life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “anger”

the wild & salty now 

Welcome and entertain them all

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.


Parker J. Palmer with a light-hearted metaphor from Rumi — on the unexpected visitor and welcoming her in, serendipitous chaos and all.

I paddled a small boat

through wind and waves in the open sea,

the wind wanting to wipe me sideways,

waves lurching me about,

the constant pressing, the effort, 

the all aloneness of it,

a little dot in an ocean wide of green,

the struggle so welcome, so satisfying,
because I was there. 
I have climbed mountains and hiked deserts,

raised children and journeyed through a marriage

simply to be there.
You have swung the hammer, sewed the seams, 

taken the bus, changed the diapers,

recovered from the illness, done the time.

You run races, you wash dishes,

you row your body through its failings,

you work the work of youth or of aging,

you put your shoulder to it.

Even in prayer’s stillness

you go the distance.
This is the holy pilgrimage:

to meet the given day.

You give yourself to this moment as it is,

hand to hand, all in,

and beyond all accomplishment

you are given the gift 

of this life.

You come home with salt in your hair

and a whole wide sea in your heart. 


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Yesterday afternoon I watched Kate Hudson die in her movie,

A Bit of Heaven,

and I thought about how important our little bit of time is here on this earth. 

The vast importance of now! 

To never hold back sharing our love,

our bit of time here with the ones we love. 

This morning, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed,

I read posts from various friends,

anniversaries of loss. 

The shock of too young loss. 

The bewilderment of unexpected loss. 

The anger of longing for the love loss. 

Missing persons. 

Persons missing persons. 

I listened to the music these friends shared. 

Music chosen in a very personal, intimate way,

helping them deal, 

bringing them comfort,

tapping into their passion, 

their anger,

their extreme feelings,

their great oceans of emotion. 

Music helping them allow,

helping them to move,

helping them release,

as they remain here, feeling left and bereft. 

Music. Always music. 

I cried with them, 

for them,

for my own tsunami of losses. 

As their music poured into me,

I felt their particular loss, 

and I stood along side them and held them in love. 

I honor the grieving hearts of the world. 

I honor the gift, and power, of music. 


Amy Lloyd (AL)

Love, like fire, can only reveal its brightness On the failure and beauty of burnt wood.           – Philippe Jaccottet   

Everyone is having a hard time. Everyone is insecure. Everyone is hassled. Everyone is tired–we all need more sleep. Everyone wishes he had more courage, more money, and better social skills. Everyone wants more glamour in his life, and we all desperately need more laughter. Few can figure out how they ended up living the life they lead. Don’t be misled by flippant talk; it’s a battle for everyone.

– Joshua Halberstam​

the flesh covers the bone  

and they put a mind  

in there and  

sometimes a soul,  

and the women break  

vases against the walls  

and the men drink too  


and nobody finds the  


but keep  


crawling in and out  

of beds.  

flesh covers  

the bone and the  

flesh searches  

for more than  



there’s no chance  

at all:  

we are all trapped  

by a singular  



nobody ever finds  

the one.  


the city dumps fill  

the junkyards fill  

the madhouses fill  

the hospitals fill  

the graveyards fill  


nothing else  


Alone With Everybody by Charles Bukowski

in the world between worlds

where the shimmering abstract

holds all the secrets within us

words are absent

no scripture exists

there are no definitions

as there is no need for such things

in our eternal knowing 

we are ever-being known

the mystic colors of God fill us

unseeable in this earthly realms obscured vision 

they hold us there 

where we don’t need to be understood 

or understand anything

we are simply

all we could ever hope to be

we are the lover and the beloved

eternal love

eternally loved 


You in I

I in you


until the scab scraping 

demand of this waking earth

this illusion glazed moment we choose to serve

pulls us completely blinded

into a day in a life

pushes us ass-backward 

into the harsh reality

of jaded time

of hard-earned, hard-learned experience 

of continually disappointed expectation

of broken hearts, once tender

of broken dreams, once beautiful 

broken everything, once whole and healthy

and instead of fighting for our very lives,

we put away our dreaming space,

as if it were somehow the wrong

we decide we’ve learned the truth – 

that love hurts –

though what we’ve learned is trickery –

because true love sets us free

and so we surrender to 

the soul-sucking zombie apocalypse of our addictions,

our chosen favored forms of slavery

as the children of chattel always do

not knowing our vast worth

our royal bloodline

our supreme destiny

we clothe ourselves in useless, flimsy armor 

our only known defense. 

