life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “receiving”

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

don’t try too hard


 God just likes making things.  
He doesn’t try too hard. Comfortable. 

No particular message in mind –






those beauties with leaves and sap.  

Shells of all sorts, 

revealing the sound of the ocean – 

even in the middle of the desert. 

He never runs out of fresh ideas,

new angles, 

dazzling variations of old themes.  

He makes masterpieces, 

out of scavenged and wasted things.  

Beauty within ashes and scars. 

Gardens and vegetables from rotted orange rinds and other scraps.  

Jewels from lumps of coal. 

Our creativity, at least in part, 

comes from resting in,

spending time with,

opening from within. 

Prayer as emptiness. 

Prayer as silence.  

Prayer as stillness.  

Prayer as rest. 

Prayer as opening. 

Prayer without wanting or asking. 

Prayer as presence. 




the muse,

shows up,

hangs out on the sofa,

and our hearts begin to sing,

and we simply just can’t help making things ourselves…



(based on the book: the holy wild by Mark Buchanan) 



 After the glut of sparkle and sentiment,
all that heavy gold and glory,

it’s kind of a relief to return 

to an orderly house, a clean mantle,

a blue and white shirt, the regular dishes.
The world is plain, snow is crusted, 

trees more bare than in November.

The marsh like the underside of a carpet,

the cattails bland and spent.

The asphalt road has nothing to say,

the gray sky shrugs and says, “Ditto.”
God stands there, 

hands in the pockets of a drab jacket,

gazing at the brook’s blank of ice,

says, “Yeah, I like to hang out here.

It’s relaxing. Clears my head.”
I come home to a quiet house,

refrigerator humming. This too is holy.

I sit on the couch, gaze out at the yard.

“Huh,” I say. “What do you know?


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light




you gettin’ excited?

  If you want to know the past, to know what has caused you, look at yourself in the PRESENT, for that is the past’s effect. If you want to know your future, then look at yourself in the PRESENT, for that is the cause of the future.


      – Majjhima Nikaya   

Holy One,

as a new year approaches

I seek to become not a new person

but more myself,

more aware of what is infinitely good in me,

more attentive to you in me,

who you become in me to be.
I am grateful for your presence,

in awe of your glory,

open to your grace

in me.
Unfold your light in me

and I will become you. 

Unbind your compassion in me

and I will shine with you.

Be in me;

I will be in you.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Weather Report

today and ‪tomorrow‬,

emanating from within.

Visibility will be mixed

as some hide the light and others glow.

An atmosphere of glory will prevail

as God moves through us all.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

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 

merry happy

I wish you love 🎄❤️🕯🎄

So very thankful! 💞

simply still






 In the sixth month already

of the impossible


so usually unseeable—


though you thought him so foreign,

how nearer than you

to the seed of your life—

fills the room with his wings,

wraps with his words

this world 

beside God’s so small,

sets it in the greater one

among stars 

and you 

lit by the same light,

and calls forth your trust in heaven’s actual, 

for with God nothing is impossible—

the divine within, 

inviting your invitation

from even deeper in,

a Word, 

a world entrusted to you,

your being 

that by gift and labor blesses,

brought with singing

through the portal of this blood of birth

and that crucial other,

calling to life

in your drab littleness

the body of your holiness,

the flesh that God without you cannot have.

Even God waits 

to see the miracle,

the birth that only you can birth.


There is no test for paradise,

only paradise.

Say yes.




Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light



what we choose lives on

For everyone you touch, you also reach everyone they will ever know… and everyone they will ever know… and everyone they will ever know… So for the rest of all time, your kindness will be felt, in waves that will spread, long after you move on.



even on the hard days    

  Respectfully given,

exalted being

full of grace,

remember to forget:

surrender struggles to catch it’s breath,

then falls soft

as evening prayers at twilight,

gathering into the corners of our hearts

before falling full 

onto the center of our living circle,

 free and happy as a Friday night. 

next morning’s sun fills us, 

each day, each season. 

nurture moves with grace, 

evolving slowly thru 

our caring hands,

our grieving hearts,

our shared experience, 

our acts of courage,

the healing salt of our tears,

the energy generation of our joy. 

with pieces of our true love,

we fly flags, 

of prayer,

of peace,

of poems,

of our own making 

to heal the worlds – 

within us/

without us. 

we allow –

simply complex. 

we understand –

clearly unclear. 

we stand and fill our world with 

the beauty,

the mystery,

of sound,

of hum,

of laughter,

of voice,

of music,

protecting us 

from lesser gods,

the terror all around. 

love is the shield, 

love is the answer,

love is the choice,

love is our glory,

our salvation,

crowning us 

sons and daughters 

of the King. 

at times,

in spite of our broken pieces,

our refusal to believe,

even our darkened hearts. 



isn’t it?


