life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Beliefs”

awareness is the key to change 

I tell my father about the way 

I collect small things

in the sacs of my heart—

thick juniper berries

apple cores that retain their shape

and the click of shells

that sound like an oven baking.

He presses the mole on my shoulder

that matches his shoulder,

proof that I was not found

at the bottom of the sea.

I also got his feet, far from

Cinderella’s dainty glass slippers

and fingers, too wide for most

Cracker Jack wedding rings.

I read how some mammals never

forget their young—

their speckled spots, odd goat

cries, or birthmarks on curved ivory tusks. 

There must be some

thread of magic there

cooling honey to stone—where

like recognizes like or how

a rib seeks its twin.


A Taste of Blue by Cynthia Manick

Our survival adaptations are so tough, but our wounds are so delicate. To heal, we have to lift the armor carefully- it saved our lives, after all. It’s like moving your best friend off to the side of the path. You don’t trample on her, you don’t hit her with a sledgehammer. You honor her presence like a warm blanket that has kept you safe and sound during wintry times. And then, when the moment is right, you get inside and stitch your wounds with the thread of love, slowly and surely, not rushing to completion, nurturing as you weave, tender and true. The healing process has a heart of its own, moving at its own delicate pace. We are such wondrous weavers…


 – Jeff Brown

is to stand

at the center

of circle 

after growing circle

and reach

in the mind

for a far circumference

that holds as focus

an interior so far in

so concentrated

with origin

we find ourselves

by looking out

at what looks back,

the lighted edge 

of rock and sky,

the sweet

unmoving darkness

over the horizon 

that makes

a perfect 

beckoning symmetry

to the night

beneath our feet,

the underground

where light cannot live

but whose darkness

makes a ground 

on which to stand.
The central 

ancestral story

of those who

lived here

looking out

at the same horizon

and the same 



who saw a world

that witnessed them

at a privileged 


their lives caught

like ours

in the glance

of what lies beyond


for a fleeting



From Pilgrim: Poems by David Whyte

Refuse to fall down

If you cannot refuse to fall down,

refuse to stay down.

If you cannot refuse to stay down,

lift your heart toward heaven,

and like a hungry beggar, 

ask that it be filled. 

You may be pushed down.

You may be kept from rising.

But no one can keep you from lifting your heart

toward heaven

only you.

It is in the middle of misery

that so much becomes clear.

The one who says nothing good

came of this, 

is not yet listening.

–Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

   – Mahatma Gandhi

I’m not here to live up to your expectations and you’re not here to live up to mine. 

    – Bruce Lee

A New Thing  

I am learning a new thing

I am digging deep into my belief systems

My very foundation –

the thing I learned,

the thing I wanted,

from the very beginning. 

The very thing I have based every decision of my life on for 51 years,

has crumbled,

discovered hidden and rotten 

under every good thing I’ve attempted to build. 

I kept wonder why my fabulous additions 

kept falling down around my ears…

now I see the gaping ground fault,

the illusive, sinking sand,

which I must release and repair. 

It’s very difficult. 

It’s extremely frightening. 

It’s supremely challenging. 

My new thing goes against the grain 

of everything I’ve ever thought, 



since my very earliest childhood memories. 

It’s been so very expensive. 

Life built. 

Time spent. 

Dreams bent. 

All washing away

as I open my hands and allow 

a new firm foundation 

to be built

as the levee breaks 

and carries the remaining sinking sand 

forever away…


they are a changing!

Blackness becomes you!  – Fred LaMotte   

At the end of your chanted path,

where the desert becomes the sea,

when you arrive your

songs are already here.

They greet you with silence

and you learn your name.

The rainbow curves toward darkness.

The surface of every sphere

tilts into its vacuum, pours

a golden yolk into raven wings.

Now make a new body of your brave

annihilation, weightless as a flame.

And tell me, dancing tongue of fire,

don’t you prefer the night?

Blackness becomes you.


