life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

I LOVE this…

As you’re reading this, your life’s getting shorter. It’s ticking
away. I’m not saying this to frighten you. Or even scare you. Though
it may. I’m saying this to awaken you. To inspire you. To rise you out
of your deep slumber. To really know you won’t live forever. To share
your unique gifts. To ignite your great inner fire. To ignite your
great inner strength. To ignite your great inner light. To shine.
Brightly shine. To awaken your great inner beauty. To motivate.
Yourself and others. To love. Yourself and others. To paint. To write.
To teach. To innovate. To sing. To dance. To care. To feel. To listen.
To learn. To laugh. The clock’s ticking. The world needs you. Make
your move.

~Mike Litman

Beauty or Flight

The man who jumped from the highway bridge one afternoon
who drove his car along in rush hour traffic
then carefully pulled it over, fussed with something briefly on the dash,
so casually that another driver passing
thought he was looking for a map, or a cassette tape,
that had slid during the last turn before the bridge-that’s all—
and then stepped out of the car, standing, stretching,
and closing the door routinely, a man in need of a break
on a long drive, a man untroubled by his next appointment,
a man who felt himself growing tired and thought
he needed some air, looked up the highway once
and then down at the almost frozen rows of traffic
under the haze that lingered above the bridge
and then broke simply and suddenly into a run, a dead run,
one motorist called it, crossing in front of his car
and not even stopping at the railing between the bridge
and the empty space beside the bridge, entering that space
and opening his mouth in what one driver called a scream,
though she heard no sound above the drone of traffic, and
other drivers saw as a gasp for breath, not unlike a child takes
when diving into a backyard pool, and he executed then
a nearly perfect, if a little rushed, swan dive out across the space
next to the bridge and into the water ninety-five feet below.

One fisherman in a boat a little upstream
saw the man who jumped from the highway bridge,
the moment he left the bridge and entered his dive, and the fisherman
swore he saw not a man but a large bird, a falcon or an eagle,
shot mid-flight by an angry driver, a large bird
who was trying to regain some sense of beauty, some sense of flight,
in its final dying seconds.

Denver Butson

Used with permission


Before I let you read this poem,
I will cut it into tiny strips,
wrap them around apple seeds,
and I will plant them in

long parallel rows
long parallel rows

so that, years from now,
when our children are grown,
you and I will be able to
hobble down a corridor of trees
and watch our grandchildren
eat crisp red love poems
that have fallen onto leaves.

This poem © Gabriel Gadfly.

Used with permission


We sometimes seem to forget how important our choices are. Each day we are faced with a multitude of choices and all of those choices matter.

Even the smallest of choices can have a huge impact on us and those around us.

Even at our most aware, it is a difficult balance to live to our fullest and also be very aware of the choices we are making.

I believe it is extremely important –

every minute

every day

every choice!

Make it matter!

Excerpt from “The Tempest” Act 4, Scene 1

William Shakespeare

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all
spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless
fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack
behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Public Domain

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?

The Prayer I need…

At the Foot of the Cross

God of love,

at the foot of the cross

we confess our violence,

our desire to make others

carry our suffering.

Forgive us.

We confess our fear,

our illusion of our unworthiness,

our anxiety to justify ourselves

rather than to love.

Forgive us.

We confess our self-centeredness:

that other people become

means or obstacles to our ends

instead of people,

sacred and beloved.

We hurt and judge,

we exploit and dehumanize.

We think that we or others

are unworthy.

We betray your love in us

and we crucify.

Forgive us.

At the foot of the cross

we behold this mystery:

that broken as we are,

we are sacred and beloved,

and you cherish us.

In our darkest violence

you forgive us.

In our deepest shame

you give yourself to us.

In our most adamant betrayals

you are one with us.

At the foot of the cross

give us the gift of sorrow,

the wisdom of an unflinching gaze.

Bless us, that we may know our brokenness,

that we may receive your presence,

that we may accept your forgiveness,

that we may be transformed by your love.

