I will not shut down.



My country can shut down,

my friends can throw me away,

everything can go to hell in a hand basket,

but I will not shut down.


How easy it is to shut down!

To tighten up, to fuss, to fret, to refuse.

To scrunch up, to throw stones, to taunt.

To holler, “I’m right!  I’m right!”

To yell, “You’re wrong!  You’re wrong!”

To sling mud in the faces of those who think differently.


(I know how easy it is.  I’ve shut down the country of Kathy

more times than politicians bicker.  I’ve locked the door and thrown

the key into the woods and argued endlessly with the

annoying squawking thieving blue jays who stole

so-and-so’s nest

and the

infuriating drilling pileated woodpeckers who

wrecked our cedar siding,

who do they think they are anyway?)


Did my shutting down help anything?

Did the turning away in confusion to eat six chocolate chip cookies

relax the inner storm?


I will stay open, wave this heart flag,

allowing everything in.

All you crazy ideas, you opposing thoughts, you darn

right dirty & disgusting annoyances, you people with

the wrong ideas,

Come  in this open heart and I will not

refuse you the right to exist.


That’s what I want to say.

You can exist, right or wrong.  You can be what you are in all your

shining and muddy mess.

You are anyway.

Why fist fight with life?


I’ll say yes and I’ll say no,

I’ll prefer one response to another,

I’ll walk away even, if the soul beckons elsewhere,


I won’t run from the pain of it,

denying what is,

closing down without empathy, without softening.


The heart will stay open today,

please, God,

oh please, dear God,

may it not refuse the cornucopia,

the fulfillment of the All,

the sacred allowing,

the innocent fawns.


Please, may the heart stay open at least until lunch,

through a real or imagined slight,

through the next challenging phone call

or perhaps even

through the end of this poem…



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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35 Responses to I will not shut down.

  1. Kerry Dwyer says:

    Hope you feel better now that is all out.
    Six chocolate chip cookies are only the answer to certain questions, like what do you want with the coffee or how do I get a bigger stomach.

  2. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, I understand this message and have been praying for hearts to be softened with understanding and compassion. I really have some negative feelings about what is happening in our country now. So, I pray for my own heart to be softened as well. Thank you for sharing this and know my love and prayers are always with you—take a deep breath and feel my hugs and gratitude for your precious friendship ♥

  3. “I will stay open, wave this heart flag”

    Amen siSTAR!

  4. Lisa Kramer says:

    Powerful words. I have been struggling to not shut down, but I have to be honest I’m tired. I’m tired of being surrounded by insanity. I’m tired of facing closed ears, closed hearts, closed minds. I’m tired of being surrounded by people who only think about themselves, their needs, their issues and don’t recognize that everyone has value. So I find myself shutting down, giving up, and surrendering. I don’t want to live life this way.

    • sybil says:

      Hang in there Lisa. There is good in the world. There are open hearts and open ears. There are selfless people who live their lives for others. Don’t shut down. The world needs you to keep trying. Consider yourself hugged.

  5. I really liked this Kathy and I don’t want to say more because your poem says everything.

  6. lisaspiral says:

    Beautiful and powerful. Thank you for the loving reminder to stay open and present.

  7. powerful – a cry I hope is heard by many

  8. Reggie says:

    What a passionate plea, Kathy. May the power of your intention reverberate all around the country at this time, and may more and more hearts remain open. Love and hugs!

  9. Fountainpen says:

    Ah yes!
    Quietly staying in the boat
    Even as the storms rage
    The inner and the outer ones
    Staying quiet within the deeper stuff
    Of self and life.

  10. Heather says:

    While you are staying open, I am irate, trying not to be. Sigh.

  11. debyemm says:

    As my friend OM says – we can have preferences or judgments, and we can have discernment – but I do like the realization and agree – “You can exist, right or wrong. You can be what you are in all your shining and muddy mess.
    You ARE …” (my emphasis) and that is ALWAYS the reality. I am with you – “I Will Not Shut Down” – nor will I shut up about what seems to my understandings to be total insanity and just plain unethical, immoral, unfair or unreasonable (even as I recognize that those are all subjectively my own, as is the case with your Blue Jays and Pileated Woodpeckers, the poor innocents, how can you blast them like that ? GOL). Glad you aren’t shutting down but also knowing that YOU are prone to, in a sense (I am going off FB for awhile, I won’t be blogging for awhile, GOL), at times. The Power Path, School of Shamanism’s October Forecast is aligned with ALL that is going on; and calls this month a “Reset”. I’m good with watching the show.

