life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Impossible”

wicked surprises of the call 

God goes out for whiskey Friday night,

Staggers back Monday morning

Empty-handed, no explanation.
After three nights of not sleeping,

Three nights of listening for

His footsteps, His mules sliding
Deftly under my bed, I stand

At the stove, giving him my back,

Wearing the same tight, tacky dress, same slip,
Same seamed stockings I’d put on before He left.

He leans on the kitchen table, waiting

For me to make him His coffee.  
I watch the water boil,  

Refuse to turn around,

Wonder how to leave Him. 
Woman, He slurs, when have I ever done

What you wanted me to do?


Reason by Robin Coste Lewis

Get off my back, God.

Take your claws out of my shoulder.

I’d like to throw you off

like I would brush off some particularly repellent insect!

Sometimes I get the feeling that if I could turn round

quick enough

I would see you

grinning at me,

full of glee, plotting, scheming, devious, challenging

The hell with all this stuff about fire and storm

and still, quiet waters.

I’ve got your number.

I’ve unmasked you.

I’d like to throw you off

like I would brush off some

particularly repellent insect.

You’re a daemon!

Unfortunately, you seem to have this great attachment

to me.

Actually, being honest, I know in my heart

I’d miss you if you weren’t there,

leering at me, reminding me of
death and dread and destiny,

winding me up and puncturing

my pretensions.

I know, with a sinking feeling in my gut

that all the best of me 

the fire and storm, 

and even, now and then, still waters,

are born out of the death-defying struggle

that we wage,

my dearest daemon.


Wresting With God by Kathy Galloway

I didn’t ask for this,

did I?

in fact, I believe I tried to block it, 

avoid it at all costs. 

But here I am feeling 

outta sorts,

facing my bittersweet days. 

Wondering where the hell

this is gonna take me?

What is my purpose here?


where I lived my experiment for 5 years?


what was taken 

now returns,

and I am not sure what to do with it…

light it up


burn it down?

all I know is this is the place

I have been called to 

at this moment 

for only God knows what,

and He’s not talking,

hasn’t shown his face in weeks. 

I must rely on this silly sliver of a promise,

that it is meant for my good 

– somehow,



Trust is a ruthless business,

an extreme proposition to live. 

I am not leaning to my own understanding, 

or natural desires,

even a bitty-bit, 

or I definitely wouldn’t be right here

 – right now

or anytime in the future. 

Yet here I am,

standing on this holiest of my profane grounds,

way out in the back forty

of thecomfort zone,

knowing beyond knowing,

I’m in the only place 

I’m supposed to be 

right now.  

This is where the magic happens. 


Amy Lloyd (AL)

God wants to encounter you with His love, so you can become a light everywhere you go, your life will shout to the world, ‘I’ve seen Him, I’ve felt Him. I’ve heard His voice. He is alive. He is here with us. In us. For us.’

growing wild 

Dark and early in your story someone fearful

of your inborn glory took it 

and buried it behind your house,

and you, innocently, and wise to save yourself

from their greater wrath, 

believed its absence. 

It’s not a pompous glory, 

insistent on regard, but sure and quiet 

as a wildflower’s, asking nothing.

And so you’ve lived—so have we all— 

without it, your heart shoveled over

with self-doubt and apology, as if 

you have no place or voice here

among angels. 

We see you in the cripples who flocked

to Jesus, the mute, the paralyzed,

bent over, shut out, gone mad. 

And all he meant to say was this: 

you shine. You bring a gift 

as no one else, and you belong. 

Your Word deserves a hearing,

and this world needs your beauty 

and your grace. There is no rank

you fall below, no worth you fail to match.

Your shuttering was evil, and God 

wants it undone, and wants you whole.

And so she takes you by the hand

and raises you to stand, to walk, to speak.

She listens to your song with joy. 

She rains upon the earth

until you are unafraid of your radiance

and all our houses are surrounded by wildflowers.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Wildflowers grow without


rooted in the secret order

of quietness.

Edges get rounded down.

Nature offers no straight lines 

or right angles.

Wouldn’t you rather run your

fingers through black loam

than scroll through golden rules?

What you really seek

is the fragrance of chaos,

like a moth on a purple aster,

the intimate fragility

of mountain meadows.

Surrender first.

Strip off the armor

of Should.

Then fight your valiant battle

for beauty.

Alfred K. LaMotte

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:

they do not toil or spin. 

~Matthew 6:28

Do you suppose she’s a wild flower?

Dancing light and free

Do you suppose she’s a wildflower? 