We pray for those whom we have hurt,

and bless those who have hurt us.

We ask and receive forgiveness of all.

We seek only to trust, only to love,

only to heal and to be healed.

At the foot of the cross,

may we die to our fear,

our self-centeredness,

our separation from others.

Take our old, mean lives

and give us new ones,

tender as new green shoots,

lives of grace,

lives of love, mercy and tenderness.

At the foot of the cross,

O gentle God,

may we die with Christ,

that you may raise us up in love.



Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Beginning Every Day

I used to believe a lot of things that no longer seem to fit into my strategy for making sense of this world. Considering some of those beliefs, I consider this progress. For instance, I’ve heard it said that beginning something is the hardest part. That if we can just get the ball rolling, momentum alone will take us from there. “Once begun, half done…”

I used to believe that.

But in my experience, we’re not much like boulders rolling down a hill. Well, except when things go badly, then, it seems, we roll with the best of them, right on down to the bottom. But as it concerns the finer things – those that we know will elevate us, make us better people, allow us to contribute more to the world and its people, experience more genuine love and joy – in those cases, it’s been my experience that in fact, beginning is very easy.

One small choice followed by action and it’s done. I don’t wish to minimize this, there’s amazing power in beginning something that brings a little bit more of us into the world. What I love most is the sense of peace and calm and contentment I feel in that moment. It’s perfect and abundant and feels like it will easily spill over into the next moment, the next day, and replace whatever it was that had been holding its place before. But beginning, while significant, is nowhere near the hardest part.

Have you ever started a rigorous physical training of any sort, after a long break?

There’s a certain excitement in it. And it’s easy to harness that excitement and turn it into resolve, into a determination to begin.

Our creative endeavors are like that, too. It’s easy to get excited about a new web project or a story idea or countless other outlets for that energy. And it’s even pretty easy to begin again on day two, to roll with the alleged momentum that starting seemed to initiate. But as with muscles that haven’t been worked in years, day two isn’t the problem. We feel it, but just enough to be proud of ourselves for beginning. For starting down a road that, while not perfectly paved, surely leads somewhere good. But day three? Day three makes us question our initiative. It reminds us what it’s like to get hurt and it encourages us to doubt our determination, to fear where it might take us.

Day three exists to help us justify mediocrity. To agree with us when we begin to defend cowardice or explain failure’s inevitability or judge others. Day three is there to help us forget the reasons for day one in the first place, and to keep us from getting to day four unscathed.

But damn it, we need day four.

Why? Because it means we beat day three, at least this once, and if we did it once, we can do it again. Because it’s just enough of a victory to remind us what’s possible. Because without it, good things become just like the things that came before them, instead of becoming something more. Something great. Something worthy.

Does day five and beyond get any easier? Not really, at least not for me, at least not so far. But I think that’s alright. Easy may indicate mastery, but not growth. To the contrary, I think. And this is where things seem to have gotten a bit tricky. Our culture, our society, celebrates mastery but, frankly, it ignores the growth that led to it. The daily regimen of effort that made it all possible, and that continues to do so (you didn’t think the masters sit back w/ their feet up, having ‘arrived’?).

Which means many either see mastery as a skill that others are born with and, so, don’t even bother to try, or we see it as an entitlement, erroneously believing that it will ‘just happen’. Neither option, in my view, seems to gush with wonder. With amazement. With a proper reverence for the miracle of life or our duty to expand it by way of our very existence.

And without wonder and amazement and duty, what have we? Well, we have this. And by ‘this’ I mean mediocrity. Dissatisfaction. Disenchantment. Apathy. Fear. Despair. It’s understandable or course, which is precisely why it persists. We can justify it, rationalize it. But if we ever want something more, we need to get past the starting line and get on with the hard work that being wonderful and amazing and dutiful require.

We need to begin, and then begin again. And again. Everyday. Forever.

From How to Matter Blog

You Are My Sunshine…

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