Idalee – When Do We Heal?


Earlier in the year I found this artist, Idalee, on SoundCloud and put his music on my list, and then forgot about it. I listened to it again today and did a more in-depth search on him. I related to it more than I realized. Music has been part of my life since the 2nd grade. I always knew, without a doubt, it was who I am. Like him, Iso had an affinity for drugs and it almost managed to kill me like it almost killed him. I don’t know where it came from.

Why did I want to do drugs? Because I was scared of people, and because I knew there was no reason why anyone would want to be around me. I had no self worth, no confidence. My inferiority complex was deep. Drugs helped me pretend I was stronger – more outgoing – likeable. I came out of my shell and could be the person I wanted to be. But I was young and stupid and thought nothing bad would happen to me – as most youth do.

So this song – When Do We Heal? – has to begin with knowing we deserve to heal. And that healing has to be spread to others – without being judgemental. Everyone has their own healing. No one is born perfect.

I started healing in 1988, when I was 34, when I started studying Nichiren Buddhism. I needed to study my life. Why did I feel the way I did about my life? What was my purpose? How do I change the parts of myself that needed changing? I absolutely do not believe in a God “out there” that plans our life and loves me,too. Healing is up to me. I can’t all something else to do it for me. That is my choice and I don’t think people should follow my choice nor should they try to choose for me our tell me I’m wrong.

Over these years of study I began to understand where my music comes from and my purpose to create. The older I get, the stronger the need to express myself with music becomes. It has the power to aid in healing. To put these feelings into a solid form and then hear it back and never even remember playing it, is awesome. I just close my eyes and it comes out of’fingers. I feel the pain of others. It overwhelms me. I cry. Any deep emotion – happy, sad or anger makes me cry.

My music led me to the prisons. It was a place full of broken people, many with no one to care. I understand that sometimes good people screw up big time, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. There are many reasons why people end up inside and why some don’t. Beginning my journey, ten years ago into understanding the people in our prisons and the torture they are given to demean them until they are broken is so wrong. This knowledge gave my music a purpose. Instead of writing music to become the next Stevie Nick’s, as I was told, I learned that reason never works.

I now write for people. I give my music as gifts. It is the most I have to give of myself. The older I get the more it means. It doesn’t have to be loved by the masses. It needs to only affect one person, hopefully in a positive way. Below the video I am going to add a recent piece I’ve published before. It catches in my throat because it says exactly what I mean. “Picking Up Broken Pieces”


About Idalee

Heal: An in-prison music video by Idalee In honor of Prison Fellowship’s 40th anniversary, singer-songwriter Idalee has gifted us his new song called “Heal.” It’s a song about #grace and #secondchances. It begs the question, #whendoweheal? Prison Fellowship partnered with Idalee to take the song into prison, where he performed “Heal” with a band of incarcerated men. The result was this amazing music video/documentary. Take a look and SHARE it with your friends. Then head over to to grab your free download of the song! Posted by Prison Fellowship on Wednesday, February 24, 2016


It’s become pretty common knowledge that American prisons are overcrowded, over-criminalization locks away too many people, and mandatory minimum sentences are setting our culture back. They’re big problems and there are more than a few opinions on how to change this. I’m not really gonna talk about that now. Through performing music in prison and shooting video with inmates all over the country, I’ve really cared most about a true second chance afforded to those men and women released back to society – which is over 90% of incarcerated people. I care about them getting help on the inside and a fair enough playing field for them to get to work when they get out. I didn’t go to prison myself. Could have. Easily. But I didn’t. But I’m aware that there was only one variance between what I did – I’d be there too. Regardless – I feel like I got a second chance at music after the accident. I got a second chance to do what I wanted to do with my life – to contribute – to create. For those who TRULY work for a second chance – I want them to get it.

