Common Ground

Watching events unfold across this beautiful country, I struggled to find something that maybe everyone may have in common, or could agree that is good for all. Impossible task you say? A week ago I would have agreed with you, then it hit me.

Regardless of race, color, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, there is something. It does not matter where you are from, what you do, what you did, or will do, there is something. Something so available, something so simple and infectious it cannot be stopped.

Music. A melody of a guitar, African drum, didgeridoo, Erhu, it does not matter. Music is in all of us. A raw form of expression, emotion, and piece of soul that is shared to the world. A universal language that needs no words, yet everyone can hear and even understand.

Adding the written word to music makes it even more powerful. Adding a political platform because of a successful music career is exploiting music as a whole. A person does not even need to understand the language to get even a small understanding of what a musician is trying to convey. Music at some point, has had nearly everyone stop and say, “This is my jam” or can simply associate with even the simplest song. A parent’s lullaby to a baby or a ripping hair metal power ballad, they go beyond just words, they grab you and hold on for just a short time.

The Blues told detailed stories of the deep south and was the foundation of so many other genres of music. Opera was derived from storytelling of Greek Mythology. Country Music started with fiddle players from the Southern Appalachian Mountains who told their stories in the common language of music.

Is this a cure, nope. Is a start, maybe. Is music an important part of every culture, I most definitely believe that. Humans tend to associate with music of theirs and other cultures, and that is a beautiful thing.

My point is this: We live in the greatest country in the world, and if you do not care for it, the world is a large place,  I encourage you to go explore it and find your utopia. And if you do, I guarantee music helped shape wherever it is you land.

I too associate with a demographic, but it is quite different that some of the craziness that we see on television and news outlets. You see, my demographic has is color blind. My demographic relies on the strength of different opinions. My demographic is a brother and sisterhood that stands together in the face of adversity. My demographic is that I am an American. As an American, music, specifically the National Anthem represents my brothers and sisters. More importantly our National Anthem is a reminder why we have the rights to protest peacefully, own a business, go to school, speak out. It also reminds of the cost of these opportunities and freedoms. Changing something that represents Americans is nothing more that encouraging division. We all have rights, and our rights are going to infringe on each other’s from time to time. It happens. I will not always agree with you, but that does not mean we cannot have a beer. That difference, that conversation, that is what makes America great. We must learn from our past, no human can change then, only now. If it takes something as beautiful as music to have people actually listen, count me in.

Thank you to the musicians I know for not only playing, but creating some of the best music out there. Alyssa Ruffin, Blind Joe, Josh Frank, Josh Kehr, TACOCAT, Black Light Nightmare, Corndog Kings. Take a listen to what these very different individuals have to say through their music, maybe we can all learn something.

Rock on!

DTH

 

Let’s Make an Immediate and Direct Impact

As you all may know, writing, music, and the arts have been proven to be absolute excellent therapy in the treatment regarding the symptoms of PTSD.
 
There are currently several organizations such as, Song Writing with Soldiers, that pair musicians with veterans. The veterans often times tell their stories or share songs they have written. The artists collaborates with the veteran and together, they create a song based on that story. These organizations are invaluable.
 
In an attempt to get one of these excellent organizations to come locally, I have discovered that this process is so popular and effective that the organizations are booked out nearly two years.
 
The group I work with at the VA is committed to educating the public regarding PTSD for not only veterans, but all first responders. I don’t like to re-invent the wheel, but now have a goal.
 
What better way to educate the public than to include them in the process. There is so much talent locally and nationally that I believe starting an organization that accomplishes this goal does two things. First, it provides the same opportunity as the larger organization. Second, it directly involves our local and national talent, educating the public via participation.
 
I bear first hand witness to the therapeutic benefits of the arts regarding managing the symptoms of PTSD. I am happy, able, and willing to set up the organization and begin collaboration as soon as possible. The goal is to have a song or two by November 2020 that would be performed live at an event sponsored by the Fargo, ND VA at a local venue.
 
If you are a musician, song writer, or have a absolute desire to make a direct impact, regardless of where you live, please message me. There really are no rules. A great deal of this can be done over email, however I feel it is imperative that the artist meet the veteran at some point. I promise you the end result will make a positive difference in a veteran, first responder, and your life.
 
Thank you all for being the kind of Americans worth fighting for!
 
Dan

Listen to My Radio Interview

Hi Everyone!

In case you missed it, feel free to click the link below to listen to my radio interview on the Heroes of the Heartland Radio program from this morning!  Thank you all so much for the continued support for this project! I used to say it meant the world to me, and it does, but now I am starting to see that there is a bigger picture.  Thank you for all the phone calls, texts, and emails. Keep them coming!

Heroes of the Heartland: Dan Hudson | INFORUM

Buy PTS ME Here and Help Connect Veterans with Service Animals

 

PTS ME Paper Back

Hi every one. If you would like to contact me directly for a copy of PTS ME, feel free to hit me up. For $13.97 plus applicable MN tax, (15.00 Total) I will ship your copy media mail domestically, and donate a dollar for every purchase to one of the several service animal for Veteran’s organizations. Depending on my personal inventory, please allow one to two weeks for processing and delivery. Please make sure you throw a current address at me! Thank you all so much!

