life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

in the coldest times

Sometimes you have to take your own hand

as though you were a lost child
and bring yourself stumbling
home over twisted ice.

Whiteness drifts over your house.
A page of warm light
falls steady from the open door.

Here is your bed, folded open.
Lie down, lie down, let the blue snow cover you.

Grief by Louise Erdrich

photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

Sōetsu Yanagi, founder of Japan’s modern craft movement, defines beauty as that which gives unlimited scope to the imagination; beauty is a source of imagination, he says, that never dries up. A thing so attractive and absorbing may not be pretty or pleasant. It could be ugly, in fact, and yet seize the soul as beautiful in a special sense…luring the heart into profound and endless imagination. 

     – Thomas Moore (edited)


                                                                                                                                                                                                 Who needs boundaries?
If your eyes fail to imagine
where the earth ends and the sky
begins, think of a place bereft
of lines:  the blue depths of a stream
flowing like hair that will never
be combed.  Deep indigo of nothing
but fluid memory ebbing around
blossoms of white asters.  “I remember            
how flowers feel when you barely
touch them,” says the water.  Like leaving
one world and embracing another:
seeds bursting into wildflowers,
clouds changing into rain,
the image of our borders
a mere outline the soul ignores.

Eliminating the Horizon by Linda Nemec Foster

preaching to myself today…

 From the place where we are right/flowers will never grow/in the spring./The place where we are right/is hard and trampled/like a yard./But doubts and loves/dig up the world/like a mole, a plough./And a whisper will be heard in the place/where the ruined/house once stood. 

 Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai

On this day of your life  
 I believe God wants you to know…    

…that the best argument you can make 
is no argument
at all.

Do not argue with life, or with anyone in life. Life
presents itself perfectly in every moment, and every
person believes his or her point of view to be valid
and ‘right.’
Arguing with any of this is pointless, and a terrific
waste of energy. Simply create what you choose next.

Love,  Your Friend …

Commentary on Community:


Every time we gather becomes a model of the future we want to create.

Authentic conversations create a future distinct from the past.

Conversations create possibility.

Show up. Be present.

The more words you use, the less likely you are to be authentic. 


These two matter to me at the moment:

The future creates the present. 

The listener creates the speaker.

Taking (emotional) risks creates safety

Changing the Future

The past is only a lesson about the future to be used in the present.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Restorative Justice

This thought is taking from “Community” and “Sitting in the Fire.”

Restorative justice is communal justice (as opposed to individual retribution)

Restorative justice adds a measure of balance to the community.


Based on the community conversation practices of Peter Block

Captured by Eric Hansen – Hansen Resource Development

To be truly alive

is to be fully, freely, lovingly present

in this moment,
drinking in the grace of God
and pouring myself out in love
for God and for all beings.

What do I gain

by abandoning this
to be right,
to get my way,
to be comfortable,
to manage how people think of me?

When I win the argument,

protect my beliefs, defend myself,
when I judge another 
and put them in their place,
when I separate myself from those
who suffer pain or injustice,
when I buy another trinket 
for my heart’s little room
and close the door,
what have I lost?

I am not a body or a reputation

but a soul.
God of love,
open my door.
Let life spill in
and spill out. 
Let me suffer and love,

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Change is the end result of all true learning.

    – Leo Buscaglia 

photo source tracks found at

breaking open

Abundance is not a state of finances or wealth, it is a state of inner health. Wherever there is joy, appreciation, gratitude, giving, caring, creativity, vision, inspiration, love, patience and playfulness, there is abundance

               – Unknown

You don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough. When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalize that. Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you — it’s something inherent. You exist, and therefore, you matter. You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold onto the truth that who you are is exactly enough. And you’re allowed to remove anyone from your life who makes you feel otherwise. — Daniell Koepke

From love we learn to ease

our fretful longing for more
and to rest in the blessedness
of things as they are.

From love we learn to heal our losses
and our fears of loss.

Love awakens us.
It shows us the truth about ourselves and
gives us the courage to live this truth.

Love sustains us:
it is our quintessential nourishment.

And love connects us–to others,
to ourselves, and to the source of all being.

Love is our teacher,
and we are love’s apprentices.

– Rich & Antra Borofsky

what am I to do?

Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.

                  —Mark 8.34

God of love, be in me
to embody your gentleness and grace,
to love at my own cost,
to enter the suffering of the world,
to hold the wounded in my heart,
to bear the monstrous without explanation,
to absorb the pain without retaliation,
to let there be a hell on earth
without another,
to trust that even the greatest evil
cannot drive you out,
and that love and forgiveness alone
will change the world.
Grant me faith to be willing 
to be overwhelmed
and raised again.
I do not ask for heroic strength
but for you
to bear the cross in me,
that by your Spirit in me
I may be Christ,
and risen,
no longer small,
no longer threatened,
no longer afraid.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

be still

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring. 
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about. 
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable. 
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us
       to follow. 
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth. 
If she stands still it will catch up with her. 
Pause with us here a while. 
Put your ear to the wall of your heart. 
Listen for the whisper of knowing there. 
Love will touch you if you are very still.