we use fools gold 

cheap drug store variety,

Madison avenue, false-advertisement protection, 

these rabbits feet of proclaimed luck,

these traps of anger, arrogance and pride,

against the barbarian onslaught

of what we have been brainwashed to accept

as important 

the carnivorous eating of our flesh

by the demands of our own complex making

focused only on our foolish collecting of silly objects,

overrated treasures and pleasures 

as we ignore our need for love

choosing instead to battle

the cannibals salivating at every corner

waiting for us to stumble and weaken

so they can take our place at the top of the illusive list 

of whatever sort 

we have entered into 

as our arena of competition  

eventually they will toast to their victories over us 

with our own fresh, falling blood

pouring from the golden goblets we ourselves had taken from another 

we accept it as normal

as we attend to the business of forgetting 

who we are

pretending to be full

as we starve to death

in order to get just a little bit more than those waiting 

for what will never satisfy any of us 

lusting for salt 

even as we faint from dehydration 
we live, lonely, in empty mansions

forgetting all that makes a house glow

is the home light burning inside of our other to warm our bones

in order to impress those who will never truly know us, love us, or want our best to be honored 

in order to arrive at the end of our hourglass 

dragging what we will not be able take with us…
we trade our chance to be truly remarkable

to create singular intimacy

we see our chance to find gardens of happiness,

to build something as mind boggling as the seven wonders,

and we choose to ignore it

as we continue on.

too busy, too consumed,

to stop for a moment,

just one moment,

to take off our shoes,

fall down and worship…

to allow the lover into our heart –

as though love isn’t important enough for the likes of us

why do we go about wasting our opportunity here?

how can we awaken to the highest and best within ourselves?

how can we choose to lay our hearts bare in vulnerability?

how can we empty the deepest motes of fear and isolation?

why do we trade love for ash?

why would we ever do such a thing? 


Let us return again to where we began…

the joyous place of our belonging

to the passion and wild danger inside our freedom loving hearts

children on Christmas morning 

full of sheer wonder and excitement 

at the beauty of who we are 

passionately in love with our created uniqueness

the fullest colors of our self unleashed

living worship eternally under vast blue skies

shining from our highest place, 

with the extreme audacity, 

the sheer wonder and glory

of our calling as love

pure love

I in you

You in I

as we 

the many


the one 


Amy Lloyd (AL)

Many of us seek that which we will flee if we find it. I have seen this time and again, both in myself and in others. We seek, we search, and then we find a calling or a relationship that is a perfect reflection of our yearning and we turn away and go back to seeking, almost as though the light of our true-path was too bright for us, too vulnerable for us, too real for us. This is a pattern that we have to recognize and heal or else we will never stop looking for what is already there. True-path is not always around the next corner. Sometimes it’s right under our feet…


  Jeff Brown

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

~Erich Fromm

take a breath

In these times when anger

 Is turned into anxiety

 And someone has stolen

 The horizons and mountains,
Our small emperors on parade

 Never expect our indifference

 To disturb their nakedness. 
They keep their heads down

 And their eyes gleam with reflection

 From aluminum economic ground,
The media wraps everything 

 In a cellophane of sound,

 And the ghost surface of the virtual

 Overlays the breathing earth. 
The industry of distraction

 Makes us forget

 That we live in a universe. 
We have become converts

 To the religion of stress

 And its deity of progress;
That we may have courage

 To turn aside from it all

 And come to kneel down before the poor,

 To discover what we must do,

 How to turn anxiety

 Back into anger,

 How to find our way home. 


