life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “do”

bits and pieces 

I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.     – Iyanla Vanzant

I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,

and I am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before I can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from the abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels

wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe

out of my true affections,

and my tribe is scattered!

How shall the heart be reconciled

to its feast of losses?

In a rising wind

the manic dust of my friends,

those who fell along the way,

bitterly stings my face.

Yet I turn, I turn,

exulting somewhat,

with my will intact to go

wherever I need to go,

and every stone on the road

precious to me.

In my darkest night,

when the moon was covered

and I roamed through wreckage,

a nimbus-clouded voice

directed me:

“Live in the layers,

not on the litter.”

Though I lack the art

to decipher it,

no doubt the next chapter

in my book of transformations

is already written.


The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

there are people and places

which live inside me

I feel them 

as I spin the kaleidoscope wheel

they come into focus





each hold exquisite love

each hold delicately intense, brutal, suffering 

each hold ruthless trust,

radical hope,

extreme faith,

continual healing. 

each person,

each place a threshold 

of practical practice,

of growth and becoming,

of wrestling with letting go,

of spiritual teaching towards love,

of defending my tenderness,

of stepping into ‘I am’,

of allowing myself,

of removing the toxic tarter buildup of my own soul,

of seeing glimpses of the unlimited, ever-unfolding mystery. 

I’m so grateful for these people,

these places,

the ones I carry,


and those still before me,

as yet, unseen. 



Just past dawn, the sun stands

with its heavy red head

in a black stanchion of trees,

waiting for someone to come

with his bucket

for the foamy white light,

and then a long day in the pasture.

I too spend my days grazing,

feasting on every green moment

till darkness calls,

and with the others

I walk away into the night,

swinging the little tin bell

of my name. 


Birthday Poem by Ted Kooser

risk it all  

We are here essentially to risk ourselves in the world. We are a form of invitation to others and to otherness, we are meant to hazard ourselves for the right thing, for the right woman or the right man, for a son or a daughter, for the right work or for a gift given against all the odds. And in all this continual risking the most profound courage may be found in the radical and simple willingness to allow ourselves to be happy along the way…


LONGING by David Whyte

It’s not how we leave one’s life. 

How we go off the air. 

You never know do you. 

You think you’re ready

for anything; 

then it happens, and you’re not. 

You’re really not. 

The genesis of an ending, nothing but a feeling, 

a slow movement, 

the dusting of furniture 

with a remnant of the revenant’s shirt.

Seeing the candles sink in their sockets; 

we turn away, 

yet the music never quits. 

The fire kisses our face.

O phthsis, o lotharian dead eye, 

no longer will you gaze on the baize of the billiard table. 

No more shooting butter dishes out of the sky. 

Scattering light.

Between snatches of poetry and penitence 

you left the brumal wood of men and women. 

Snow drove the butterflies home. 

You must know how it goes, 

known all along what to expect,

sooner or later … 

the faded cadence of anonymity.

Frankly, my dear, frankly, my dear, frankly


Only the Crossing Counts by C. D. Wright

Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down

You could stand me up at the gates of hell

But I won’t back down
Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around

And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down

Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out

Hey I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right, I got just one life

In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around

But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out

Hey I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

No, I won’t back down

This day maybe be rough and bloody and heartbreaking but it is here and it is now and it is bursting with untold potential and possibility and our response to it is of utmost, urgent importance.

       – Rob Bell

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

what if feeling bad is an ok part of being human?

I wish I had a nickel for every stranger who has ever told me, I’ve lost all hope. This happens to me regularly and what surprises me most is my instant reaction which is always something along the lines of “I know that feeling so well” or “Me too.” It seems this is one of the most common, most human feelings we can have and one we aren’t “supposed” to have if we’re evolved, rational creatures. It seems it’s a pitiable feeling to have, requiring an intervention or precipitating an emergency, but what if it just is something we feel sometimes, that’s very painful, made more painful by the feeling we are not supposed to feel it and that we should never ever say it out loud. What if our long days, months, years even with this feeling are hollowing out necessary places in our hearts where we can feel, really feel, what we long for? Like respect? Tenderness? Acceptance? Love?

   – Jen Lemen / facebook




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




the beds we make: predicted 


how much of our lives do we predict through our words

which come from our thoughts 

our actions following that form 

belief systems so deep seeded are seated 

within us deeper than deep

most times we do things 

from an unconscious place

of familial familiarity 

patterns so old

we can trace them into generations past passing

the torturous torch

ever forward 

how do we stop this bitter flower flowering?

how do we dam the damning history if our history?

remember to remember 

thoughts become things

words are power

actions speak louder than shouting 

we can do hard things

we get to choose

that’s what free will is all about

all we need is love

love wins every time

put that truth in your peace pipe and smoke it!

I’ll take all that into all the upcoming 

brand spanking, 


new years 

year after year –

I choose a life of love



 So, you get to choose – are you going to suffer, or be happy for the next seven years? 
I’m going to suffer. 


HEALING: is moving forward even when nothing is working out, and understanding that one day, it will all work together to create an even better today than yesterday. 

   – Soul Pancake 

choices…every day give thanks 


God of Love,

in a world great with darkness

I drink your light. 
In a world of violence

I soften my heart.
In a world of fear

I deepen my breath.
In a word of grief

I enlarge my embrace.
In a world of shouting

I open my roots.
In a world of fragments

I let myself belong.
In a world of walls

I go out into the streets:
I bear you to those

who are mad with hunger for you. 
In a world of fissures

I return to you,

always to you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Wanna build a new life? 

It happens one day…one choice… at a time.  You CAN do hard things. You can make the right choices for yourself. 

Take responsibility. Gain your whole world. Self respect comes only this way. It’s so worth it!!! xo


what sacrifice?

how can you call it a sacrifice when you do it willingly because you believe in it?   – Aung San Suu Kyi 


I am this morning meadow

         into which you pour yourself.
I am the still air

         in which you rise, a mountain, huge.
I am this city street

         which you walk, a crowd 

         with your stories, your nations.
I am this bird

          and you are flight, and song.
I am the ocean

         and you are my water.
I am the desert

         and you are my stillness.
I am this heart

         and you are my beating.
You are this day

         into which you pour me, 

         breath by breath.

         we are this life.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


there is no cage 

love must be stepped into 


there is no withholding 

love gives it all away. 

there is no have to’s 

love must be given and received willingly. 

there is no selfish motive 

love always wants the highest and best for the other person. 

there are no ‘no’s’ 

love always says yes. 

love takes commitment. 

it is not an easy job, 

both parties – 

equal and 

100 percent in it. 

you must choose what you want, 

along with the consequences of those choices. 

Just know, for sure, 

love will always set you free 

there is no fear in love




Life is an epic journey 

A pilgrimage 

Not for the faint of heart 

Without the challenging parts of the path 

We grow weak 

Without those things that can kill us 

We grow bored 

We need life to be interesting 



to feel alive 

Yes, life is a crazy sort of journey 

Welcome to the great adventure 




 Wild Mercy
The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.

– Terry Tempest Williams

Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert Dwellers


Listen to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough


listen to Michael Buble sing Feeling Good

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