life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

stuck in the blues

I get stuck in silly things,
like rainy days
when my phone rings.
I get stuck in parking spaces,
And in hugs of biblical proportion.
I get stuck in the desperation of
empty wallets,
and gas tanks,
and stomachs.
and stalkers,
and water bills,
and all sorts of little ordinary things.
Some days I just get stuck in bed,
covers all up o’er my head,
‘I cant get up’, I tell my clock,
‘Cause I am stuck,
so just shut up.’
I get stuck when my pillow gets hot,
or when it’s cold and I cry
and ice sickles hang from my eyelashes.
I get stuck on random things,
like boots and shoes
and onion rings,
when socks don’t match,
or there’s no cream
for my coffee,
or my pie.
I get stuck
when stupid songs stick in my head –
The ones I just don’t want to sing.
I get stuck when I think about what I want,
instead of what I have.
I get stuck in ‘a few more minutes…’
or when another year goes by,
reminding me,
I might get stuck dancing…
at your wedding to someone else,
or on your grave,
or in a dream about Madonna, and bananas
and a cat who likes to pray.
I get stuck eating meatball subs,
and pumpkin muffins with extravagant amounts of butter.
Sometimes I get stuck in the blues
I know it’s sad,
yet mighty true,
the hardest times to get unstuck,
are when my mind gets stuck on you…
Stuck on you…
Stuck on you…
Yes I get stuck…
St……stuck on you…,

ACL 11/12/12


Thank you, Ann Voskamp, just what I needed today 💌


Dear Self and me and you and us,

Really, it’s all going to be okay.

You’re going to be okay.


Remember when you were 16 with that ridiculous hair?

And how you’d thought that by the time you got to here, to now, it was going to be good? That by now everything would be all good.

That by now you’d know down in the very marrow of your bones, what it’s like to really live loved. That you’d be known. Fully known. And wholly embraced.

That the Big Dream would have happened, that the peace and the purpose and the Big Point would be under your skin, that the awkward would be gone and that you’d finally fit and that your life made a real difference, you’d made a real mark, and that you really mattered.

You don’t have to worry: We all get to make one unforgettable mark. And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?

Why in the world disdain the small? It’s always the smallest strokes that add up to the greatest masterpieces.

Because the thing really is: Do we ever really know which mark we make — that will matter the most? The extraordinary things happen nowhere else but in the everyday and today can always be the beginning:

That card you signed and sealed and put in the mail, the way you smiled and nodded to the white-crowned woman bent over the still-green bananas, the way you dug around in the dirt and and left that seed or that gift of the knees and that prayer whispered for a stranger or that glass of water you handed to someone and winked because you just knew — You’ve got to remember: we don’t know when and how we are leaving the greatest marks on the world. It all matters.

Believe it: Every tremor of kindness might erupt in a miracle on the other side of the world.

And the only way to ever leave beauty marks on the world is with bits of yourself — and this will hurt. Things of realest beauty don’t bring us glory — but Him glory.

Dear you, and self, and me, and us, — Just For Today — take these words, words of Dag Hammarskjold,

Secretary-General of the United Nations, words that you can take to the bank, take to eternity: “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for … the masses.” Christ left the ninety-nine for the one.

Where you are, with that one child, that one street, that one call, it is a noble, Christ-called thing. It only takes one person to change the world — and one individual, one soul, can be all your world.

Really, beautiful You: The most exquisite marks anyone makes with their life — are the marks done in secret. The mark that no one — but One — will ever see.

And tell yourself this when you feel forgotten and invisible and unimportant: So the celebrities get their celebration here.

But the wise are the hidden who hold out for heaven — and the applause that comes from God. This is to choose the far greater.

I know you’re brave … and you’re scared. Because you keep doing big things that seems so small and you wonder where all this is really going and you only get one life here —

And though you’re weary, you do hard things and you keep getting out of bed and this is always the hardest part — and you keep believing that Christ didn’t leave this world until he showed us His scars — and He won’t ever let you leave this world until you leave your most beautiful mark. To show Him.

So Just For Today — listen: you’ve got to keep going.

His Kingdom is Upside Down and in Him your part is large and lovely and needed and art.

So go get the milk and take out the trash and throw in the laundry and wave giddy to the neighbors because there is a plan and there is a purpose and there is a God in heaven who didn’t just ink you onto the palm of His hands but etched your name right into Himself with nails and He’s hasn’t just got your number, He’s got your heart.