As we all wish to be 

Let yourself go 

be drawn to what you love

   – Rumi

God made black sheep and dandelions 

God said they were good

God made your heart sweet

He sees you cryin’

Oh now can’t you see

God made you and me

just like every star

to shine just as we are
 there’s a garden many know

pretty maids all in a row

looking all they same are they

mother, may I? they do say
some folks see wishes

some folks see weeds

some folks see diamonds

whiles stones others see

some folks don’t get me

as I need to be

I am a wildflower

dancing so free
God made black sheep and dandelions 

God said they were good

God made your heart sweet

He sees you cryin’

Oh now can’t you see

God made you and me

just like every star

to shine just as we are
there’s a sky above we see

stars come out to play at night

they don’t ask what they can be

they shine their light for all to see
some folks see storms clouds

some folks see rains

some folks see nightmares

whiles dreams others see

some folks don’t get me

as I need to be

I am a star child

twinkling so free
God made black sheep and dandelions 

God said they were good

God made your heart sweet

He sees you cryin’

Oh now can’t you see

God made you and me

just like every star

to shine just as we are



buy this goodness!

them bones… them dry dry bones

Around 15 years ago now

I took a business trip 

Somewhere in the middle of Florida

I was hostess for a community meeting

to talk about a new electrical line route and sub-station 

proposed for this area

by the electric company I worked for at the time

I was with a team 

We stayed in a local bed and breakfast

I had breakfast with a married couple 

from somewhere west of Orlando,

can’t remember the town,

who were prophets of God. 

Don’t ask me how I know,

I just do. 

I was still learning to open to mystery

(my fundamental Baptist background 

was being constantly challenged)

and I was early in my ‘testing’ to find out if God was really real,

I was early in my healing from the abuse, 

shattering and loss I had gone through in the past years of my life. 

Then, somehow, this couple and I were alone together –

the rest of the team out checking out the project route. 

I ended up in their room.

I told them some of my story. 

I sang for them. 

They prayed over me,

anointed me with oil,

proclaimed and prophesied my future. 

They wrote prophesy down on paper,

then burned it in the fireplace. 

It was all a little weird and surreal,

more than a little scary,

and yet I knew they were sent there, 

at that very place and time,

because God sent them there for me. 

I do not know their names,

I never saw them again,

the business card they left me had a number which was not active – 

Curiosity made me call that number a few weeks later. 

Number not in service. 

I never told anyone about this. 

It was a very strange episode I kinda ignored. 

I’ve never spoken, or written, about it since,

until now,

all these years later. 

It keeps coming back to me lately,

since I recently spent an unexpected evening with 

one of those project team members I was traveling with on that fateful trip.

I still don’t understand it,

but I am grateful,

I realize how far God’s grace has lead me 

since the day of my unexpected, mysterious, anointing. 



magical moments 

Look, your longing swung from the trapeze.

The clown is you as well and the tame tiger

who begs for mercy calls someone to mind.

Even the tin-pot music

has its charm; it seems

you’re starting to make peace

with your times

(everyone else has,

why not me? —you say).

So why then does the circus tent

rise above an ancient graveyard?


Circus by Adam Zagajewski

Translated by Clare Cavanagh

I didn’t intend to eat my

Chocolatini until last…

It was my shooting star!

My most special-to-look-forward-to,

my magic bullet,

my favorite,

intention for the ending of the box.




Longed for.

But then,

I finished my book.

I finished reading

The Night Circus,

and my chocolatini is the closest thing

I could find to a chocolate mouse

to celebrate with!

What a cool book!

I have not read a novel for a long time,

have not found one that captured me in years…

until now.

No hesitation with my truffle choice today –

it was the best show of respect,

and gratitude to stories,

to writers,

to imagination,

I could give.

The circus arrives without warning…

the circus of dreams…

and we are swept away by the very taste of it…





I just went to the circus for the first time last night

My super-secret-surprise

Was awesome!

I’ve always wanted to go!

I wonder what I would have felt as a child

I was so sensitive

I think I would have closed my eyes

And cried

I almost felt like that at age 45

I’m glad you held my hand


It was

The ultimate show of over consumption

A spectacular spectacle

A mix-match of the brilliant and the bizarre

Awesome and cheesy all wrapped to go

From beginning to end

Never taking a breath

Pounding and pounding

The ringmaster

Ablaze with rhinestones

The acrobats and the clowns

The elephants and the tigers


(Doing tricks

They didn’t seem to really enjoy)

As they steal the show!