$15.00

Using Yours

Like a loving mother that would starve to feed her young,  life too will feed you if you are willing to eat.  On the other hand, should you find yourself not hungry, give your plate to another, for then you become life.
DTH 2019
Using Yours.
I was recently in Charleston, SC and found it was every bit beautiful as I had been told.  Like most cities, there are several faces of the city, even if you travel just a short distance.  I find this same comparison in people.  Some may look good on the outside, but more often than not, they too have another face.    
Arguably, I am a humble guy. I prefer to encourage people and congratulate their successes.  Don’t get that confused with credit.  I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.  A Champion of the soon to be successful underdog. 
In reality, There are those that ask for your “help”, and once provided, give little to no credit to those whom really do the work.  Often times this occurs in the Supervisor/Supervised relationship.  The unfortunate result is a moral destroying situation for the supervised. 
The above scenario used to really drive me crazy.  Pages and volumes of my research, making those in higher positions look good. Furthermore, the posturing that ensues is almost comical with no ex post facto benefit for those who actually have done the work.   Unfortunately, this seems to be a common scenario regardless of where you have employment. 
Most people do not need to be paraded around cubicle city upon their co-workers shoulders, yet some do.  My point is, the simple act of giving credit where credit is due by a supervisor is sign of strength, not weakness. 
When, not if, this happens to you, remember some advice the smartest guy I know told me. “We always win in the end.”
This ever happen to any of you?  I can measure this in days and weeks for the most part. The thing is, learn from this as someday you will be the person who passes the plate, or throws it in the garbage.  I encourage you to pass the plate and give everyone the best opportunity to succeed.  Leaders eat last, my friends.
Thanks for taking a look!
Dan

“The Letter”

The Letter

Today I met you for the very first time,

Many questions need answers,

Seeing you are the victim of your own crime.

 

We are about the same age, your home similar to mine,

Pictures and favorite things,

 you are not a hard person to define.

 

On the table is camera with an impressive lens,

A camera similar to mine,

Who knows, maybe we could have been friends.

 

 The puzzle piece of your life summed up in a letter left on the floor,

Together our time will be short,

 Absorbing your written thoughts, as I slowly close the door.

 

I am not here to judge you and can only assume,

Your thoughts consumed your soul,

your world, now this dark room.

 

Your life on paper, like a script from a show,

Every pain, hardship and sorrow,

Left to be found by me, someone you didn’t even know.

 

To this earth, this life, you are no longer bound,

Placing a small part of your burden on me,

This scene of sadness, in a letter left to be found.

 

You answer the question why and the how has been done,

The haunting torment ends,

for those who cared, it has only just begun.

 

Understand when I read this, there is no way for me to feel what you did,

A spirit gone and wasted ,

For me like before, these images hidden, secured with a tight lid.

 

I was summoned here today certainly not by my choice,

Putting your story in a stranger’s hands,

Trusting that I will now be your voice.

 

I don’t know your whole life or why you chose this day,

but who cared for you are now my concern,

And I will not let them see you this way.

 

If you can hear me, know I think you made a mistake,

Your tragedy now mine too,  

The details with be softened, simply for your family’s sake.

 

What is going to happen now isn’t what you think,

The pictures and your story will be re-written,

Like others before and after, the effect will not grow, but shrink.

 

It is better me do this rather than someone who you knew,

A permanent solution to a temporary problem,

Their hearts broken, my next call waits with something new.

 

You may think I don’t care, but you committed your own crime,

There have been many before you,

Understand that this certainly is not my first time.

 

Quietly I speak hoping my words you can hear,

Many have traveled the same path,

Some who do my job, their memories met with my tear.

 

Make no mistake, with me this day will remain,

But your face and story will be placed with the others,

another link in an unfortunate chain.

 

In one quick action this life came to a tragic stop,

You took your own life today,

This life, this story, now retold by this stranger, this cop.

©


Suicide and suicide prevention have such profound effects on those around each tragedy.  I have unfortunately had to deal with an unusual number of suicides as a police officer.  As my career progressed, these suicides really hit home when my co-workers, my friends, decided that this was also their escape.  The true answers and circumstances rarely, if ever, are brought to light. 

I recently red an article regarding police officers that have considered either harming themselves or taking their own lives.  This is a tough world.  This article is eye opening.  No longer should we be turning a blind eye to the epidemic of first responders and soldiers regarding the trauma that they face throughout their career. Bravado and toughness come with acceptance and help.  Please get help.  Please speak with your family and friends.  