If I say the word God, people run away. 
They’ve been frightened—sat on ’till the spirit cried “uncle.” 
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can’t name. 
They know he’s out there looking for them, and they want to be found, 
But there is all this stuff in the way.

I can’t talk about God and make any sense, 
And I can’t not talk about God and make any sense. 
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.

I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God. 
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur, 
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death. 
You see there the consequences of carelessness, 
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived. 
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.

We don’t build many temples anymore. 
Maybe we learned that the sacred can’t be contained. 
Or maybe it can’t be sustained inside a building. 
Buildings crumble. 
It’s the spirit that lives on.

If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart, 
What would you worship there? 
What would you bring to sacrifice? 
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

Go there now.

What’s in the Temple by Tom Barrett

photo source tracks found at

stay open…stay soft…the hard world needs it

A significant decision.

Put off until a tomorrow
that might never appear.

And a knowing deep
in tired bones.

Of what he, she,
I must do.

Along with its pain,
consequence and
inexplicable relief.

Nic Askew

Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to the person gone, and thank them for being with you these few moments, and encourage them to go on with whatever their work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that we will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which we have known each other. And when we meet we will know, in a flash, what now it is not given for us to know: Why this had to be the way it was.
Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts – if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way.
– Ram Dass


photo source tracks found at

giving it all


there is no cage
love must be stepped into

there is no withholding
love gives it all away.

there is no have to’s
love must be given and received willingly.

there is no selfish motive
love always wants the highest and best for the other person.

there are no ‘no’s’
love always says yes.

there are no demands
love allows the other person to decide.

love takes commitment.

it is not an easy job,
both parties –
equal –
understanding the gift –
100 percent in.

you must choose what you want,
knowing the consequences of your choices.

Just know, for sure,
love will always set you free.

there is no fear in love.

ACL 2/22/15





Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose without any insistence that they satisfy you.
– Wayne Dyer

We are not transmitting or receiving love as we were divinely intended to—we are filtering love rather than feeling it. We fell for the prevailing hysteria that said, “Protect your heart,” and we began to believe that love itself had enemies and needed protecting. When we were hurt, we felt that love was somehow diminished or damaged. But hurt has nothing to do with love, and love is unaffiliated with and unaffected by pain. Ego was hurt, not love. Love is divine; it is everywhere, ever present and abundant and free. It is a spiritual energy that is, at this very moment, flowing through the universe—through us, through our enemies, through our families, through billions of souls. It was never absent from our lives. It is not bound in our hearts or in our relationships, and thus it is not capable of being owned or lost. We have allowed our awareness of love to diminish; that is all. In doing so, we have caused our own suffering. We must mature and realize that freeing our mind of ancient hurts and opening once more to love shall give us access to divine strength. To stand emotionally open before the world and give of our hearts without fear of hurt or demand of reciprocity—this is the ultimate act of human courage. For this, we now declare: WE SHALL AMPLIFY LOVE.
Brendon Burchard
Declaration 7 from
The light of the desert reaches down
into the crevices of the rocks,
can tell stone from shadow.

Holy One,
may I see myself with the eyes of love,
see clearly what in me is love
and what is not love.

Heal my fear,
forgive me wholly,
and hearten me
to choose well,
to step wisely.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

photo source tracks found at

one small part

There are hundreds of thousands of people,
maybe even millions,
holding the world together,
each doing one act of goodness today,
one righteous act of peace,
one unpopular voice against the status quo,
one simple smile of grace,
one starfish thrown back in,
one pie to a neighbor,
one vow upheld,
one stepping into the breach,
one punch in the face,
to bring one giant, defiant action against evil.
Somehow we hear just a few names in history…
Abraham Lincoln
Mother Teresa
Martin Luther King, Jr
Great names of great people,
they inspire us, yes.
Somehow, it seems, we make our ordinary everyday efforts seem less. They are not.
We seem to have come to believe only in celebrity, yet,
if we would just look around us each day,
we would see them,
hundreds of thousands of people,
maybe millions,
sprinkled in every place,
holding the world together,
every day –
keeping us sane.
one small prayer for each of us,
setting fire to the rain.

ACL 2/21/15


We are not masters of this world, we participate in its life. – Thomas Moore
for Michael Harris, whom I respect and admire

photo source tracks found at


Before I leave the stage
I will sing the only song
I was meant truly to sing.

It is the song
of I AM.
Yes: I am Me

I love Us with every drop
of our blood
every atom of our cells
our waving particles
—undaunted flags of our Being—
neither here nor there.

Before I Leave the Stage by Alice Walker


photo source tracks found at

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