life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

wrapped up

“An enigma wrapped in a paradox and shrouded in a conundrum” (Levi, 2008)

Impermanence is both a process of continual loss,

in which things exist and then disappear.

And it is also a process of continuous rebirth or creativity,

in which things that do not exist suddenly appear.

~ Joseph Goldstein

Paradoxical thinking is key to creativity, which comes from the capacity to entertain apparently contradictory ideas in a way that stretches the mind and opens the heart to something new. Paradox is also a way of being that’s key to wholeness, which does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life…..To be whole I have to be able to say I am both shadow and light.

~ Parker Palmer

I sit with relief

A feeling Unfamiliar for 120 days

welcome yet Tentative

Am I out of the worst of dark?

It’s hard to tell

Hard to trust

Reside of dark

Leaves soot on the soul

Holes seared in the heart

The burning rings

Still glow around the edges

Like that day when my sister, Nancy, dropped ash on her new red skirt as we sat in the old Pontiac sharing that stolen cigarette

I was 5 or 6

I still feel her fear

It tastes like ashes in my throat

The fire has burned very hot

Will I recover?

Not likely

The flame has changed the chemistry 

Of the soul it touched

What will be the new metal?

Will it be stronger and better?

To hot right now to touch

Gotta cool down

Hopefully this will be the alchemy

To turn a fool into gold

Only Time will tell


Amy Lloyd

What gets you through the desert?

What gets you through?

What gets you through the chemo,

the healing from abuse, the bad marriage,

what gets you through

the job that tries to kill you,

the dark alley of the shadow of death,

the rotten places, the placeless places,

the evil you fear, the evil you’ve done,

your daily inadequacy,

what gets you through?

Some will call it courage or stamina,

luck or faith or reaching down deep.

But you know it’s not you, not yours.

It’s given. To you. For you.

From the Holy One.

The thread you follow,

the source you drink from,

the encouraging voice,

the Divine desire that you thrive,

the gift amid the desolation,

you fund it anywhere—

the usual, the impossible,

the unwelcome.

You learn to recognize it.

You learn to receive it.

For that grace that gets you through

you learn to say thank you.

You learn to count on it,

and be surprised,

every morning.

Every morning.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes


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