Tears For All The Years That Passed

Tears For All The Years  by Sonni Quick copyright 2016

I wrote this poem in 2012 and the music recently.  It was published on my other blog about and month and a half ago. Today I decided to re-blog it. During this time period in 2012, when I wrote this poem, there were many letters between Jamie and I. I had to type with one finger because I lost the ability to hold a pen. I had trouble holding a fork, too. With liver failure protein builds in the brain and motor skills don’t work and confusion sets in. I knew he was having trouble with me being so sick and not being able to do anything.

He and I have things in common and one of those things is a family who doesn’t know how to care. I had moved to Pa to have a liver transplant and I was close to losing the battle. I also had liver cancer and more infections than I thought possible for one person to have, but that is what happens when your body starts shutting down. I have a lot of family that live close but not one person ever called to even see if I was dead. As you can probably tell, I still have trouble dealing with it, because in the years since then nothing changed. I have better friends all over the world that I met through blogging and I am so grateful for that. I never could understand my family.

In a letter I got from Jamie yesterday he talks about the same thing – a family who never cared about him the past ten years who can’t bother to even send a birthday card, let alone send a book to read or money to buy a bar of soap. He writes about how hard it is, and that he tries to keep it out of his head because it brings him down. He loves his mother. He can’t bring himself to say anything bad about her, and I hope he finds a way some day to tell her how much she has hurt him. He says it’s hard to know he doesn’t have her support in any way. That is heartbreaking, too. It is one reason why I tried to fill the void. After ten years of filling that void it is much more than that, but I just don’t understand why people, who say they love you don’t ever do anything to actually show it. I had my transplant in 2012 soon after I wrote this poem. It really explains how I felt about my life because I thought I was losing it.

As a Nichiren Buddhist, I look at life different that most of you. I don’t think life begins when we are born or ends when we die and I don’t think we go to some magical place called heaven where all are problems are gone and all we do is worship a god. I believe the people in our lives we have been with before. Sometimes we feel a connection with people and sometimes we don’t, and those people you do, you’ve been with before, although not in the same context. How many times in our lives have we said to someone, “I feel like I’ve known you forever,” and you become instant friends?

We work through our problems in life, and we do it over and over until we get it right. We live in heaven on earth and we live in hell on earth. It isn’t somewhere we go when we die. Jamie is in my life for a reason and I am in his life for a reason. I wouldn’t want to imagine his life now had I NOT been in his life these past ten years. That was my purpose. He fell in love with my daughter and had a son he can’t be with, but that happened because he needed to meet me, because he needed me to teach him the things he needed to learn to get through these years. I may not be making much sense to some people, but when you learn what the meaning of cause and effect is, you gradually learn what the meaning of your life is. It learning the entire meaning of “You reap what you sow” instead of it just being a phrase you were taught.  You have to actually live it to understand it.  Why do you reap what you sow?  What happens when you don’t like what you reap?  What do you do about it?  Your faith should enable you to have a happy life, no matter where you are – in a prison cell or a hospital room. If you aren’t, then you have to examine what it is you actually believe.

Jamie is reaping what he sowed and so am I.  Different religion say the exact same thing but we don’t take it seriously.  We have to take responsibility to change what we sow because we are to blame for every single thing that happens to us – good and bad. No one is testing us. It is no one else’s will that we suffer or be happy.  Everything is our own fault.  We have to change things, not think something outside ourselves will change it, no matter what you were taught.  We have to take control of our lives.  When you understand that, your life opens to greater possibilities.

Please make sure you follow this to the other blog and finish reading the poem.

Sonni Quick

im crying, sonni quick. karma, liver transplant photo source:

I’m crying
Why can’t the world hear my crying?
Tears for all the years that passed
seeing dreams that never last.
beyond the time you can see
and when you open up your eyes
the dream has passed
It’s now too late
to dream that dream again
my heart is torn it can not mend.
My dreams are dying
and I’m crying
for all I have that’s left is pain
I lost it all with none to gain
I look in the mirror, I see myself
hoping to see where the years have gone
I made the cause, I was so young
Sharp turns to the left
that way was wrong.
tears fall, say please
as they stream down your face.
a longing look at the piano keys
I wrap my arms around my knees,
Crying tears of loss
Crying tears of pain
No one takes a…

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