life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “big”

what not to say…just bring french chocolates  

“Only he who cries… is permitted to sing…” is what Bonhoeffer said.

Only those authentic enough to lament, are authentic enough to love.
When everything is stripped away and you have nothing left and in all your bare vulnerability, there is communion with God. 

         – Ann Voskamp

I am bare naked

Down to my bones

Even my comfortable skin is gone

I shiver as the cold blows through me

I have cried many tears 

my song has been well watered

it blooms within me

true voice does not come without cost

Yet it comes

I choose

I let go

I choose

I lament

I chose

I grieve

I choose

I love

I choose

I commune

I choose

I learn

I choose 

always choosing 

new choosing in every moment

to continue to make the choices

which will bring the song

that fills the whole world

with hope, light and love

Thanks be 

to the the friends who stay with me

in silence we weep

in joy we laugh

always and always 

we sing 



love breaks your heart for the sake of your heart…

If you have your health, you have everything

is something that’s said to cheer you up

when you come home early and find your lover

arched over a stranger in a scarlet thong.

Or it could be you lose your job at Happy Nails

because you can’t stop smudging the stars

on those ten teeny American flags.

I don’t begrudge you your extravagant vitality.

May it blossom like a cherry tree. May the petals

of your cardiovascular excellence

and the accordion polka of your lungs

sweeten the mornings of your loneliness.

But for the ill, for you with nerves that fire

like a rusted-out burner on an old barbecue,

with bones brittle as spun sugar,

with a migraine hammering like a blacksmith

in the flaming forge of your skull,

may you be spared from friends who say,

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle

and ask what gifts being sick has brought you.

May they just keep their mouths shut

and give you French chocolates and daffodils

and maybe a small, original Matisse,

say, Open Window, Collioure, so you can look out

at the boats floating on the dappled pink water.


French Chocolates by Ellen Bass

The Beloved says:

Be at peace;

         I am the strongest thing in you.

Over your dark, formless waters I brood;

         in your void I speak my Word.

You are my river and I am your flowing;

         you are my water and I am your sea.

I am the spark from nerve to nerve;

         the drumming of your heart. 

I am your blood’s dark alchemy

         creating life, this moment, life. 

In the night I am your nest;

         in the storm, your steadfast earth.

In the raging waters I am your breath;

         in your death I am your life.

I am the First thing in you,

         and I will be in you 

         when the rest of you is gone.

When your bones are shadows 

         and your sinews wind

a hundred years from now

         I will still be in your place,


Nothing is deeper than my desire for you;

         nor stronger than your belonging in me.

I am your Realm, and your power, and your glory.

         Be at peace.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

4 year anniversary of living faith following the cloud. Allowing God to direct every step I have taken…been an amazing, wonderful, difficult, miracle-strewn time. So grateful for every miracle minute. 

Big changes seem to be coming. Walk with me. Pray for me. 🙏🏻 So grateful for you. 

uphold the integrity of the quest   – spoken @ Infusion Cincinnati 



The beauty of the imagination is that it can discover such magnificent vastness inside a tiny space. Our culture is dominated by quantity. Even those who have plenty hunger for more and more. Everywhere around us, the reign of quantity extends and multiplies. Sadly the voyage of greed has all the urgency but no sense of destination. Desire becomes inflated and loses all sense of vision and proportion. When beauty becomes an acquisition it brings no delight. When time seemed longer and slower, the eye of the beholder had more space and distance to glimpse the beautiful. There was a respect for the worlds that could be suggested by a glimpse. 

 John O’Donohue 

 Excerpt from BEAUTY


I steal glimpses of beauty,

in all she is – 

this moment,

sky in my rearview. 

A huge bowl of rainbow sherbet

my favorite-color-kind

with raspberry, orange & lime

swatches of lemon, indigo & periwinkle 

float like barges –

in, out 






At one point tangerine fills the top of the hilly crest,

headlight stars 

blaze brilliant against the backdrop. 

Indigo stretched above, framing this momentary masterpiece. 

At times I find it hard to keep moving forward

into the matt gray of drudgery ahead.

With so much loveliness going on 

right behind me…

how can I keep heading away from it?

How can I not be a part of this splendor?

Eventually, midnight blue seizes its moment of glory,

then night falls over all, 

and I am left,

aching with the beauty,

the majesty,

the extravagant display,

of this wonderful world. 

I go to wondering

if this longing in my heart

will ever be answered?

If my whole life I will wait 

for a moment which will never come? 

Will it never be realized under this piece of sky? 

Will it always be this whisper?

The magic of hope,

this thing with wings, 

hovering over my heart

for another 50 years, 

echoing on into eternity.  







am i?


