life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

remembering gratitude

It seems,

as we age,

we become more of what we are.

when dementia or Alzheimer’s begin,

we lose our ability to remember.

important pieces fall out of our knowing,

and we become our habits

I have been told, the skills that last the longest

are those habits we have learned so well

we don’t think about doing them,

they are a part of us instinctively:

folding laundry,

washing dishes,


these are the last things that we forget.

our attitudes reflect who we have been.

I have been caregiving someone with advanced dementia.

it is difficult to watch.

I seek to understand my own living better by witnessing this.

I am learning much.

Recently I have been reminded of something extremely important:

We become what we practice.

gratitude is a practice.

a practice I want to develop,

so that if I ever forget other things,

gratitude will be incorporated,

so fully into my living,

that it is part of my dna.

I want to wrap my living so deeply in gratitude right now,

that if I lose everything else,

if I forget my own name,

I will still not forget to say,

‘thank you’.

if I forget words,

I will still breathe


if I forget how to walk,

my eyes will still

carry the light

of grace.

Nothing is worth more than this day, because

it is the day I have been given to practice,

to acknowledge all the blessings,

this is the gift I have been given,

this one precious life.


Mary Oliver reminds me

to let go of any need that might linger in me

to, even try, to impress anyone.

But to stay alert to the extravagant impressiveness around me,

puddling at my feet,

drowning my life with goodness.

To be easily astonished,

easily filled with wonder,

to let life boggle my mind.

To stay a child of joy and nature,

a collector of miracles.

To stay in awe of sunsets

and dandelions,

coffee shops

and grasshoppers.

To gasp every time I get a view of the ocean,

and be breathless at the view from a mountaintop road at sunset.

To thrill when I see a leaf change color.

To crane my neck, every single time, to catch a glimpse of sunlight on water,

and the curve of a babies cheek.

To get a chill of macabre delight

at gnarly, old toenails,

and bats hanging upside down

in a dark damp cave,

or flying around a street light as darkness falls slowly through the air.

Such things keep me alive.

These are the true riches of our living.

Extreme miracles everywhere around us.

We are here to witness,

here to share descriptions of such beauty,

even our feeble attempts are so amazing

they boggle the mind.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for this reminder,

with your every beautiful, glorious word.

We are each here to do our part,

to record our miracles

in our own voices,






we make up this tapestry,

record the blazing glory,

of the masterpiece.

We each add notes to the grand symphony,

allowing the rocks to stay silent –

at least for those who

don’t care to hear this exquisite, out-of-this-world music,

playing with such brilliance, light and passion,

everywhere we go.


Amy Lloyd

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