life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Blog”

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

Where you belong should always be worthy of your dignity.       – John O’Donohue

                         everything here

 seems to need us

                   -Rainer Maria Rilke


I can hardly imagine it

as I walk to the lighthouse, 

feeling the ancient

prayer of my arms swinging

in counterpoint to my feet.

Here I am, suspended

between the sidewalk and twilight,

the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.

What if you felt the invisible

tug between you and everything?

A boy on a bicycle rides by,

his white shirt open, flaring

behind him like wings.

It’s a hard time to be human.

 We know too much

and too little. 

Does the breeze need us?

The cliffs? 

The gulls?

If you’ve managed to do one good thing,

the ocean doesn’t care.

But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth,

the earth, ever so slightly, fell

toward the apple.


The World Has Need of You by Ellen Bass

4:08 pm Seattle

june 24, 2016

the beauty of comversations

so amazing

such glory in these connections

from all over the world –

we all have need of each other. 

Front porches can be found anywhere. 

We share lunch tables

and stories, oh so exciting. 

The four friends head to the gate,

the two locals call a friendly greeting as they return to leave for home, 

they remember my name – 

it rings out in the busy airport!

Wave and smiling – I live here!

I sit and rejoice.

Write it. 🙂

   I am enriched

       by this going 

           by this obedience

                  by this calling

I have received such confirmation of my work. 

So energized,

             so blessed,

                      so excited, 

                so ready. 

I am smiling as the guy above my table says, 

So we must be in the allergy section….

(we talk throat clearing and 

the fact that I have eaten gluten,

 for a few)

Hi, I’m Gary…I’m Amy….

my next divine appointment 

has just arrived…

we cross paths 2 or3 times,

then just sit 





         (well, sorta…in a plane seat??????….winging to Phily)

we leave each other with a warm hug,

after an all night flight…

I am doing my work…

and it is good 



Today I wish you grand adventures, shared laughter and please, for goodness sakes, park with WILD ABANDON!! ❤️ xo

I am so much more than I ever thought I was – Sherri Yerkes (speaking from the heart) 


So several weeks ago now, Robin Ok called to connect on the upcoming Creative Collaborative Retreat 2015.

I still remember her words, “I signed you up for some things that you can say ‘no’ to these if you want….

How exciting! My heart already was saying a great, big, fat ‘yes’ – before I even heard the list, which ended with a session on poetry! 

Oh joy!!! YES!!! Ideas poured in…

The retreat weekend came – 13-15 of this month and it was everything, and more, than expected! 

Beautiful, powerful, connecting, art-full, musical, spiritual, abundant, accepting, empowering – on-and-on I can, and will, go. I was overwhelmed with love and joy on many levels, but my greatest bit of on-going-bursting-out-all-over joy is from my poetry session. 

New words were framed, created, brought out of heart-hiding into beings of light, onto old inspiring paper and into the hearts reading and listening. We shared our poems at the end of the hour – no one left with dry hearts or eyes. 

Poems (words)  are living things. They touch us, heal us, bring us joy and create space inside us as we bring forward what was inside and allow new thoughts to be born, creativity always creates anew inside and outside of ourselves. We give to receive and in receiving we give back again. 

This magic has taken root in some great and powerful ways, I am so amazed at the beauty, the power, the courage, the immensity of these poets – new and seasoned veterans – all old souls. 

I am so grateful to have been able to share this session, which helped connect these amazing, gifted women with their inner, living, beautiful poetry. I believe poetry lives inside each of us. The need for beauty is essential for us to live, discovering, excavating that beauty is our life-long, ever-changing, most-challenging and surprising gift. 

Check out Barbara Endel’s new, amazing poetry blog –


This poem came to me yesterday…kinda summed it all up:

Our poems 

Are like the wart-hogs 

In the zoo 

It’s hard to say 

Why there should be such creatures 
But once our life gets into them 

As sometimes happens 

Our poems 

Turn into living things 

And there’s no arguing 

With living things 

They are 

The way they are 
Our poems 

May be rough 

Or delicate 


Or great 
But always 

They have inside them 

A confluence of cries 

And secret languages 
And always 

They are improvident 

And free 

They keep 

A kind of Sabbath 
They play 

On sooty fire escapes 

And window ledges 
They wander in and out 

Of jails and gardens 

They sparkle 

In the deep mines 

They sing 

In breaking waves 

And rock like wooden cradles. 


Living Things by Anne Porter


Living in astonished and passionate gratitude for each of you. Thank you for allowing me to inspire you…thank you for inspiring me! 

 If you do nothing Nothing will be done. 

Sounds like we should know this, 


It’s just fascinating to me to see 

the result of a decision to create a newsletter dedicated to good news, 

then to commit to creating that publication for one full year. 

8 full years later, 

as I ended that project, 

to make way for new projects, 

there were over 135 issues 

on a website devoted to that good-news thing. 

4 years ago I decided to begin a daily poetry and quotes blog, 

I now have almost 2000 blog posts.

December 2012, I committed to a poem a day. 

11 months later, 

I had over 700 poems written. 

It’s crazy cool! 