John O’Donohue 
‘For Citizenship’ from BENEDICTUS


Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.         – Jean-Paul Sartre

photo sources at

just for today

It took me some years to understand that many of us are more afraid of happiness than misery. Because misery and martyrdom have an inherent safety about them- one is never particularly vulnerable, nor at risk of disappointment. Unhappiness becomes a security blanket, a way to armor ourselves against deep feeling. On the other hand, happiness has an intrinsically risky quality. When we open our hearts to life, we are always vulnerable to loss, to shattering, to having it all fall away. But it can also expand and deepen, joyfully permeating every element of our life. I can often sense when someone has made unhappiness their shield, their perpetual life stance. And it saddens me. Because locking ourselves into only one way of being is a self-fulfilling prophecy: misery begets misery. Because only through risking something can we arrive at a new perspective. And most significantly, because the rhythms and tides of one’s life can shift in the blink of an eye. All it takes is one sunny day and the whole damn thing can come back to light.

    – Jeff Brown




when will it get better? 


 The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action: and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;

Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,

Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,

On purpose laid to make the taker mad.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream.

   All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

   To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


 – Sonnet CXXIX, William Shakespeare 


 I believe it is no ones intention to live as a perpetual victim. 
No one ever said they wanted that as a career,

wanted to spend their valuable life having no personal power –

yet how many are there

trapped by the belief that life, 


some ‘other’ 

has taken something from them

which they should have?

they deserve(d) it

they didn’t want to lose what’s gone

      (I understand that)

but now it’s gone

and they’ve been wronged

they spin in the agony of not controlling 



something, anything

They can’t see what they’re doing,

they can’t hear what they’re saying,

they can’t see how they’re living,

because they are sure

sure they are right,

sure they deserve to be this grand victim,

sure the very best of life,

their very happiest,

is behind them now. 

They may say ‘they are not special’,

but in reality they believe they are SO special

life should only, always, give them what they want…

no matter what. 
I used to try to convince them otherwise,

spend massive energy,

years invested in living with people determined not to see,

not to let go,

not to find happiness and peace. 

People refusing to do the work to gain truth and freedom. 

now I take it case by case,

I trust God enough to allow them to come,

allow them to go. 

I do my own hard work 

of letting go

of letting go

of letting go…

of loving with no expectations of return…

of finding out new insights about my own heart…

of standing in my own healing,



without being distracted by the manipulation 

of people living as victims. 

I remind myself (over and over) everyone has a right to live as they choose, 

truth is never an argument to be won. 

Then I give thanks that I chose something new for myself. 

I pray for each person in the world to live with peace and joy…

I grieve my own, very personal losses, 

and, eventually,

life goes on…



 Amidst ten thousand losses and swirling joys. 

At this very instant on the sacred Earth I wait. 

Come to us Beauty, Wisdom, Goodness, Peace, Solace, Grace, Counsel, Love. 

See the open archway this cold night 

Air, rich as gold flows.

Fine snow, glistens our faces. Each flake, 

every exquisite crystal blossom is the covenant of your love 

told a thousand, thousand times. 

   – Patricia Van Ness



 Listen to Serenity Fisher sing So Far From Oh Well

important sources 


 Anger is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for the family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of all physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when we are overwhelmed by is accompanying vulnerability, when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or when it touches the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.

What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body, or identity, or voice, or way of life to hold it. What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.


Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling something is profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability; anger too often finds its voice strangely, through our incoherence and through our inability to speak, but anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are implicated in the world and made vulnerable through love in all its specifics: a daughter, a house, a family, an enterprise, a land or a colleague. Anger turns to violence and violent speech when the mind refuses to countenance the vulnerability of the body in its love for these outer things – we are often abused or have been abused by those who love us but have no vehicle to carry its understanding, or who have no outer emblems of their inner care of even their own wanting to be wanted. Lacking any other vehicle for the expression of this inner rawness they are simply overwhelmed by the elemental nature of love’s vulnerability. In their helplessness they turn to violence on the very people who are the outer representation of this inner lack of control.


