Brett W. Butler
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"Sacred Calm" (synopsis)

Summer, 1985...a remote trailer park in Lafayette, Indiana...Kate, a reclusive woman cloaked in a past of self-doubt and vacant identity, stands wearily at the crossroads of a Ralph, an embittered alcoholic whose life is quietly being stricken with cancer.  Torn between a steadfast devotion to her husband and two children, and a desperate need for love herself, Kate clings to a formidable faith that his recovery is a prayer away...

Donald, an ambitious man consumed by the American Dream.  He finds himself in the arms of a troubled widow with four small children, after Kate walks out on him...taking her dreams and two small children into the mysterious life of another man.

David, a seemingly gentle Navajo fisherman and dry-cleaning business owner.  He and Kate marry after a serendipitous meeting and long-distance courtship, Kate impulsively uprooting her sterile, corporate lifestyle for the beauty and adventure of the Pacific Northwest.  Yet, lurking beneath the surface of David’s scarred psyche is a distrustful, bigoted man embittered by marital infidelity, an explosive son he cannot control, and an estranged family on a reservation he fled years ago.

John, a man weathered by years of unfulfilled purpose, potential and patriarchal ideals.  Caught in the crossfire of a tumultuous marriage and disillusionment with life, John sacrifices his own personal needs and growth for the daily reality of duty and responsibility...until he takes an impulsive art class one evening and meets Kate, a woman who brings color back to his canvas, and love and meaning back into his life.

Summer, 1995...a remote sleepy-river town in Seascape, Oregon...Alyson, a lonely young woman hanging desperately to a thread of hope...engaged to Jimmy, a disabled Army veteran trapped in the bowels of addiction.  His sudden disappearance propels her into a downward spiral of loneliness and despair, yearning for the day he returns...

“Sacred Calm,” based on a true story, bares the stormy last days of Kate’s marriage to Ralph...and the depths of hell she travels to save him, their marriage and all her hopes and dreams...the story weaves through time, revealing her intense, combustible relationships with the other three men in her life...and how they formed the essence of her identity, her dreams, and her is the lifelong quest of a common woman searching for an uncommon love...Kate pays an unexpected visit one evening to Alyson, her art student, where the story slowly shifts from Kate’s past to Alyson’s present...and profound similarities are unveiled when both women bare their souls and force each other beyond the precipice of truth...risking everything...and forging an improbable bond of understanding and acceptance that will change their lives forever.

“Sacred Calm” is a story of passionate women...of lonely men...of quiet desperation...of shades of gray on the canvas of reality...of frailty...of heroism before the dawn...of people...yearning to live...yearning to last...yearning to love...


"Stray Dogs" (excerpts)

"The early hour is upon us, the bar closes soon and I'm raving joyful for comrades once again revealed to me as time pauses nobly for those we cling to in soulful lucidity"

"Southeast Hawthorne hashmonkeys"

"cheetos and Nightrain"

"the times he made us laugh uncontrollably at the thick, black curse of our generation"

"we're all just pawns in an impotent king's court"

"all-night sermons of saccharin dementia"

"skin that hung on his bones like tinsel on a Minnesota spruce"

"melancholy bizzaro"

"you enter the moment you beckon reasoning for the absurdity of man"

"his restless soul twitching sadly dolorous in the irony of a chilly Arizona breeze"

"red-faced Irish loon"

"cool liquid jazz"

"He hops to the door, cackling and terrified"

"Boozed, geeked and bent to the road"

"Frozen stiff in bliss, the moment becomes a fleeting stop in a land of Disney and I quickly pull away for fear of never"

"her smile, melting chocolate in my veins"

"slap jiving my hand and offering me the 'bam-bam-bagga-binga"

"serving shiny-faced Silicon hussies follically-challenged philanderers eyeing Latin bartenders and over privileged Spence kids demanding 'everything on the side' while speed-dialing cell phones has become stale enough to warrant something to keep us awake and purposeful vs. daydreaming of better jobs=better money=better lives and awaking suddenly puking in their pesce del giorno"

"he struts to the bar the way a cowboy does after he's been on a horse for two days, a saddle-sore wobble with the proud flair of knowing exactly what it means to be a cowboy"

"a cab driver from Haiti describes over a cell phone the minutiae of what his ship is going to look like when it comes in someday"

"The two of us, separate colors , separate cultures, separate lives, sharing a glorious moment, a sweet reflection, an understanding that only those who can't quite afford St. Marten at the moment can dig"

"suppressing regret and skipping through the stench of rent and responsibility, and toking on something new and improving, sunbathing naked on the concrete horizon"

"The Bengali is sporting a crescent-moon pucker like a kid at Christmas"

"someday the ringing will stop, and he'll finally be content to retire the waiter apron, click his heels together and sit down to rest in the armchair of suburbiawhere children laugh and aromas sizzle with the sweet native flavor of everything red, white and blue"

"He was a gangly twig with thick Coke bottle lenses he habitually slid back up the bridge of a toucan-shaped snout"

"haunting our sitcom moments like Dick Van Dyke tripping over the same stool day after day after day"

"the twilight Paris of my quick fading youth"

"the only true comrade is the familiar soul"

"the wandering solitary man"

"hallmarks of maternal landscaped promise"

"Tequila bottle flower vases"

"sweet Aztec blues"

"chirezo flavored incense air"

"scanning blonde follicle prey"

"sweet moonlight Jane"

"permanent smiles"

"we sit and toast our malt and plan ahead and justify God's way to Man"

"nights seem endless and charged when you're anywhere but home"

"travel light and make your home where you lay your head"

"live on the tightrope highwire of the stage"

"hallucinating suicide blundering fits of severe exhaustion"

"I met your agent by accident the other day while waiting tables at the French Bistro where I spend long hours talking to Hispanic bussers with wives and children and Harleys still in Mexico saving tips and investing dreams of someday-cross border reunions"

"it is these, the beautiful ones I think about- the misfits I cling to"

"the mockingbirds in drunken boats"

"It is the memory of angel-faced comrades that water the seeds of kinship longing, furious and timeless, and hold fast to silent pauses along the way"

"the wilderness of his dreams"


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