3 a.m. reflections

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 
   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.


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:



Name(s) for liner notes:



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.






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 ---


---- 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.






----    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.


$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.





 ----  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."




$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.





 ---- 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!


---- 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."


----  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."






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.


Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).







Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).





Shipped to you as soon as I get it into my hands (early August).

















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.

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.

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.

"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..."


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.



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. 

Birth of Light 

NW Iowa Sunset, December 26, 2013
It's winter in the northern hemisphere. We've passed beyond the "darkest" day of the year.  The sun has begun it's slow ascent, reaching a little higher in the sky every day.  The ground lays idle...preparing, readying for the coming seasons, many of its inhabitants in hibernation. Stars shine brightly at night.  Strings of light outline fences and trees and houses. Candles are aglow in windows. There is an air of mystery, reflection and regathering in the darkness...a sense of birth and possibility in the specks of light glimmering around us.

It is time to ready for the coming of another journey around the sun.

No matter the past, we can make change now.  Welcome, 2014.

The Gift of Surrender 

"They knew" 
Image courtesy of De Leon Moving Pictures.
Amber pictured with Deuce at Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary

"To the ego mind, surrender means giving up.  
To the spiritual mind, surrender means giving in and receiving." 

On Sunday, June 30th, 2013, I received a gift. 

I had done everything I could to avoid doing the Raise Me Up video shoot that day. We had the hottest month of June on record in southern Arizona. And that specific weekend was projected to be the hottest weekend of the entire summer. I had no idea how I was going to pull off a weekend of sleep deprivation, four back-to-back gigs, 50+ miles of travel in between them, 100 more miles for the Sunday morning gig, a visit to my stylist and then another 50 mile trek to Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary for a Sunday afternoon video shoot. 

     It's a good thing my woe-is-me mind is not in charge. 

I had called director Marcus De Leon several nights before, more or less begging him to reschedule the shoot until September. I had it all figured out...it'd be cooler, less stressful and the monsoons would add a beautiful backdrop. When he explained to me that he had an entire cast and crew with heavy equipment lined up and that rescheduling was not an option, I realized that my only option left was...

     Well...to surrender...

And pray that I would maintain grace and music-video-composure amidst the sweltering heat of the desert.

I arrived on scene that afternoon relieved and grateful. Everything had gone smoothly, I was still awake, no travel issues, weekend gigs / hair / make-up schedule successfully accomplished, and I had remembered my boots.

Soon after arrival, clouds to the west began to build and grow dark and looming among the Santa Rita Mountains. 

I kept thinking, "This is strange...monsoon season hasn't started yet, and only a 'hottest weekend of the summer' was in the forecast." 

Then the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and a very recognizable scent of moist creosote wafted our way. Sheets of rain engulfed the mountains. Lightening came, thunder followed. 

Everyone commented about how magnificent our unexpected "free" special effects were...

     And that we better expedite the shoot. 

So we grabbed one camera and rushed over to the open space where the horses roam in the sanctuary. 

As I began to sing, two horses gathered around me. They were two of the original foals that were rescued when the sanctuary was started. They had been offspring of mares who were used in the Premarin industry and were headed to slaughter when the sanctuary intervened to rescue them. 

They stared at me intently. I felt like they saw into my soul and that we had some kind of agreement...to be right here, right now, making this song and video together...to share this deep sense of compassion, peace and healing with the world. 

     The connection didn't end.

As I let the last chord and word ring out, one of the horses put his head towards mine. We both leaned in and rested our foreheads upon each other...for what appeared as only a moment on the outside, but from within, it felt like eternity.  

     I could hear Marcus repeating, "Don't cut, don't cut, keep it rolling." 

When we finally did "cut," the staff and crew said, "It's like they knew..." and almost as if in agreement, a big gust of wind blew through casting dust and rain upon us. 

The encore of the season's first monsoon had arrived - despite the forecast, despite my worry. And in its grandiose production, all that was required of me was to show up and play my role. 

Indeed, these four-legged sentient beings, my brothers, with whom I walk upon the earth, did know.

"Sharing soul"
Image courtesy of De Leon Moving Pictures

That day, they taught me the gift of surrender. All I have to do is be present, and a power much greater than me takes care of the details.

Oh, and one last thing...

I had never sung to horses before, but I highly recommend it if you ever get the opportunity. 

Dear Mom... 

May 28, 2013

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the birthday pot that you bought me last month!  Please tell Dad that I nurtured my inner farm-girl and planted some basil. 

I think it likes being by the piano window. I’ve been writing a lot of new songs this Spring, and my basil and roses and all the plant-clan near that window have really flourished.

With that in mind, I've had some thoughts I wanted to share...

Maybe Dad can start piping music out into the corn and bean fields. It seems to work work for my plants. He might have to refrain from playing rock music though. I’ve read some articles that plants flourish better with softer, more classical types of music. My plants have done well with piano, acoustic guitar and singing. I think his crops might like the guitar playing that he does every morning. So...instead of playing in the house by himself, he could go into the fields and play. Besides, playing to the plants and morning sun seems like a better option than being alone in the house - and if it does have a positive impact on crop yields, it’s a win-win situation. 

Just an idea I wanted to share. 

Since my basil is so robust this year, I might start giving it away at my shows. I mean, it’s high in vitamin K, pretty good in vitamin A, with a little bit of folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium. 

I figure…healthy fans  = a sustainable music career.

What do you think?

I guess you can’t get the farmer and the nurse out of the musician, can you? 

Some things just are the way they are.  

Thank you for loving me the way I am :-)

I love you and miss you lots!


The story of this day... 

I originally wrote this "reflection" for my newsletter on May 28, 2012. In honor of this day a year later, I would like to share it again...

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. It is a day symbolized by flags and flowers – honoring the lives lost in war and celebrating hope of life re-emerging. As historian David Blight so eloquently writes, "War kills people and destroys human creation; but as though mocking war's devastation, flowers inevitably bloom through its ruins." 

I like to know “the story” behind tradition. Here is what I found out about this day:
Originally this day was called Decoration Day. The first account of this type of celebration was in May 1865 at the close of the Civil War. Over 600,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, and our war-torn country was left trying to heal, reunite and make sense of devastation. In Charleston, South Carolina, a city left in ruins from the war, thousands of freed slaves, black people and white people gathered in a procession. Led by children, the parade marched through what had been a slave-owners’ horse-racing course. During the war, the race course was turned into an outdoor prison camp to hold the Union soldiers fighting for emancipation. The procession ended at the gravesites of the soldiers who had died in the prison camp. The celebration marked a “first” in our history: "a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before" (New York Tribune). It was a coming together of people – to heal, to mourn, to sing, to celebrate life. It was beginning of the ending of slavery and the reunification of our country.
One hundred forty-seven years later, we are still affected by war. I wish peace to all who suffer loss and brokenness related to war. I am grateful for our coming together. As we walk compassionately with each other through grieving and honoring, we become strong and heal. I have faith in the victory of truth and goodness of this world - where there is no more oppression, bondage, walls to love or hindering of spirits.

“We have it in our power to begin the world over.” ~Thomas Paine

I am grateful to all who give of themselves for the betterment of humanity...