse them of the fight

As I walk by your side

Through the demons of the night

Your body quaking

Memories awaking

As I hold all the pieces

Of my soldier come home


My soldier come home
My soldier come home
My soldier come home
My soldier come…

Oh…my love, it’s been a long year

It’s been a long year

Now you are here


You are here with me

My soldier come home
My soldier come home
My, my, my, my soldier come home
My soldier come home
My soldier come home

Dust and Water 


I watch a little one’s fascination with soft skin. 

“Old and baggy," the jaded call it. 

But to the innocent’s eyes, 
     it's soft and magic. 

I remember staring at my grandmother’s hands, feeling her blue veins and soft skin. 

     I thought she was beautiful.


Now, as I close in on the age that she was then, I find myself staring at my own “softening” skin, loosening around the edges that I use most. 

     My mind momentarily has thoughts of dread and judgment of "better days."

     But to a child, no such thing. 


This dust and water that covers us... 

     To an open mind, it remains as beautiful as a snowflake, 

         holding the entire miracle of life in its mere being.