And it has been a huge lesson to me, 

Dreams and Ideas are great, 

but only the commitment, focus 

and actually acting on the idea, 

will call it forth into the world. 

All those words, ideas and poems would still be inside me somewhere, 

if I had not said, yes, to DOING it. 

Nothing gets done without the work. 

Intention and action go together

in order to build the house, 

in order to change the world.


love letters

 As I gaze into the world, I realise

that nothing falters in its
ability to reflect what
I’ve come here to see.


My challenge remains
to admit
to what it is
that I’ve seen.
The Reflection by Nic Askew

 It is time to write.

To blog.

To truthtell.

To confess, expose, reveal…

be real and raw and silly-serious moment by moment me.

Here. Now.      -vs-.       Someday. When.

Someday when I know what I’m doing?

Have it figured out?

Plotted, schemed, planned, blueprinted, outlined?


Ptttthhhhh! You know THAT day, right?

I am a beautiful messy mess heap of chaos and presence

Wanna know something?

My insides are scribbling.

I am scared. Scared of being scared. Scared of being scared of being scared.

Yesterday I shared with friends that I do not comprehend why I get

So. damn. frozen. stuck. stymied. in my lack of tracks

when.ever. I. contemplate coming here                                                                                                 (yes, here, to a wordpress screen, fingers on keys)                                                                               and writing all.

(as clearly evidenced by the chronic non-posts pervading this site, right?)

And I think I must find out what is “wrong” and-or “why oh why”                                                             in order to overcome and be                                                                                                                 the golden-hued, prolific, profound, insightful, inspirational blogging goddess                                       that we all know is in here                                                                                                       somewhere.

(Ohhhhhhhh…. could that be why?!)

They told me to just write. Write me. For me.

Not for you. Or them. Or any grand scheme purpose.

Simply to write. Express. Allow words to come. Flow.                                                                     Have their inexplicable way with me.

So here I am.

Shaking. Criticizing. Condemning. Regretting.                                                                          ALLOWING. Receiving.                                                                                                                     Sharing.                                                                                                                                             (Insert loud screechy horror movie scream here)

Writing words from voices whispering, hollering, quivering and shimmering

Fastwriting over, under, beside and through the scribbley scary insides

Less pretend pretense.

More real raw-been Robin.

I am a writer, after all.

I am also a Leader of Laughter and Guider of Dreams and Creativity Coach.                                       And that scribble and scrape-slops my insides, too.

I just want to hide. Run away. Hibernate. Meditate. Extrapolate.

You have no idea (wait, but maybe you do?)                                                                                         just how much energy I spend resisting

what I’m meant to do.

Fighting, warring, tugging, slugging, ugamugging.

It is ongoing, this internal bickering with all the voices

vying to be heeded and heard,

whining, cajoling, singing, snorting

All these damn voices, yearning.

I am hushing you (shhhhhh now, it’s ok)

setting you free

be unleashed upon a page, a stage,

keep me real, release release

have your way with me.

It is time to write. 


      – Robin OK @


photos and sources found at 

somedays I search until my heart says..yes!

OK, it’s afternoon and I still had not decided what to post to the blog today. Unusual, but it does happen. Bible reading, prayer and mediation, 25 to 30 inspirational blogs daily, plus whatever new is happening in the world, Pinterest browsing, add in my own emotion/struggle for the day. I don’t get stuck with what I want to be reminded of for the day very often – most days my heart finds what I need to be reminded of, or express, early in the morning. Yet today…

Here it is 1:30 in the afternoon and I’m still looking. My soul is restless today. A little fragile. A little disquieted. I found out one of my best friends in CT lost her sister yesterday to a tick borne illness complicated by long-term alcoholism. I am dealing with dementia and illness as a caretaker right now and yesterday was a bad day. Today I am tired. I am discouraged. I am lonely…

And then…I’m on Pinterest and suddenly I see a beautiful pin. photo


Oh my, I know that blog!!! It’s the Yes and Amen blog by Junelle Jacobsen ~ jj

LOVE HER!! and so I headed over to get some inspiration and found my heart beating faster and my shoulders relaxing ever so slightly as I smiled and read what she is doing! I featured her last year in one of my favorite newsletters ever! I went back and read it…you can read it here:


Amazing! Inspiring! Joyous! Glory! Turn-my-day-around fun! THIS is why I live looking for inspiration – it can totally change your day! God is so good to us to give us such rich and diverse gifts to share! Thank you JJ for sharing your amazing and beautiful soul and talents! Sending you love and prayers today – for whatever you are struggling with! God is certainly with you and, to God be all the Glory!

take a little faith and just one word

In an interesting and diminutive book called “The Breviary of Medieval Knights,” there are some passages that have to be remembered in these moments of waiting:

“The Path’s spiritual energy uses justice and patience to prepare your spirit.”

“This is the Knight’s Path. An easy and hard path at the same time, as it urges us to let aside useless things and relative friendships.

“That is why, at the beginning, we hesitate so much to follow it.”

“This is a Knight’s first teaching: you will erase everything you wrote up to now on your life’s notebook: turmoil, insecurities, lies.