He sees you, hidden in Him, and you aren’t ever forgotten because God can’t forget those right in Him. You’ve never missed the boat when you’re holding onto the Cross.

So really — you’ve got to believe it for your 16 year-old-self and 56 year-old-self and for yourself right now: really, it’s all working out okay.

Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends:

You’re going to be okay.

Dear Self, tuck this away to read again whenever you need to know it again — and promise me, you’ll laugh and sing and dance a bit today?

Heaven and His Kingdom and The Feast is coming! — so go ahead and pass down the fudge brownies.

– Ann Voskamp

Never be afraid of the breaking things — because if you let it come, it will come that even the breaking things will break — and then you will finally break free. – Ann Voskamp

You’ll notice it on the way out the nursing home door, how that something that’s been broken in you — is starting to break. Let it come.
– Ann Voskamp

the only way to get through the dark
is to…

put one foot in front of the other,
just keep walking,
sit down and rest when you need to,
just sit there,
head down
on a squishy pillow.
cry when you need to,
as hard,
as loud,
as long as you need.
let it spill,
soak the covers,
(blow nose as needed).
allow it to be dark,
even as you wait for morning.
don’t fight the dark,
just let it be what it is
let go,
float on the river of grace,
and hope.
look to God,
and God alone.
while you are there,
in the darkest dark,
learn to die,
surrender to the cross,
know this death
is the door to freedom.

ACL 8/14/13


good things




word of the day

Before this early moment,
another, ripe with rain,
the scent of its own full shape.

Each day the rooster
we have never seen
raises the first greeting
and darkness which holds us
in its loose pocket all night
sets us down.

Now we walk,
waking up rooms,
switching on lights.

Into the breath,
wordless but ripe
with all possible words,
messages not yet gathered
or sent.

Morning looms,
more friend than
the best friend.

We could still say.

“Words When We Need Them” by Naomi Shihab Nye

‘Take care of yourself.’
It’s flung into the air,
Like an accusation,
dripping with sarcasm,
filled with anger.
It snaps me to awareness
as it hits me.
These words are what I call
I am so used to this type of speaking.
This tone of speech.
Such frenemies with these types of words,
used to manipulate.
Words which could be good,
words which are so tricky,
so twisted,
brilliantly used,
back handed.
Words which,
if you try to confront the person who said them,
leaves you looking
They always say you took their tone wrong,
they really meant the actual words.
So fascinating to me –
the same exact words can be
used for love
to build up
or twisted,
spoken in hate,
These words used to be able to make me feel things –
like I had done something wrong.
Today it stings me into
an opposite awareness.
I propel through
this kaleidoscope of emotion
to land at truth.
I respond,
‘Are you speaking to me?’
‘Oh, ok, you take care of yourself too’, I reply.
And I mean it!
This is my gift to both of us today.
I sit still and
quickly sift through memories,
lessons learned
from all the other times
all the work I have done
to learn to take care of myself.
The Love of God leading me,
to this place,
where I know for sure –
my value,
my worth,
my belovedness.
Not more than others,
but equal to all.
I’m still learning.
I’m still challenged,
to truly take care of myself.
and only myself.
To realize the truth
of this truth –
IF God is in control.
IF I truly believe,
no one needs my help.
Truth. Period.
My actions must come from who I am,
my only motivation love,
not to make me worthy,
but because of my worth.
It can never be
about doing something to help someone else with who they are.
Only an out pouring of my own love.
I hear the garage door close,
in just seconds
I have processed eternity.
I look out at my tree named Shaun,
meaning: YAHWEH is gracious.
My prayer,
as I sit here
ruminating about these changes in me,
‘Lord, make me an instrument of your light
as I live in Your love.
Thank you for revealing to me,
my value.
Thank you I can say ‘no’
to relationships
where this crazy-making speech exists.
May I never forget.
May I share
Your love,
my love,
where You lead me.
May I only take care of myself,
my own heart before You.
May I be, and bring, the light
of You,
shining through me,
as I feel,
and express,
Your love.
May I continually let go
of anything that I am holding on to.
May I allow others to take care of their own hearts,
as we each choose our walk,
and find our own paths of healing…
or even choose not to.

ACL 7/11/13


game changer


On this day of your life I believe God wants you to know that there’s no abiding success without commitment.

Anthony Robbins said that, and he was right.
Commitment is the key to achievement.
How committed are you to your future, to your goals,
to your relationship, to your self?