Animals are amazing!
I love trapeze artists flying so high

The bearded lady and the wild man of Borneo

Made honorable mention

With a clown act

That was tongue in cheek

in our PC era of art
Men balancing women

And women balancing men

Each showing their skill

As they contort their bodies

into abnormal positions

sequined outfits

shining in the lights

Motorcycles in a steel ball

4, 5, 6, 7

until it is a blur

how can they do that?

Meetal Man (we renamed him Meatball man)

Holding up astounding weights

As people pile on top of people

On top of him

Trampolines, glitter

Pirates, stilts, dancing beautiful girls

Dancing lion suits

With two people rolling in harmony

under more people in lion suits

more and more

too much to see

too much to process

too much to comprehend

my eyes trying to go 2, 3, 4…different directions

as it plays on and on

with tired children crying

and spilling snowcones

and popcorn

as the parents

(Many a freak-show themselves)

try to ignore them


It is spectacular



Slightly disturbing at times

A Mix of over-blown showmanship


amazing talent

The beautiful and the weird

All mixed together

Delivered at breakneck speed

With so much energy it wears out the eyes

And my mind

Which definitely can’t comprehend it all
I loved it…

and I wanted to run away…
Yes, this is the legacy

of what PT Barnham had in mind

This is the circus!


Slight of hand, smoke and mirrors, lights and flash

making everything more

brilliant than it could possibly be

This is definitely, over the top, big-top

Self declared…

but it still could be true…

…the greatest show on earth!





find art sources at

everyday hero

Quote of the Day: Virtue 
Next to the seven deadly sins, the seven cardinal virtues are apt to look pale and unenterprising, but appearances are notoriously untrustworthy.
Prudence and temperance, taken separately, may not be apt to get you to your feet cheering, but when they go together, as they almost always do, that’s a different matter. The chain smoker or the junkie, for instance, who exemplifies both by managing to kick the habit, can very well have you throwing your hat in the air, especially if it happens to be somebody whom for personal reasons you’d like to have around a few years longer. And the courage involved isn’t likely to leave you cold either. Often it’s the habit kicker’s variety that seems the most courageous.
If you think of justice as sitting blindfolded with a scale in her hand, you may have to stifle a yawn, but if you think of a black judge acquitting a white racist of a false murder charge, it can give you gooseflesh.
The faith of a child taking your hand in the night is as moving as the faith of Mother Teresa among the untouchables, or Bernadette facing the skeptics at Lourdes, or Abraham, age seventy-five, packing up his bags for the Promised Land. And hope is the glimmer on the horizon that keeps faith plugging forward, of course, the wings that keep it more or less in the air.
Maybe it’s only love that turns things around and makes the seven deadly sins be the ones to look pale and unenterprising for a change. Greed, gluttony, lust, envy, and pride are no more than sad efforts to fill the empty place where love belongs, and anger and sloth just two things that may happen when you find that not even all seven of them at their deadliest ever can.


~ Frederick Bruechner originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words





photos found at 

it is the duty and calling of an artist to speak their truth     – unknown 






Listen to Sara Barelleis sing Vegas

photo sources found at

who ya gonna be? 

  #363 curiosity 

One day, many years ago, 

I realized how little I knew 

about life

about the world

about God 

about love 

about relationships

about nature

about cultures

about people

about learning

about how things work

about myself

about pretty much everything. 
Yes, one day the full impact hit me 

of how small my understanding

really is, 

and it changed my life. 

I became aware.
I became aware that I could choose,

even though no one gave me permission. 

It hit me – that all the people, 

who had told me they had the complete truth,

and so I should just believe them,

couldn’t possibly ALL be right. 

I also realized, very importantly, most of them were not people I wanted my life to emulate.  
So, maybe, living wasn’t about being right, or perfect. 

Maybe life was about being open, learning about each other,

about helping each other. 

Maybe love really was about unconditional,

whatever that truly meant. 

Maybe life was about trying…


that I found intriguing,

or felt my soul drawn to. 
And so I opened myself to this new way 

of thinking,

of being, 

of seeing. 

I became curious. 

I became open. 

I became dogmatic –

about NOT being dogmatic. 

I removed the words, 

‘I’m right’ and ‘I can’t’ and ‘impossible’ from my vocabulary. 

I fought my automatic judgements….

still one of my biggest daily battles….

I keep making that choice. 

I fought to improve only myself, 

to forgive myself, 

to keep learning the hard way,

it is my choice. 

I sought to tell, and live, my ever-evolving truth,

holding that truth lightly in open, adoring hands,

always allowing myself to be wrong without shame,

allowing for changes without despising the learning, 

I am ever-so-happy when I make that choice!

