9/11 Reflections: Quaker songwriter Carrie Newcomer

https://readthespirit.com/explore/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/03/wpid-0906_Carrie_Newcomer.jpgThis year, Carrie Newcomer is circling the world with her music, releasing an innovative album this autumn that combines her American musical traditions with Indian traditions. As a Quaker, the vocation of peacemaking runs thorughout her music. Visit www.CarrieNewcomer.com to learn more about the new album Everything Is Everything. The following 9/11 reflection is part of a longer interview with Carrie that ReadTheSpirit will publish in October, closer to the album’s release date.

Table of Contents:
All of our 9/11 reflections you can use …

9/11/2011: ‘Breath In, Breathe Out’

By Carrie Newcomer

https://readthespirit.com/explore/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/03/wpid-0906_album_Carrie_Newcomer_Everything_Is_Everywhere.jpgThe first song is called Breathe In Breathe Out, and it says that we must let some things go. That letting go process is not always easy. We may forgive once and then we think it’s all done. But, some experiences in our lives—and in our collective community life—we may breathe in and breathe out and let go. Then, we have to breathe in and breathe out, again. That’s part of this calling to a life of love. Some things you can let go once, but other things you have to leg go of—over and over and over again.

The song says, “I held anger like a coal … with the thought that I could throw it at someone.” I can understand the pull of that idea. There is a lot of energy that can come from our anger. Anger can motivate and push us forward—it can push an entire movement forward—but it’s not sustainable. It burns out. It’s not healthy for the long haul.

We all have love and compassion for the people we’ve loved and lost. We need to recognize and be grateful for all the folks who so selflessly helped after 9/11. But we collectively need to move on to the next decade. We need to ask now: How can we make the world a better place in this new decade? We can honor what’s gone before but we don’t want to live there for the rest of our lives. My own goal right now is to do my small piece, whatever I can do each day, to make the world a kinder place, a better place.

Here are the words to that song from the album that will be released later this year:

Breathe In Breathe Out

To live we learn what we love most,
Embrace it all and hold it close.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.

To live is to love so many things,
Fly on beautiful wax wings.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go. 

Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go, let it go.
Breath in breath out, let it go, let it go. 

I held anger like a coal,
Burning hot but did not let go,
With the thought that I could throw it at someone.
Such a hard lesson to learn,
My own hand was what got burned.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, Let it go.

Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go, let it go.
Breath in breath out, let it go, let it go.

What is won is won,
What is done is done
Let it go.
What is real is real,
What we feel we feel
Then let go.

I saw one candle in the night,
Become a thousand lights.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.
Life is fleeting this I know,
Short and draped in marigolds.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.

Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go.
Breathe it in and breathe it out, let it go, let it go.
Breath in breath out, let it go, let it go.

Care to read more with Carrie Newcomer?

In addition to her website, linked above, you may enjoy our last interview with Carrie Newcomer.

 (Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.)

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