“And in place of all that, you will write the word courage.

Beginning the journey with this word and going on with faith in God, you will arrive where you need to arrive.

The Breviary of Medieval Knights
by Paulo Coelho on September 17, 2012

how we change the way we look at life

New newsletter over at Songs from the Valley about Perceptions. I believe it is possible to change the way we look at ourselves, others and even the world around us, but it takes learning how!

Great article by my friend, and amazing author, Ocean Palmer featured artwork by Daniel Brooks Grove then click on the picture!

We don’t deny the negative, we just put it in the proper context as being miracles for our own growth. – Mastin Kipp

Everything you take for granted is a blessing. Everything you fear is a friend in disguise. Everything you want is a part of you. Everything you hate you hate about yourself. Everything you own does not define you. Everything you feel is the only Truth there is to know.

Everything you wish for is already on its way to you. Everything you think creates your life. Everything you seek for you will find. Everything you resist will stick around. Everything you let go of stays if it’s supposed to. Everything you need is right where you are.

Every time you bless another your bless yourself. Every time you blame another you lose your power. Every time you think you can, you can. Every time you fall you must get up and try again. Every time you cry you’re one tear closer to joy. Every time you ask for forgiveness, all you have to do is forgive yourself.

Everyone you see is your reflection. Everyone you know mirrors you. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to live in joy. Everyone seeks a higher purpose. Everyone breathes the same breath. Everyone needs love to survive. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill.

Everyone’s the same as everyone else. We just get caught up in labels, names, skin color and religion. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. No one wants to feel the pain. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. Everyone is dying for love to remain.
– Jackson Kiddard

Via The Daily Love

Who is my neighbor?

“Love your neighbour as yourself” the Gospel says (Matthew 22:38). But who is my neighbor? We often respond to that question by saying: “My neighbours are all the people I am living with on this earth, especially the sick, the hungry, the dying, and all who are in need.” But this is not what Jesus says. When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:29-37) to answer the question “Who is my neighbour?” he ends the by asking: “Which, … do you think, proved himself a neighbor to the man who fell into the bandits’ hands?” The neighbour, Jesus makes clear, is not the poor man laying on the side of the street, stripped, beaten, and half dead, but the Samaritan who crossed the road, “bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, … lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him.” My neighbour is the one who crosses the road for me!

– Henri Nouwen


Last week Ann Voskamp, and her son Caleb, were in Haiti for Compassion read her blog posts about this experience – if you are not moved to action, you must be dead!

Check out the newest issue of my newsletter at – it is a very personal one. At the preent moment, I am in the middle of a big faith walk, so please pray for me today as God calls me to your mind.

I read Martin Luther King, Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail yesterday and one sentence especially jumped out at me – ‘Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively.’

What are we going to do with our time here? It is always our choice!

living the dangerous life

Ann Voskamp’s words from yesterday’s blog strike me to the bone –

There is nothing safe about the Christ who rent the veins and the veil to save us — He is Divine and He is Dangerous and He is Detonating. He is no tame lion.

What did Randy Alcorn say and in the most Scriptural sense? “It’s dangerous faith in our untamed Savior that leads us to the joy we crave.

And there is so much we don’t understand though we steep ourselves in the infallible Word, that can’t be domesticated and entirely deduced by finite minds in a world where He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. 

You can only be marked as safe if you’ve fashioned for yourself a God small and tame.

And what the world desperately needs is more dangerous disciples of an unsafe God.

John Piper had said it like that:
I think it is virtually impossible to honestly say that knowing God, as God intends to be known by his people in the new covenant, simply means mental awareness or understanding or acquaintance with God.
Not in a million years is that what “knowing God” means here.
This is the knowing of a lover, not a scholar. A scholar can be a lover. But a scholar—or a pastor—doesn’t know God until he is a lover.
You can know about God by research; but until the researcher is ravished by what he sees, he doesn’t know God for who he really is.
And that is one great reason why many pastors can become so impure. They don’t know God—the true, massive, glorious, gracious, biblical God.
The humble intimacy and brokenhearted ecstasy—giving fire to the facts—is not there.”                                                                       – John Piper

Until we’re ravished by what we see, we don’t really know who God is?  Ravished? It sounds so — terribly uncomfortable and wholly dangerous.

But maybe that is the thing? Does God ever make His people comfortable and hasn’t He always called His disciples to the dangerous? To say the uncomfortable, to speak to an inappropriately erotic culture with purely redemptive language, to take back the language that’s been hijacked and tainted by a fallen and direly needful culture and use it to speak of His own startling, ravishing, holy metaphor….

The heart recovers as it keeps walking dangerously ahead.

A heart recovers as it embraces the inherent risks of living. God met Moses on a mountaintop. Who ever said climbing mountains was safe? Where are those who are willing to be dangerous disciples of the unsafe God who is the safest of all?

And a heart recovering, beating strong and stronger –

It can sound as loud and dangerous as thunder in the desert, a resounding pounding for a straight pathway for the God who shatters the skies wide open with all His wild truth…

With all His holy, unmanageable love that scours the dirty brave right clean.

Ann Voskamp
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