I battled to take responsibility 

for my thoughts and actions,

Always adjusting, making new choices. 

Staying aware. 

Being honest. 

Making lots of mistakes,

Life is very messy at times. 

I’ve lost a lot. 

I’ve gained more than I lost. 
At some point, along the way,

I became convinced, at least for me,

this was the only way to truly live. 

The mystery keeps getting bigger. 

I continue to do war with my desire to shut down my heart,

in the face of constant hurts and disappointments. 

I keep letting go. 

Opening, always opening. 

Each step has become a miracle moment. 

Each opening leads me to open more. 

I have come to see everything is grace. 

I have come to understand the extreme value,

of each human soul,

of being vulnerable,

of being human,

of just being. 

I have made the commitment to the path of curiosity,

not because I will ever learn it all,

but because I won’t. 

Yet, I am aware, that there is infinite learning at my fingertips, 

and I want as much as I can get,

to go as high as I can go,

to know as much 

of God, 

and Mystery, 

and life itself, 

as I am able. 
One day, not very long ago, I found the words of poet, Mary Oliver. 

She gives these brilliant life instructions,

      pay attention. 

          be astonished. 

             tell about it. 

Yes, that has been my path. 

As Einstein said, 

    I have no special talents –

       I’m just passionately curious. 

I add to that: 

I have completely fallen in love with life!

I’ve grown fabulously addicted to seeing the holy miracles all around me. 

I am so blessed, so full, so grateful! 

I can’t help wanting to share

the path of this glorious adventure,

with others who love it too –

and so,

though I’ve been accused of talking too much, 

more than a few times, in my life,

I’ll just keep on… 

because, I’ve found, 

all voices are beautiful –

in their own way. 


 Listen to my friend, Barbara McAfee sing Who Ya Gonna Be?


dark night in a blue sky day

On the day I died
water ran through pipes,
footsteps identified people in the house and
the dogs nails clicked quickly on the wood floors above my head,
insisting it was time to go out for relief.
I still needed coffee,
light with cream,
2 sugars.
The sun was bright
and I remember the sky was that deep blue,
romantically named, azurite.
There was cockscomb,
half alive in pots near the wooden footbridge I walked over.
I used to love them when I was alive.
I touched their red, velvety, blooms seeking to feel something.
I mistook fluttering angel wings for birds,
battles fought,
just beyond where I lay
on the words of Wendell Berry –
the only thread
keeping me tethered to this world.
I sat on benches beside ghosts
of those gone before me.
I could still only feel them beside me,
I was in the world between worlds.
There was darkness, a fire swamp, screaming, clashes of swords,
I could not save myself.
God was everywhere.
I found myself in a boat,
where I stayed for 2 years, until,
in recent weeks,
the call came to step out,
to start walking on water.
Late in the day,
I stood in the bathroom,
accepting the most insulting job offer I have ever received,
then sat on a stool,
trying to act as if I was alive,
pretending to look for puzzle pieces,
slightly aware of the colors and shapes,
singing echoes of songs I used to love,
with my beautiful Robin,
who seemed very much alive.

ACL 1/21/15




In his little boat the fisherman
floats out on a deep
mystery that provides.
His net woven of many strands
is a gathering, for gathering.
He casts it into dark waters
and hauls in light.
Not for himself
but those hungry in the village,
from the unseen he offers


The fly fisher admires the river,
runs her eyes along its surface
like her hands on fine furniture.
She sees beneath into the depths
and sees unseen the beauty flashing,
knows without knowing
the life given there.
Not with will to overpower
but adoration of the holy
she casts, she works the fly
and waits
for the communicating tug,
the splendor rising.

With this focus,
not to catch but to evoke,
not to control but to connect,
she loves people,
and seeks out the grace
flashing beneath their eyes,
the love
rising in them.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


the great adventure


As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

“Ithaka” by C. P. Cavafy


my every day challenge!

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.

– Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest

Cast all your anxiety on God, who cares for you.
—1 Peter 5.7

Your anxiety is not you:
it is a separate burden,
shaped to your shoulders, yes,
but not your soul, your flesh.
Stop, be still, and rest beneath it;
go down to where you are.

Breathe deeply of the Presence
who dawns within you,
who loves you dearly,
who is your bone and muscle,
who grows about you like skin
and bears the burden for you,
though it lifts only the tiniest bit
from your shoulders,
and holds the weight
so you can breathe.

God will hold it
until you walk free.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Post Navigation