Also take a look at the article link below.  Thank you for reading this difficult poem.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/I-Team-Nearly-1-in-5-Cops-Has-Considered-Suicide-Amid-Stigma-Around-Mental-Health-Issues-500928011.html?fbclid=IwAR1vugiFPxNXFJn406RAnBfgOjubZ5QktrmFhYvTK7f_UJY6vf66O9OJSeY

“Goodbye Dark Stranger”

Goodbye Dark Stranger

 

You lied to me today, and said this would never happen again,

My heart was pounding for little reason,  filled with adrenaline.

 

You promised that there was a way to take control of these things,

I don’t believe you know what you are doing, and each time it stings.

 

You lied to me today to make me believe things were better,

The ideas are mere words, unraveling like threads of a sweater.

 

You say next time will be different, I can walk away without anger,

It has never happened, and who appears is a dark stranger.

 

He trusts no one, never resting and has no peace,

Willing to do whatever is needed, the chaos he causes does not cease.

 

The damage he has done is like a hole in a battleship’s hull,

It is still a ship but sinks, because the water has made it full.

 

You lied to me today because surely you believe,

You actually have an answer and think that I cannot leave.

 

Or was it because you thought I wouldn’t notice that nothing would change,

Comfortable torment fills this life, decisions made however strange.

 

This time I don’t  forgive you as I have done many times before,

You will do it again, the cut is to deep, I will not take it anymore.

 

I tell you the truth today, this dark stranger, it’s time for him to go,

Silence your lips and listen, these things that you will have to know.

 

You have been here my whole life, even in my youth,

But I have learned that to lie, you must first know the truth.

 

No longer do you get to make all of life’s decisions,

The past is script that is forever, but now I am making some revisions.

 

Words before they are spoken, will be made with careful thought,

Better ways of living will be learned from the bad lessons you have taught.

 

I tell you the truth today because things will be done now the way they should,

Repairing the pieces that you broke, broken pieces you never would.

 

With nothing left to say, you are no longer welcome here,

Smiling I switched off the light, and turned away from the mirror.

Poetry “I Am Here”

I am Here

  

Look at me, right here, take my hand,

I will make sure to get you out of this sand.

 

Don’t look at that, just keep your eyes on me,

I am going to tell you how things are going to be.

 

You call me Jason, but that is not my name, but don’t stress,

asking about high school, blinking away tears, I say yes.

 

Remember that night when we took your dad’s car,

Hit that mailbox and snuck into the bar.

 

What about that winter when we ditched class,

The principal chased us, slipped, and fell flat on his ass.

 

I promise you they are coming, I won’t leave your side,

We will all go together, it will be a short ride.

 

I know you are scared, and it is getting late,

Stay with me now, you are doing great.

 

Do you remember Jenny from just down the street?

Her hair always a mess, running around in her bare feet.

 

When we get back, I think we should go catch some fish,

You can stay at my house, mom will make you her favorite dish.

 

I nod my head and tell you that help is near,

When we get home, we will sit down and have a beer.

 

I know it hurts, we are almost there,

Where you are going, you will get the best care.

 

I am not letting go, my tears about to erupt,

We are team, please don’t give up.

 

The earth began to shake, swarmed by my brothers,

They took the young soldier, placing him next to the others.

 

As the door closed, I watched as they sped away,

Turned back around to face the rest of my day.

 

The images of them all flooded into my head,

It didn’t matter who they were, I never would change what I said.

 

Each face, tragedy, and triumph from this and others,

Please God let them return to their fathers and mothers.

 

Another asked, hey did you know that guy,

I said, I have known many like him as time has gone by.

 

I said a quick prayer for the soldier before entering back into this deadly game,

I wish I could have been more specific God, but I didn’t even know his name.

“The Traveler”

Ever had a dream like this?  Nothing more, nothing less.  I feel bad because as just before I hit the ground, I thrash enough to eject my wife right out of bed.

Enjoy!

 

A human, just for a moment or more in time,

Thrust into chaos, all are gone but they were left behind. 

 

This unforgettable place, created by something of their own,

No chance in hell to avoid it, this path must be traveled alone.

 

The option of choice has left, the plot already made,

No wooden boat or life vest, through  murky waters they will wade.

 

Opinions like chatter, making noise but are not heard,

The call is to move forward, the body does so without a single word.

 

Legs churn without guidance, stumbling across the land,

Up a rocky slope, across a desert filled with sand.

 

Through the current of rolling river, to a valley down below,

Where this journey ends, the mind and body do not know.

 

 

The glowing sun consumed by the horizon, dim light only leads the way,

Carnivores circle above, waiting patiently for potential prey.

 

What was white is now black, the body nervous and tense,

Tall trees cover the path, this traveled world makes no sense.

 

A howl calls from the distance, intentions clear and profound,  

Branches grab ankles, as the traveler falls to the ground.

 

The path is no longer lit, the pace slow, joints cold and stiff,

The earth gives way from below, as if slipping off a cliff.

 

Fear turns to calm, falling into a forever descent,

Bargaining for life, promising only truth, promising forgiveness and repent.

 

The ground will break the body, inevitable as it may seem,

The last gasp of air is stolen before death, and the human wakes up from their dream.

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