Alfred K LaMotte

When the sooty corners of our dark night

absorb into porcelain skin at last

leaving it a whole new shade of refined

When the geese in their skeined wedge take another enchanted voyage across the endless blue

When we wake up to this new day 

loving life in spite of all that has gone before

When the one who loves us allows us joy in our exile

until we are ready to break our silent bread

When we allow the challenging heaviness of our limiting beliefs to enter into our arena wrestling until we have achieved Olympic gold

When we trust the great freedom of what has brought us to this very moment

When the wine of our heart 

in it’s purest burgundy of bubbling merry or deepest sorrow

pours clear and jeweled in its crushing

When we give away freely our best crimson to everyone we meet at this royal wedding 

When we finally recognize the truth that there is no journey of arriving

there is simply life

this grandest celebration of skin touching skin

the sharing of moments

the wonder of storytelling 

the ancient ancestral linage of our tree-relations  

the wonder of teaching and tasting and exploring 

coffee and kisses and learning any odd/old/new thing with the ones you love
then we have arrived at our true work 

the why we have sought so desperately to uncover for so long

lying crumpled and useless in the trash can

as we, a bit drunk, on our own exquisite vintage

make love to the world in blissful ecstasy 

shhhh…there are new songs playing 


just listen…

to that saxophone…

In this world

I’m so glad there is you


Amy Lloyd (AL)

No matter how dark the clouds seem, they are only clouds. The sun is always shining, the sky is always light blue. The clouds are just droplets of water, gathered together to tease people who don’t remember the truth.

– Chris Collins

otters and birthdays and glimpses of the mystery   

Yeah, so, the past month has been an intense one for me in every way. A bit emotionally brutal. We can all relate, I’m sure. It’s shown me a lot of new things about myself, also revealed some new glimpses of this mystical mystery named, so simply, “Love,” in our language. 

I’ve been a student of the nature of Love for the past 7 years, which doesn’t seem very long, now that I write it down, but, I have to report, just this short time of study, it has changed me in every area of my life. 

My studies are always, first and foremost, practical. To me nothing I ‘believe’ is worth anything if it does not actually work in my living to bring me healing, make me a better human, remove my baggage to reveal my highest and best self, lead me into paths of peace and load my arms with fruit to share with fellow pilgrims along the way…and, so, I began by asking God to reveal what love was and how love worked. 

My first flash came in 2009, riding on a CT commuter train from New Haven to Branford, looking at the marsh fly by. I had been asking for some days, intensely seeking, when God showed himself to me as ‘LOVE.’ That brief instant changed everything for me. I experienced the Aleph of The Mystery and left that train, completely changed a flash or, in real time less than 30 minutes…

Many wonderful writers have helped me along this open-ended, unlimited path of discovery on this topic. I must give much beautiful credit to Henri Nouwen, who helped me early on in my excavation of this topic. His revelations, and life surrendered to this mystery, have inspired much learning in my own voyage on this simple, yet so radical, path. 

Over these years, I felt lead to share some of my tiny bits of insight with others – it has just been so amazing! So beautiful! So everything – I just wanted others to open to it as well, to learn and heal along with me!  Over these years I have learned to be a writer and a poet. Until recently I didn’t feel I could claim those ‘titles,’ but I do now, just another way love has changed me. I am so grateful. 

This brings us to yesterday, which brings us to Frederick Buechner’s 90th birthday! Buechner is one of the best, most beautiful, writers ever. Sometimes I stop breathing when I read his words. I won’t say more, at this moment, as this is becoming a very long post, but here’s my best advice: read him! 

Recently someone, somewhere, on Facebook, posted words by poet, Fred LaMotte. They deeply touched me and so I ‘friended’ him. Then he began posting his words and I found myself on Amazon ordering one of his books. I received it last week, and it has been moving me into some very deep waters. 

Yeah, so, back to yesterday, I re-posted a happy birthday write-up about Buechner and then…

I got this comment from Fred LaMotte:

He was the reason I became a teacher and a school chaplain. When I was a 10th grader at Exeter Academy (near Boston) he was the school chaplain. It was before he became a writer. One dreary morning in late Winter, we were 700 half asleep boys in morning ‘Chapel’ (it was just an assembly really), and decided to read to us. He read the entire 7th chapter of ‘The Wind In The Willows,’ ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn.’ It was very long and I think I might have been the only one stayed awake. It was amazing. Not only did it show me my first real piece of spiritual writing, but I thought, “Wow! This is his job? Reading to people about the great God Pan? I want to do this!” Thank you Frederick Buechner.


WOW!! Then Fred LaMotte shared that chapter of the Wind and the Willows, ya know, the one that inspired some pretty intense poetry, which is, at this moment plowing up some new fields in my back forty…

Wow upon WOW!

Here’s that link. My advice: Read it!!