  12. Hit in the stomach words. With all my heart I wish ploiticians that see themselves running this country or actuall ruining our country. People have no say so in any matter. We voted the imbeciles into the house and senate. I fear for our country. Yes. I. Do. Lobbyists, insurance, oil and gas, banks, and other shysters are in control. They are afraid that socialized medicine will happen and God forbid for lots of companies will no longer be making billions of dollars. All of this MESS is tied into companies that stand to make less money. Yes, I ran off the rail here but thought that your drift was geared toward what is happening in the government.

    I know that you do not want to get political in your blog, so I did. I have very strong feelings about what is right and what is wrong. Please feel free to erase my comment or delete if you feel my thoughts are inappropiate. 🙂


  13. Thanks for those very timely words!

  14. P.j. grath says:

    It’s an odd coincidence, I guess, that you write here about (not) “throwing stones” and Dawn King writes over on her blog (“Change is Hard”) about the importance of tossing “pebbles” to make “ripples,” no matter how hopeless the cause sometimes seems. Even more oddly, I think you are both right!

  15. john says:

    Thank you for your words, your intentions, your rage and your passion. Thank you.

  16. Thanks for this powerful poem Kathy. It’s easy for people to feel powerless, but we CAN all do our bit…by choosing not to shut down, no matter how tired we may be. Blessings on you and your government and may they heed the message of your words as it ripples out through the hearts of many. May they be open enough to let such courage and yearning move them to choose for the greater good. Love, Harula xxxxx

  17. Susan Derozier says:

    Beautiful Kathy – Again you speak our hearts for us with such love and compassion. I’ve been praying so long for this not to take us to where we are. So many suffering and many more to come in ways we can’t even yet comprehend. May the angels carry your words and drop them on the dome of Washington, piercing through the hard heads of those only interested in “winning.”

  18. Dana says:

    Let us all remain open, Kathy. From my heart to yours… xo

  19. Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful poem. I just left Facebook and am on the edge of anger and fear; your words stopped that and snapped me back to what’s real. and important.

  20. Your picture “Open” is so happy!

    “Shut down” is a luxury some of us can’t afford.

  21. “Wave this heart flag” is one of the happiest, most hopeful phrases I have ever heard! Wonderful!

  22. sybil says:

    You are wonderful !

  23. Colleen says:

    Closing down without empathy, closing down without softness….

    Knowing how quickly and quietly this can happen. Oh Lord, how I know. And also how quickly hearts can break open again. I have a sense of what Deb says, about October being a reset month xo

  24. dorannrule says:

    You are echoing the sentiments of so many who are frustrated with those who so easily “shut down” with no thought for the impact on the country. Your words strike a sensitive nerve. Well said Kathy!

  25. Susan D says:

    Thank you for not shutting down and for letting everything and everybody be … This is a balm to the soul.

  26. sonali says:

    Kathy, you are so wise! You want to let your heart be open to everything, be it peace or chaos, love or hatred. You have a big heart!
    I really need to “learn” that fretting, reacting, being upset about people doing wrong deeds does’nt really change anything. I need to “learn” to Let Go. I find it very difficult Kathy, battling for the righteuosness when all I have to consistently face is wrong, dirty corruption, unwanted discouragement… Its tough. Thank you for the message though. It helps survive, in a good way!

  27. lucindalines says:

    Glad you are not shutting down!!

  28. Dawn says:

    Nope, we can’t shut down. Neither should they. They are all wimps. If we could have an election today we would vote them all out.

  29. Stacy says:

    I admire your resolve – and your poetry! I won’t shut down either, though i won’t say that I never have before. ❤

  30. Karma says:

    Good lessons for us all, Kathy. Is wanting to run away at times the same thing as shutting down? I hope not. It’s just a little fantasy of mine to throw all the “gotta-do’s” to the wind for a while and hide away from the real world for just a little while.

  31. poetinjena says:

    I can think of hardly any better uses for Poetry than to write in this way –

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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