life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

what love looks like 

 Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.

          -Maya Angelou

  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.   I John 4:18

top photo by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

other photos found on facebook


It’s hard to love someone really,

especially the annoying, the arrogant, the cruel—

because I want to be separate from them.

I don’t want to be one with them,

soiled by their sin, associated with their dirt.

I want to push their boat off in a good direction

but not be in their boat.

But to love someone 

is to cease judging the cruel as more cruel than I.

To love someone is to go to heaven or hell with them,

to put my arm around them and go together.

To lay aside my private little self

and be part of our divine oneness.
God leaves the perfect halls of heaven

to be one of us, to be us,

mucked in our grime, weak as the weakest of us,

blamed with our worst, frail, faulty and failed.

It’s not the gracious, condescending gesture 

to the needy that makes it love;

it’s the absence of distance, the common wound,

it’s the arm around one, walking the way with one,

the resurrecting grace of giving your whole self away,

changing someone’s life by giving them yours.

It’s hard to love really because you have to die.

You disappear. You stop being separate,

stop being a little “one” so far from the “other,”

and be One. Less than that is zero.
But it’s easy to love, really,

when finally in our failure we give up

and throw away our pretensions of virtue,

and dump out the cardboard box 

of our our whole useless heart and all its little pieces,

and, becoming so emptied… wait, 

and God fills us with God’s only love

that flows through us without our having to bother

with the work of getting in its way. 
It’s hard to love really, 

until we empty out

and shine. 


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

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