A sob in the night 

awakens us from dreams,
a crack opens in the wall

and in seeps the dark stream
with pieces of broken things in it,

and blood, and our own ragged edge,
and in seeps the light,

and the voice singing.
We want to pull the wall around us,

the sorrow pouring in,
but it is breached now,

it is only an illusion,
and we are out in the dangerous light,

the fragile street,
tender as everyone else,

ready to duck, ready to weep.
We are all refugees now,

foreigners, except to foreigners.
It’s the egg that is cracked,

the stone rolled away.
If there is a place for love,

for your own brave soul, this is it.
The cord in another’s heart

knotted in yours, 
the hand reaching for you

you can reach out to.
Terror and the stillness,

and the voice singing. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

and for each person in this world 🙏🏻

I’ll meet you there…


 A lone bird slips through the air.

You do not have to explain yourself.
The beating of your heart

is one with the vast, wordless song of the stars,

the great hum of the world. 
Rivers murmur praise,

deserts and oceans chant their meditations,

cities recite their industrious psalms;

and in your cell, unheard, unknown,

the mystery of heaven unfurls

in your silence. 
No one knows your place,

no one.

No one knows your precious belonging.

We can only believe, 

or err.
The marigold by the roadside

never knows. 

But it is true.
Your only work is to come to trust.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light



 It’s not just that when one door closes, another door opens. 

When one door closes, Amy, choirs burst into chorus, orchestras orchestrate, bugles bugle, marching bands march, dogs catch Frisbees, cats “chow, chow, chow,” pigs fly, and 10,000 new doors open. 

Kind of makes you want a door to close, huh? 


    The Universe


I will be taking a break from this blog🔹not sure how long🔹maybe forever🔹lots of beauty in the past 1,000+ posts if you are interested 🔹wishing love, life, music & much happiness to all who come here🔹as well as all who don’t🔹


 8🔹18🔹15 AD

holiness vs perfection


Holiness is the center that holds all peripheries; the ground beneath feet running to look for gifts, the held note of a song that leaves a listener silent in the busiest most glittering street. Holiness is a simultaneous form of invitation and gathering and a radical letting alone, of family, of food, of perspectives, the holy is reached through letting go, by giving up on perfection. Holiness is the rehabilitation of the discarded; the uncelebrated and the imperfect, into new unities, perceived again as gift. Holiness is the bringing of the outside into the inside, from where the inside can give again, transformed as if by its simple act of breathing in and breathing out, back into the world.

Holiness is memory independent of time, welling from the unspoken that holds together all words said at the busy surface; holiness marries hurry to rest, stress to spaciousness, and joy to heartbreak in our difficult attempt to give and receive and as a culmination can dissolve giver and receiver into one conversation, untouched by the hurry of the hours.

Holiness is not in Bethlehem, nor Jerusalem, nor the largest, most glittering, mall, unless we are there in good company, with a friend, with a loved one, with our affections, with our best and most generous thoughts, with a deep form of inhabited silence, or in a grounded central conversation with what and how we like to give. Holiness is coming to ground in the essence of our giving and receiving, a mirror in which we can see both our virtues and our difficulties, but also, a doorway to the life we want beyond this particular form of exchange.

Holiness is beautiful beckoning uncertainty: time celebrated and time already gone so quickly. Holiness dissolves the prison of time and lies only one short step from the present busy moment: just one look into the starry darkness of the mid-winter sky at the midnight hour, just one glance at a daughter’s face; just one sight of a distressed friend alone in the midst of a crowded celebration. Holiness is a step taken not to the left or to the right, but straight through present besieging outer circumstances, to the core of the pattern we inhabit at the very center of the celebration. Holiness is reached not through effort or will, but by stopping; by an inward coming to rest; a place from which we can embody the spirit of all our holy days, a radical, inhabited simplicity, where we live in a kind of on going surprise and with some wonder and appreciation, far from perfection, but inhabiting the very center of a beautiful, peripheral giftedness.

Finding the Holy in the Holidays
© David Whyte

I sat in the library
With the small silent tree,
She and I alone.
How softly she shone!

And for the first time then
For the first time this year,
I felt reborn again,
I knew love’s presence near.

Love distant, love detached
And strangely without weight,
Was with me in the night
When everyone had gone
And the garland of pure light
Stayed on, stayed on

Christmas Light by May Sarton


watercolor by Mary Lou Peters

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