 Quiet friend who has come so far, 
feel how your breathing makes more space around you. 

Let this darkness be a bell tower 

and you the bell. As you ring, 
what batters you becomes your strength. 

Move back and forth into the change. 

What is it like, such intensity of pain? 

If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine. 
In this uncontainable night, 

be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses, 

the meaning discovered there. 
And if the world has ceased to hear you, 

say to the silent earth: I flow. 

To the rushing water, speak: I am


qII, 29 [Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower] by Rainer Maria Rilke


 Crossroads and choices, now is the time to decide which path will lead to the garden and more healthy life choices. One just doesn’t wait until Midsummer and think about growing fresh produce for a salad.

   – Old Moss Woman’s Secret Garden/facebook

When an open heart meets an open hand, the result is more feast and more love, enough for a small village to be nurtured from this drawer alone. I see this and recognize him instantly: a soul brother, a lover of life, a father, a friend, a ringleader, a listener, a creative co-conspirator, a holder…of space, of hearts, of possibilities. A man with much to give and more to say, to a yearning, hopeful world.

   – Jen Lemen

 photo sources found at

together in a hopeful world 

 Yesterday there was a facebook post from Jen Lemen over at Hopeful World (she’s one of my most admired people on the planet) telling me that it was a half-way-between-solstice moment and she would be burning a fire in celebration and prayer. If anyone wanted to be part…just say ‘yes’ and she would bring us! I said, ‘Yes, please’ as quickly as I could type it!!! 
And so, last night, while I was sleeping…Jen Lemen was doing something so amazing, I get chill bumps every time I think about it!!! She was holding me, and mine, in that space between. 

Yes, there was INTENTION, there was fire, there was singing, there was celebrating and grieving, there was prayer for the world, for everyone who requested it…and, Holy Batman, Batman, there was prayer for ME and all I hold within and without me. 
What a gift! Beauty and all she is! Powerful and humbling! Encouraging and valuing! I feel it all this morning and I say, Thank you, Jen! Thank you, more than I can say! I am so blessed by you and your work!! 💞 

I woke up to these words from Jen this morning: 

Writing blessings. Saying prayers. May you be happy and peaceful. May no harm come to you. May no difficulty come to you. May you be deeply blessed. May you take care of anyone and everything smaller and sweeter than you are. May you surrender your power to make space for a forgotten voice. May you notice the earth and how she moves and breathes. May you say yes when you’re called and stay quietly beside until the time is right. May you become love and be love and find love and hope for more love, when others say it doesn’t matter or all hope is gone. #pathofprayerandpleasure #urbanfamily #bliss #mysticlife #blessings #imbolc #brigid #celticspring


   – Jen Lemen @ Hopeful World

 The poet gives you a little stone to stand on,

a ledge, a moment of the world or your own mind

to notice, to ground yourself in,

and from there to leap
maybe to another stone, a similar noticing,

maybe to another star, the light you are made of,

or a beauty pouring itself into you,

or maybe just leap all the way to God.
When you are praying

the smallest thing

can be what you stand on,

can be your prayer.
Any time, from even a single twig

you can leap

and wherever you land will be God.

The leaping is God. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


Follow and support Jen Lemen @

art and photo sources found at

break away

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.


-Kurt Vonnegut

 how little I understand 
about life

how small is my vision

how tiny my wings

my experience negligible 

my brain so under developed 

my travels so limited

even as I attempt to smash the box of my learning

as I fight to open to all good things 

as the mystery, 

the dream,

gets bigger

my desire to see, 






burns me to the ground

carries me to the sky

fills me with longing

empties me of myself

allows me to be a part of the whole miracle producing she-bang

calls me to be courageous-

a brilliant dancer, even

in spite of my fear,

my limiting inheritance 

my illusion of having two left feet

stop thinking so much

just be

just dance

just fly




You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.


― Jiddu Krishnamurtio  


  photos found at

seeing eternity 


Let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.                    

    – Kahlil Gibran


My language the size of a seed, small and frozen for a winters night…the sweet drain of being married to the fire side heat and slippers …

Honey drenched while walking towards the woods …

tender landscape of icicles frozen on glass…

a mirror wiped dry of reflection…

something pierced deep in the breast while creating less, and easing into body’s rhythm 

the howl of the moon, the darkness too bright…

devoured by love…

seeking water but kept thirsty…

fabulous root in the deep of my core…a sigh left for longing…


Donna Knutson


Under the light of eternity
the daily trivia,
the daily frustrations,
fall away.
It is all a matter of getting to the center of the beam.  
~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

photos found at

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