life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Respect”


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The rain breaks, though the sky is still grey, even so

The trees are drenched in golden glow, 

leaves glistening like glowing emeralds, rubies, gold dripping in puddles to the ground,

there neon reds, pinks and oranges screaming for my attention like an extravert teenager in the 1980’s –

It is so beautiful it takes my breath away 

I stop and stare for timeless time, 

drinking it into my soul, 

into my storehouse of these flaming glory-moments

Then I go on with my day, 

full of wonder and hope 

I heard it in your voice this morning

There are good things ahead



photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT


If we could, 

like the trees, 

practice dying, 

do it every year 

just as something we doβ€” 

like going on vacation 

or celebrating birthdays, 

it would become 

as easy a part of us 

as our hair or clothing. 
Someone would show us how 

to lie down and fade away 

as if in deepest meditation, 

and we would learn 

about the fine dark emptiness, 

both knowing it and not knowing it, 

and coming back would be irrelevant. 
Whatever it is the trees know 

when they stand undone, 

surprisingly intricate, 

we need to know also 

so we can allow 

that last thing 

to happen to us 

as if it were only 

any ordinary thing, 
leaves and lives 

falling away, 

the spirit, complex, 

waiting in the fine darkness 

to learn which way 

it will go. 


Learning from Trees by Grace Butcher

There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day. 

-Alexander Woolcott

how do we ever ‘win’ in this world?

Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love even more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant.


  HEARTBREAK is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control, of holding in our affections those who inevitably move beyond our line of sight. Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is our indication of sincerity: in a love relationship, in a work, in trying to learn a musical instrument, in the attempt to shape a better more generous self. Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is just as much an essence and emblem of care as the spiritual athlete’s quick but abstract ability to let go. Heartbreak has its own way of inhabiting time and its own beautiful and trying patience in coming and going.

Heartbreak is inescapable; yet we use the word as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we hope we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will also keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way…
David Whyte


 Live today. Remove all blame from your vocabulary. Catch yourself when you find yourself using your past history as a reason for your failure to act today, and instead say, “I am free now to detach myself from what used to be”. – Dr Wayne Dyer

what is being responsible, truly?

what horrors do we shackle ourselves to in the name of responsibility?

how do we break the chains of control

of manipulation

of tradition

of condition

of religion?

and follow the the truth of our hearts 

of being in control 

of only our own lives

of our own destinies

of our souls true callings?

this is not about shirking our responsibility 

or being selfish

or leaving people in the lurch  

this is about coming from a place within

of being

of awareness

of beloved

of freedom

of disciplined action

seeing below the lying distractions so ready to keep us deluded

then allowing all things to flow from us 

to the ones we love

it’s the only way to truly live responsibly

in fact, it’s the only way to truly live



photos found on facebook

you can do this


 truth pursues me
through the cracks in the sidewalk

refusing to die

or lie

or be denied

like a lazy 






dances with the breeze

tickling my face with feathers

at other times

hurricane winds blow me down

sucker punching me in the gut

like an invisible boxer

intent on one thing

opening my eyes

expanding my humanity

never leaving me to my own devices

stretching my souls edges

challenging my comfort zones

while making me ever-more-comfortable in my own skin 

allowing me to step, by baby step, 

another inch or two into the mystery of grace

one day I know I’ll fit

into the sparkly shoes 

I’m here to fill…

don’t worry…

you will too



Photos found at 

the words we speak




find photos at 

God’s honest truth


is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.

The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of loss that is conferred upon even the most average life.
Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss. 
    – David Whyte


photo sources: top 2 photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

other photos @

holy ground

There is grace on ground like this…

we can say that every step we take

of every day we live

Wherever we are is sacred ground

every bush we see burning with holy

every rock singing glory 

every bird testament of abundance

every flower testament to extravagant love

every waterfall 

every rainbow

and moonbow

and drop of the summer rain

shimmers with promise

rocks standing firm in the faith

glittering in sunshine

every person you meet has the same value

the same source

we are all made of stars

held together with mud

breathing the breath of the creator

the matter of the universe

life and death our greatest gifts

the space between can be our heaven 

or the darkest shades of hell

we choose our path with every decision

free will is our constant companion

love, and connection, our greatest needs

choices are most important  

wake up and guard them well



Listen to Amos Lee sing Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight 

photo sources found at

Happy 4thΒ 

I’m reading a book on hope

which sounds like I’ve taken up tatting

old fashioned and harmless
hope is unpopular

even Buddhists diss it telling us to live

in one awful moment at a time

and these days almost everyone wants to be a Buddhist
hope is hard to grasp when your imagination’s

grown fat on darkness

like the thick underside of a mushroom
tragedy is grand scale

predictably beautiful in its way

hope is hokey

imperfect full of stumbling little acts
the way a strand of neighbors standing in the rain

on the shoulder of Highway One American flags

in their hands and homemade signs:

Peace is Patriotic

can make another strand start up

even in the imagination
standing on a curve of the coast highway

where the land seems to fall away

into the open mouth of the ocean

their bodies like flags

waving sloppily

steadfast in the downpour

How to Hope by Katharine Harer – with thanks to Rebecca Solnit for her book, Hope in the Dark


Listen to Los Lobos/Grateful Dead sing This Land is Your Land


But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.

John Adams

July 03, 1776 to Abigail Adams 

read full letter at


peace stronger than the stormΒ 

  A great storm lashes this nation
while much of the people sleep,

a storm of racial hatred, a storm of fear.

In fear a white man seeks out blacks 

and kills them in their church.

This is not new.

The storm will not stop, 

the waves of death will not stop.

He is only one wave of the storm,

blown by great winds of fear.

It is not out of hope or happiness he kills,

he kills out of fear.

The one wave is not the problem; the storm is.

