Between Guilt and Shame

Mar 23

Knowing this difference,

Will help you get far,

Guilt is behavior,Eye art

While shame’s who you are.


Guilt is forgiven,

You can let go and learn,

While shame simply smolders,

To fester and burn.


So decide on your blunders,

Take a much closer look,

Is it you that’s so stupid,

Or the action you took?


You see guilt’s a great teacher,

But shame just destroys,

Shame lives inside you,

While guilt just annoys.


So let’s be gentle,

And for everyone’s sakes,

Let go of your blunders,

Don’t become your mistakes.


Brene Brown’s courses do one thing for me, consistently. They make me think. They make me think deep. They make me think long. They just make me think. On those days when I’m feeling guilty or shameful I remind myself that I get to define those words. Knowing the difference between shame and guilt doesn’t make either one of them feel a little bit less yet somehow the increased awareness seems like a good thing. Highly recommend the funny, blunt, and effective Brene Brown.

By the way that amazing eyeball art? I don’t feel a bit guilty that I painted it.

Steve Dahl

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When Black or White Kids Die – The Lessons of Ferguson

Jun 08

A black man kills a white man,
A white man kills a black,
This cycle just continues,
Is there no turning back?
Black and White Violence in Ferguson

Black and White Violence in Ferguson – Illustration by Elliot Dahl 

The news will cover this one,
Yet let another slide,
Opinion polls will drive us,
To choose a colored side.
Our hearts will ache regardless,
The colors of our skin,
We justify our anger,
And locate next of kin.
Black mothers mourn, white ones sob,
When black or white kids die,
Who’s right or wrong? 
God only knows.
But still I wonder why…
It’s all so tragic – undeserved,
But is it black and white?
When will we learn the time has come,
To finally end this fight?

Of the 1,235 murders that took place in the United States last month, how many of them garnered national media attention? Shouldn’t they all? Weren’t they all part of someone’s racist, biased, fear-based, greed-driven decision to take something from another, control another, or destroy another? Why do some stories get tons of media attention as “hate crimes” or “another meaningless murder” while others go virtually unnoticed? Aren’t they all hate crime? Aren’t they all meaningless?

The only way this will ever stop or even slow down the rate of violence in America is by teaching our families and ourselves the importance of respect, forgiveness, communication, and tolerance. Who will you forgive today? How can you show more respect? In what areas of your life could you be more tolerant? Where could your communication skills use improvement?

Let’s NOT unite against police brutality. Let’s NOT unite against black on white crime. Let’s just unite… as people.


Steve Dahl


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The Wolf

Nov 29

The Wolf Illustration by Dahl for A New Kind of

The Wolf. Pencil by Dahl

Between the trees,

His eyes appear,

Focused vision,

Crystal clear.


Canine power,

Gentle brawn,

And in a blink,

The wolf is… gone.


Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is the first piece of art I’ve drawn beyond your basic stick men in a few decades (Thanks to a little coaching from an art teacher, an art course, and a lot of patience)!

This guy took about three hours total time with a 2B pencil. I love other people’s art so much I decided to stop just admiring it and start doing it.

More to come. Kinda fun.


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Ordinary Miracles

Oct 07


A New Kind of Poetry art from

They come in waves,
Most quite unseen,
Miraculous subtle ways,
Amazing in their frequency,
On ordinary days.



Another fine piece of art in the form of a card from Wick!

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That is ONE Angry Rooster

Oct 07

Angry Rooster card by Wick crop
That is ONE angry rooster,
Eyes glowing,
Feathers flowing,
Madness growing.
That is ONE angry rooster,
Colors flaring
Eyes staring,
Movements daring.
That is ONE angry rooster,
Pecking order,
Cross the border,
Brain disorder.
That is ONE angry rooster,
No more fun,
Story’s done,
Better run.
This is a cool gift card designed by my friend Vickiy Tarulis.  Not sure what the poem means but it does look like a rooster doesn’t it? 
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How to Play the Harp

May 24

Take the right-hand position,
How to Play the Harp
Harp, courtesy of
And prepare it to strum,

Anticipate the note,
Let your left hand have fun.

Then close your eyes gently,
And with a little bit of luck,
An Angel will assist you,
With your very next pluck.

You see playing God’s music,
Must come from the heart,
Each note is life-giving,
When playing your harp.

Don’t try make it perfect,
Let melodies flow,
And the Angels will guide you,
If you just take it slow.

We all must make music,
In our own heartfelt way,
So embrace your harp angels,
And start playing harp today!


Letting it flow… What an easy way to live life! Playing the harp certainly takes a lot of talent but consider this. Does everything really have to be so hard, so fast, so competitive?

 Maybe not. Think about a piece of music that makes your heart sing. The musicians who are performing it are enjoying it. They have enough mastery over their hearts desire that the music simply flows.

Whether you want to play the harp or any instrument is irrelevant. What is important is that we look at what our heart is asking us to perform. If it doesn’t flow, it doesn’t go. What is also important is slowing down enough to enjoy what’s in front of us in this single instant. What’s important is recognizing we need not do anything alone. There are always good people and excellent angels around that we can ask for assistance.

And, while I’m harping on you, here’s one final point. The last line of the harp-hype above, “And start playing today,” means, just start playing.

I was inspired, while listening to Christine Magnussen’s amazing harp music to write this piece. She’s a talented musician and great harp teacher! Check her out at

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