top of page


Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

When I Had No Wings to Fly

Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week: Hand to Heart

This one is very simple. Just place your hand on your chest, slightly to the left of midline, or wherever feels comfortable. I find myself doing this spontaneously when I feel compassion for someone else, or for myself. Or when I need to calm down a little, when I am a little surprised, or when I have been shocked by something.

Try keeping your hand there for 10 or 15 seconds (or more) and see if anything changes.

A hand on the heart can also be a hug substitute since--with the rise of first the delta and now the omicron corona virus variants--some of us have been going back to more social distancing. "You touch my heart. My heart to yours."

"Hand to heart" resembles some of the simpler zapchen exercises like sighing or yawning (though technically it is not one) because it is something we may find ourselves doing naturally, without really thinking about it. As we do these things more consciously, they can become everyday habits that can help lead us back to more calm, more centeredness.

When I Had No Wings to Fly

Last week I shared that in spite of my adventurous entry into hippiedom in high school, I had never really listened to anything by the Grateful Dead--until a couple of years ago when my husband showed me how much there was to appreciate in some of their songs, including "Ripple."

This week, I want to share another of their songs, one that at least some of you already know: "Attics of My Life." The words and the harmonies are both amazing--full of gratitude and poetry and wonder.

It could be a tender and grateful love song to a partner or a spouse. "I was never really awake until you came along." When there were no strings to play, you played to me.

It could also be an infant in the womb--in the secret space of dreams--singing to its mother.

Or even an adult, recalling those deep and wordless times within. When there was no ear to hear, you sang to me.

Or--and this is how I often hear it--it could be a song to the God who knows me.

Could be the nursing Mother God, who will never forget her child. When there was no dream of mine, You dreamed of me.

There are surely multiple layers beyond this.

I cry almost every time I hear it.

Attics of My Life

In the attics of my life Full of cloudy dreams; unreal Full of tastes no tongue can know And lights no eye can see When there was no ear to hear You sang to me

I have spent my life Seeking all that's still unsung Bent my ear to hear the tune And closed my eyes to see When there were no strings to play You played to me

In the book of love's own dreams Where all the print is blood Where all the pages are my days And all my lights grow old

When I had no wings to fly You flew to me You flew to me

In the secret space of dreams Where I dreaming lay amazed When the secrets all are told And the petals all unfold When there was no dream of mine You dreamed of me

by Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter
© Universal Music Publishing Group,
Warner Chappell Music, Inc

A new song, a modern psalm to the mysterious, the unfathomable, the achingly beautiful unknown. Tender beyond hope.

Click here for a link to a YouTube version of the song (sound only).

Until next time,


Photo credits:

Hand to heart, Sir Manuel, unSplash

Trees & couple, Casey Horner, unSplash

Balloon in sky, Alex Williams, unSplash

Mother & child, Oleg Sergeichik, unSplash

Sailing the stars, Johannes Plenio, unSplash


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page