But anger truly felt at its center is the essential living flame of being fully alive and fully here; it is a quality to be followed to its source, to be prized, to be tended, and an invitation to finding a way to bring that source fully into the world through making the mind clearer and more generous, the heart more compassionate and the body larger and strong enough to hold it. What we call anger on the surface only serves to define its true underlying quality by being a complete but absolute mirror-opposite of its internal source.


  – David Whyte


Our experiences color everything. The events of the past can have a profound effect on how we see our lives now and what we choose to believe about our world. Our past experiences can also influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events. Each of us reacts to stimulus based on what we have learned in life. There is no right or wrong to it; it is simply the result of past experience. Later, when our strong feelings have passed, we may be surprised at our reactions. Yet when we face a similar situation, again our reactions may be the same. When we understand those experiences, we can come that much closer to understanding our reactions and consciously change them. 
Between stimulus and reaction exists a fleeting moment of thought. Often, that thought is based on something that has happened to you in the past. When presented with a similar situation later on, your natural impulse is to unconsciously regard it in a similar light. For example, if you survived a traumatic automobile accident as a youngster, the first thing you might feel upon witnessing even a minor collision between vehicles may be intense panic. If you harbor unpleasant associations with death from a past experience, you may find yourself unable to think about death as a gentle release or the next step toward a new kind of existence. You can, however, minimize the intensity of your reactions by identifying the momentary thought that inspires your reaction. Then, next time, replace that thought with a more positive one. 
Modifying your reaction by modifying your thoughts is difficult, but it can help you to see and experience formerly unpleasant situations in a whole new light. It allows you to stop reacting unconsciously. Learning the reason of your reactions may also help you put aside a negative reaction long enough to respond in more positive and empowered ways. Your reactions and responses then become about what’s happening in the present moment rather than about the past. As time passes, your negative thoughts may lose strength, leaving only your positive thoughts to inform your healthy reactions. 

Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor/Reaction to Life Events


recognizing. redefining. redeeming. 

Healthy aggression has been given a bad name for far too long. I remember the day when it was acceptable to stand down those who behaved unjustly. Not in a way that was disproportionate to the crime, but in a way that met it right where it lived. This seems to have been lost in the last decades, both because of the softee toffee premature forgiveness movement and because of our growing awareness of the horrifying effects of unhealthy aggression. As a man, I have found this entirely confusing. Often I have stood down injustice with appropriate ferocity and been judged for it, as though I was the unjust one. I have some compassion for this interpretation, as I do recognize that it is difficult for many trauma survivors to not be triggered by aggression of any kind. But something is lost when we don’t make the distinction between the kinds of aggression that rectify wrongs, and those that perpetuate them. It is time to again raise healthy aggression to the rafters of acceptability. Sometimes its the truest path of all.


   – Jeff Brown


 Change and growth are painful 
not because we’re gaining, 

but because we’re losing. 

We lose old ideas. 

Old habits. Old stories. 

Old comforts. 

We shed all that’s become

too heavy to carry onward, 

wrapped too tight around skin 

that needed to finally breathe. 

A body that had to break loose 

from the once present chapter. 

Blank pages had been begging. 

Ink aching to write 

a new road and world. 

A soul that could no longer deny

the taste of something else. 

Something that felt true. 

Something not yet seen.

We don’t have to see something

in order to believe.


 – an excerpt from Victoria Erickson’s fantastic new book- Edge of Wonder, available on Amazon

 It is time to go deeper, to find your rudder
The unswerving truth of who you are
To keep you on track to your destiny.
Some tacking and jibing – yes
But with minor adjustments
On your way once more
Wind at your back to carry you
To ease your way
for a time.
The storms will come, for oceans will be oceans
Fear appears
Fear of being tossed about in the waves
Fear of not surviving rough seas
Fear is to be your teacher
Fear is to be your guide
Fear is to hold your hand as you look beyond the horizon
Of what you have always known
To the truth you can only know
Once you face fear
And see the love in its eyes.


The Truth of You by Brenda Newberry



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