Do you want to be healthier, or do you just say you do?
Do you want to be happier, or do you just say you do?
Do you want to be nicer, or do you just say you do?
Do you want to be more patient, or do you just say you do?
Do you want to be lighter, or do you just say you do?
What do you really want…and who are you kidding about that?
– Neale Donald Walsh


sometimes words are hard
to put together
truth all covered
under ghosts
of deeper issues
so deep
you can almost deny
you’ve gone a lifetime in denial
sitting in the brain
all in a bunch
reflecting the cauliflower look
of the brain itself
all glowy white and gnarled
needing to stop and slow
but life goes on
and the moments are busy
no time to pause
the avoid-dance is
a wild ride
as the mass of
sits like a toxic blob
waiting to ooze its poison
down from the brain into
all the innocents in the body
for me
the shoulder blades
take the brunt of the spillage
making them scream
night and day
while I continue
to pretend
I don’t hear them
or admit that I’m at fault
for their agony
it has taken years of excavation
to dig
to begin
to uncover
now it seems
I have finally reached
one of
the most important words
of life:

ACL 1/4/13



hang in there 👭


Consider yourself
the way you would the wind.

Allow sun to approach you
so the rain can follow.

This will include caring
for things inside
of things.

Let some blossoms suppose
they are playing
into your hands,

As a rule stones will sing,

Give what you can,
what you have been given,
what you have to give.

“Consider Yourself” by Gary Margolis

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. – Julian of Norwich

I wonder why she said it like this?
I read it and think maybe she was convincing herself
Kinda like Im trying to do this morning
Like Ive been doing for months
Repeating it over and over
it’s gonna be ok
it’s gonna be ok
everything is really
gonna be ok
I love old English
I think I will incorporate
‘All manner of things shall be well’
into my daily pep talk
Yes, that’s feeding my soul today
in all manner of ways

ACL 5/22/13


enter the ocean to find the road


Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through it’s black water
to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

The Well of Grief
David Whyte

I grieve
a simple bottle of shells,
it has held me for years.
it has held years for me.
In this large, stormy cloud is also hidden:
the apple tree,
coffee on the deck,
Aunt Margie,
the saxophone,
guitars I bought –
not for me –
the songs I couldn’t sing for you,
the losses I couldn’t prepare for,
the love I couldn’t earn,
the lessons I have learned,
more than a few, broken pieces
of my soul
mending as the salt falls,
making room for something new,
more must be felt,
but I know,
as spring comes to April,
sun breaks through and finds room
to grow some new flowers
in my heart

ACL 4/5/13

Green things change,
become the color of surprise,

the color of gratitude,
the color of morning.

Bees still buzz quietly
but it is the color of letting go.

The color of something inside you.
An eye opens, and closes.

A reckoning, even as leaves fall:
not subtracting, but adding up.

Seed pods lift their empty hands
and blacken, become still.

Trees tunnel down into themselves.
Garden plants become song.

They are not dying, not giving up.
They are getting ready for something new.

Weather Report

A day also otherwise,
as even mourning bears joy,
and the beginning of autumn here
signals in the Southern Hemisphere,
where also our beloved live,
Spring’s splendid revival.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light





There was a time when I
looked for certainty.

Certainty in the outcome
of the events of
my own life.

And then I realized that
there was only one certainty.

And that was that it’s all OK.

That there’s something
that could never die.

And now I realize that
the total uncertainty
of the events of life
is the adventure.

And that’s the wonder.

Nic Askew


I sense infinity
I open myself to the unlimited
and with that opening
I glimpse unending love
I breathe the ocean
Absorb the sunlight dancing on the water
take in the sight of millions of diamonds
on blue velvet
and I struggle to open fully
to take in this message
to understand this beauty
I sit in silence
I listen in wonder
I stay in this moment
for eternity
because each moment
is eternity
as I walk home
I ask my soul’s biggest question:
How will I allow God to love me?

ACL 4/5/13


right on time

Photo by Paul Delvaux. Train in Evening.

Did I miss the train?
I don’t think so.
I think it’s right on time
I think I’ll take a free ride
I hope the ticket guy gets mouthy
Cause I’m in the mood for that today
Yeah yeah
Cause I’ve about had enough
Enough of the bird you want me to be
it’s time for a change
it’s time to be free
So hold the door
ain’t no holding me
trains pulling in
I’m on platform B
I take one more glance back down the track
I return the smile to the cute guy on platform A –
then I wave
and I’m gone

ACL 3/7/13




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