The storm envelopes us all.  

It defeats us, makes us anxious. 

We cry, β€œDo you not care that we are perishing?”

A great storm battered the disciples’ boat.

Wind, invisible and relentless, 

howled down on them, pushing against them.

Waves would not stop, would not stop

bashing them, beating them, 

filling the boat, threatening to swallow them.
Fear howled in them like the wind,

fear beat in them like waves,

a relentless storm of fear.

Their hearts cried, β€œSave us! Manage this!”

But Jesus was asleep, not worrying,

not in control. Serene. At peace. 

β€œJesus, join our anxiety! Won’t you despair with us?”

But Jesus was unafraid.

Maybe weary, maybe needing not to be needed,

but also unafraid. At peace. 
It was not fear, but his sisters’ and brothers’ cries

that awakened him. In his deep calm he rose,

not in fear, not in anger, but in peace

and gave his peace to the others,

and gave his peace to the winds and the seas.

Infinite peace flowed through him like wind,

passed out into the world like waves,

peace stronger than the storm.

It was not fear, but peace that calmed the storm. 

The Man of Peace cries out in our own souls.

Calms the storms of our fears. 

Grants us peace beyond understanding.

We let it fill us, that divine peace,

deep peace with all the world, 

deepest love for this world and all its children,

children with and without mercy, 

peace with the world and all is raging wounds,

peace even with the storm,

for it is peace with all of life.

This peace is also agony for our sisters and brothers.

It is care that we are perishing.

But it is care, not fear. It is deep peace.
And in that peace we shall awaken.  

Not fear but our sister’s and brothers’ cries awaken us.

We rise, as Christ rises, always in hope.

In deep peace, not in fear or anger,

we will rise and stand in the storm.

The winds will whip us.

The waves will batter us. But we will stand,

because Christ stands in us. 

We will cry out to the storm, 

and cry out to our sisters and bothers

with a peace stronger than the storm,

β€œPeace! Be still!”
The wind will still lash us, the waves batter.

Fear will react; anger will rise like new waves.

The wounds will retract and hide, afraid to be touched,

the wind afraid to be named.

But in the storm we shall stand in that peace that is love,

cry out with that peace that is anguish,

hold fast with that peace that is courage,

endure with that peace stronger than the storm.

And there shall be peace. 
Peace. Be Still. 

Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


No, my friends

    darkness is not everywhere   

for here and there

     I find faces illuminated

           from within. 

       Japanese lanterns


         among dark trees


Light by Carole Ann Borges

 Listen to Cat Stevens sing Morning Has Broken


photo sources found at


grace never runs from trouble


She Surrenders

She surrenders her pen
She surrenders her sword
To listen
Trusting the beat of her heart to begin to rise
The warmth in her spirit to be lifted
For her to return to her Golden Center
Where love is in charge

She surrenders her time 
She surrenders her thoughts
To be still
In the moment
Guided by the rhythm that life has given her
Supported by the unknown in ways she can never understand
Hearing the beat of the universe return to her Golden Center
Where love is in charge

She surrenders her anger
She surrenders her pain
Feeling the answers flowing through her like a guided light
Probing her body and touching her nerves like an angels kiss
Aligning her spirit with her body as she returns to her Golden Center
Where love is in charge

She surrenders her anguish
She surrenders her doubt
In time she remembers all that she is and that all is well
The heat of her Golden Center
As molten as the energy within core of the earth
Where love is in charge

She surrenders her indecision
She surrenders her life
To Purpose
Serving from Overflow
Sharing her gifts with the world 
Her heartbeat realigned with that of the universe, the sun, the stars and the moon
As long as she keeps returning to her Golden Center 
Where love is in charge

Alexandra Gold




photo sources found at



preaching to myself today…

 From the place where we are right/flowers will never grow/in the spring./The place where we are right/is hard and trampled/like a yard./But doubts and loves/dig up the world/like a mole, a plough./And a whisper will be heard in the place/where the ruined/house once stood. 

 Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai


On this day of your life  
 I believe God wants you to know…    

…that the best argument you can make 
is no argument
at all.

Do not argue with life, or with anyone in life. Life
presents itself perfectly in every moment, and every
person believes his or her point of view to be valid
and ‘right.’
Arguing with any of this is pointless, and a terrific
waste of energy. Simply create what you choose next.

Love,  Your Friend …


ο»ΏCommentary on Community:


Every time we gather becomes a model of the future we want to create.

Authentic conversations create a future distinct from the past.

Conversations create possibility.

Show up. Be present.

The more words you use, the less likely you are to be authentic. 


These two matter to me at the moment:

The future creates the present. 

The listener creates the speaker.

Taking (emotional) risks creates safety

Changing the Future

The past is only a lesson about the future to be used in the present.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Restorative Justice

This thought is taking from β€œCommunity” and β€œSitting in the Fire.”

Restorative justice is communal justice (as opposed to individual retribution)

Restorative justice adds a measure of balance to the community.


Based on the community conversation practices of Peter Block

Captured by Eric Hansen – Hansen Resource Development

To be truly alive

is to be fully, freely, lovingly present

in this moment,
drinking in the grace of God
and pouring myself out in love
for God and for all beings.

What do I gain

by abandoning this
to be right,
to get my way,
to be comfortable,
to manage how people think of me?

When I win the argument,

protect my beliefs, defend myself,
when I judge another 
and put them in their place,
when I separate myself from those
who suffer pain or injustice,
when I buy another trinket 
for my heart’s little room
and close the door,
what have I lost?

I am not a body or a reputation

but a soul.
God of love,
open my door.
Let life spill in
and spill out. 
Let me suffer and love,

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Change is the end result of all true learning.

    – Leo Buscaglia 

photo source tracks found at



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