I have not read The Wind in the Willows since I was a teenager, and, at that time I remember thinking it was rather stupid. My thoughts being something like, ‘Good grief, what in the heck is this about?’ 

Yesterday, I finally ‘got it!’ I broke down. I took my shoes off and bowed to the glory. Yesterday, a gift of love I offered was returned to me, unaccepted. I ‘got it!’ I broke down. I took my shoes off and bowed to the glory. There’s no right or wrong here, just gift. I choose to be only grateful to continue on in the, ‘yes and amen!’ of it all. 

I have no idea what Love (God) will teach me next. I am a very humble beginner. No Master here. Just a girl who cannot believe how lucky I am to be on this narrow road. A very unlikely pilgrim, I. Always wearing inappropriate shoes for climbing these steep hills, but somehow, always getting the view of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. I guess it’s true what Babe Ruth said, ‘You can’t beat a man who keeps getting up!’

Here’s a song I wrote for my children’s musical about my life of faith, named: The Fantastical Inside-Out-Upside-Down Journey of a Rich Little Poor Girl 

 You Otter Know (verses spoken in the style of Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant/choruses in Sinatra style)

I was walking in the forest 

I was feeling all alone

The birds and bees were sleeping,

the weeping willow weeping
Then I heard a little creature

Start moving oh so slow

and the little brook began to play

music with its toes

the woodpecker was keeping time

upon that tall oak tree

and I could not help start dancing

cause I knew it was for me

and as I whirled and twirled about 

I came upon a log

and the beaver and the otter (Frank Sinatra style Beaver. Sammy Davis Otter)  

were acting more like hogs (pushing each other to get to the log stage with microphone) 

and then they each began to croon

they’re words were oh so rare

I stood there for a moment

my foot still in the air
and they sang to me…
You otter know I love you

loved you from the start

(if you’ll beaver me

then I’ll beaver you

You never walk alone)

You otter know I love you

love your precious heart

(beaver me it’s true

I’ve always loved you

You’re never far from home)
and the band it just kept playing

and my happy heart did gasp

Cause this was so much better

than that silly talking a** 

uhhh donkey
Then my heart it felt so happy

and my eyes at last could see

That though I hadn’t been aware

You’d never once left me

and as I danced on down that path

 I swear I sang this song

The one my friends had written,

which had been there all along
and I sang…
You otter know I love you

loved you from the start

(if you’ll beaver me

then I’ll beaver you

You never walk alone)

You otter know I love you

love your precious heart

(beaver me it’s true

I’ve always loved you

You’re never far from home



Ephesians 1:4

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  

New Living Translation

You don’t have to melt

until you are ready. 

Remember this:
Each moil of your unoiled joints,

every numb stiff gristle of resistance,

cramp of anger, clabber of shame,
clot of envy, opinion or belief,

is simply a mass of refusal

contracted into “me,”
a particle afraid to waltz

with its field, a wave

that will not settle to its sea,
a sky who thinks it is a cloud,

a self who didn’t give up

Don’t let go until you’re

ready, friend. You have forever. 

You remember this:
To melt is not to pass away,

but to pulverize diamonds 

with your dancing,
watch the spiraling fire

of your body, and witness

the whirled. 


Alfred K. LaMotte

Some mornings 

I wake up a king,

anointed, anticipated,

Some mornings

I wake up a pilgrim,

on a journey yet unseen,

but on a road laid out

with adventures to be met.
Some mornings 

I wake up a mule.

No power to wield,

nowhere to go,

just me, just here,

dull and pointless.
Those days

I must be 

most vigilant and ready,

for my master 

is a good samaritan

and I never know

when I will be needed

for something luminous.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

photo sources found at

why should I worry or fret?

Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner static bull’s eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.
The template of natural exchange is the breath, the autonomic giving and receiving that forms the basis and the measure of life itself. We are rested when we are a living exchange between what lies inside and what lies outside, when we are an intriguing conversation between the potential that lies in our imagination and the possibilities for making that internal image real in the world; we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves alone, to do what we do best, breathe as the body intended us to breathe, to walk as we were meant to walk, to live with the rhythm of a house and a home, giving and taking through cooking and cleaning. 
When we give and take in an easy foundational way we are closest to the authentic self, and closest to that self when we are most rested. To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.
In the first state of rest is the sense of stopping, of giving up on what we have been doing or how we have been being. In the second, is the sense of slowly coming home, the physical journey into the body’s un-coerced and un-bullied self, as if trying to remember the way or even the destination itself. In the third state is a sense of healing and self-forgiveness and of arrival. In the fourth state, deep in the primal exchange of the breath, is the give and the take, the blessing and the being blessed and the ability to delight in both. The fifth stage is a sense of absolute readiness and presence, a delight in and an anticipation of the world and all its forms; a sense of being the meeting itself between inner and outer, and that receiving and responding occur in one spontaneous movement.
A deep experience of rest is the template of perfection in the human imagination, a perspective from which we are able to perceive the outer specific forms of our work and our relationships whilst being nourished by the shared foundational gift of the breath itself. From this perspective we can be rested while putting together an elaborate meal for an arriving crowd, whilst climbing the highest mountain or sitting at home surrounded by the chaos of a loving family.
Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.

REST By David Whyte

there are words strung together

in such beauty

lined up in perfect sequence

finally arranged in such a way

they touch secret places

of pain so hidden inside us

they have had no way of expression 

they almost don’t exist

they are so deep

so shadowy scarred and twisted

so nameless I can’t acknowledge them

because they might possibly be a ghost

and why would I disturb alien creatures,

when there is quite enough pain

right here in plain sight

to try to heal and deal with?
until these thoughts appear,

the magical key,

and shadows become real,

in these words of another – 

because the other 

has felt 

has written

has sung

has wrestled and wrangled with…

this too!

and the words they have mined 

from these dark, broken quarries 

touch that wispy, pain-filled place

inside of me

with delicate fingers

and declare they are so,

and, somehow,

they make them alright,

binding and healing

my shame-filled broken bones

my secret stab wounds 

my almost too pain-full to be real

merely by sharing them out loud!

Suddenly, my soul says, aha!

And I breathe again, 

and I lay down to rest. 

Then roses in my heart

turn from blush to deepest crimson

and birds come and build nests in the trees,

which declare every moment that

Yahweh is always gracious,

and the morning wakes up

new and alive. 

Then love burns seven times hotter 

than I ever even thought possible

and I count gift after gift

of never-before-seen riches at my fingertips

as I step into a life 

that matters

because I am beloved

because I understand myself better

and the meaning of,

It is what it is


the truth shall set you free

become my praise songs

because I AM

with every word

and I grin and say,

‘You aren’t much, my girl’

and I belly laugh…

because it is true!

and then I laugh even harder because,

truth is also,

I AM everything I need to be! 

oh, hallelujah 

glory be!



 backbonez kinda people

You are not a coward. You have walked into the countless firestorms of life that would make the knees of a champion shudder at the very sight. You raised a child and held the hand of a dying loved one. You pulled from every inner resource to keep an entire family functioning and fed. You are not a coward. You once hit the bottom of a dark pit only to climb out to greet the next light of transition. You didn’t need nerves of steel or pray for superhuman strength, but relied on a determined heart of love to live your life for something big. 

   ~Susan Frybort, author of ‘Hope is a Traveler’

The Truth
I believe people can change

because of the changes in me

they have to see the need

and want to change themselves
not everyone will change

just because I love them,

or they love me –

just because I want them to –

in fact, most of them won’t
My part in life, is to be myself,

realize my value,

live what I believe

and not allow someone else

to change me into who I am not,

or take away my value
To be in a relationship with someone

is to trust all that you are to another person

and to trust someone enough to allow them into yourself
If that other person has values, 

or behaviors,

that are damaging them, 

they will damage me. 

they will bring harm to who I am. 

What and who I become in the relationship 

will necessarily reflect what and who they are

how we speak to, and treat each other,

will make a major difference in the quality of our lives. 

This is the truth




yet so very complex

the layers of this human experience 







we struggle with virtues

our humanity

our ego

our need to be accepted

with family dynamics

childhood evils

haunt us

like fairytales

we create stories

we sabotage our own living

trying to heal

to find acceptance

to be loved

to figure out our path

to untangle our pain

our bad choices

the choices of others

our destructive relationships

suddenly after an eternity

a lightening bolt hits

clarity comes

we see why

we let go

we forgive

as fall into a deep pool

of peace

where we begin again

from this place

to build new stories

and make new dreams

this will be our new platform of learning

until it happens again

and again

and so our story unfolds

always leading us towards our best selves

if we will just be open

and do the hard work

of surrender

of resilience 

of continuing 

of allowing ourselves

of becoming ourselves

knowing we are 


and we are each




our happiness

was when the

lights were


the whole city

in darkness

& we drove north

to our friend’s

yellow apt.

where she had

power & we

could work

later we stayed

in the darkened

you sick

in bed & me

writing ambitiously

by candle light

in thin blue

your neighbor had

a generator &

after a while

we had a little

bit of light

I walked the

dog & you

were still

a little bit 

we sat on a stoop

one day 

in the
 late afternoon

we had very little

enough for

a strong cappuccino

which we shared

sitting there 


 city was lit.

our happiness by Eileen Myles

what if?

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,

 When the gift within you slips clear 

 Of the sticky web of the personal

 With its hurt and hauntings,

 And fixed fortress corners,
A morning when you become a pure vessel

 For what wants to ascend from silence,
May your imagination know

 The grace of perfect danger,
To reach beyond imitation,

 And the wheel of repetition,
Deep into the call of all 

 The unfinished and unsolved
Until the veil of the unknown yields

 And something original begins 

 To stir toward your senses

 And grow stronger in your heart… 


John O’Donohue
Excerpt from, ‘For the Artist at the Start of Day’


…quietly just now, just one word:


Believe the best.

Believe the hard is being worked out for good.

Believe the best is still to come. 

Believe in the One who is Best.

Believe. [Mark9:23]


   Ann Voskamp @

all manner of things    

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. – Julian of Norwich

I wonder why she said it like this?

I read it and think maybe she was convincing herself

Kinda like Im trying to this morning

Like Ive been doing for months

Repeating it over and over

it’s gonna be ok

it’s gonna be ok

everything is really

gonna be ok

I love old English

I think I will incorporate

‘All manner of things shall be well’

into my daily pep talk

Yes, that’s feeding my soul today

in all manner of ways






 In this long dark, logic and plain sight are useless. You navigate by the diffuse and reflective attention of the moon and stars. Bringing a deep, penetrating silence to the knowing that lives in your bones, stirs in your womb and emanates from your dreams, you recognize that you are no longer who you used to be and not yet still who you will become. You are both, you are neither, you are perfectly between things.

Even if distantly and dimly at first, abilities you never had during the day are coming alive. Where you used to seek leadership outside yourself, now yours is the deciding voice. Fear is becoming your strange ally, as you learn to honour and cradle its soft underbelly. Instinct and the mystical pull of your feeling leads the way. You can sense the density of objects around you, hear the songs of stones and know things are coming even before they’ve left.
For you, brave pilgrim, I hold this lantern at the crossroads. While others are anxious to see you arrive, I praise your vast withstanding of the uncertainty from which all meaning is born. 


– Love, Toko-pa


And then there comes a moment

when all you have suffered

all you have learned

all you have lost and found

rise up and become 

and suddenly you are 


you are 

who you dreamed of being 

so many years ago

suddenly you have arrived

at what you caught glimpses of

for so many years 

and the search,

the free fall of broken dreams,

broken hearts

broken everything

tumbling down rabbit holes

stumbling over the feet 

of your own lack of knowledge

is over 

you find yourself on solid ground



raising your Ebenezer 

those tributes to God 

for all the mighty stones of help

building this foundation on the solid rocks 

you know so well 

and though the pilgrimage may continue

though the journey is definitely not over

though life is fragile

and security an illusion

there is a new sureness to your step

a trusting unshakable

a calm in it all 

a new assurance of provision

a new traveling song to be sung as you walk forward

always forward

always pilgrim ready for new adventures

forgetting the names of what lay behind

you press on to your calling

the prize set before

reveling in the mercies ever new

for each new day

there is no stopping now

you have found something

which cannot be taken

you have arrived here by your own determination

reached a place 

both spiritual and physical

a place of such magnitude 

the light shines from every angle

it has sealed up the oldest sores

bound up the deepest wounds

satisfied the deepest longings

changed everything 

settled old scores with finality 

no longer will you settle for less than you deserve

no more will you tolerate anything less than your best and highest offerings 

you must be all you can be 

gratitude fills you for this place 

a place so lovely 

it can bear up 

even under the weight 

of our hearts wildest desires 

with just this simple name

it resounds inside our souls like a bell –


yes, beloved,

     you are home. 

right where you belong. 




photo sources at 

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