life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Smile”

have some fun! xo

There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’. Always better, and more fun, together! 

Listen to Jack Johnson sing Banana Pancakes 


photos found on facebook

You will learn by reading, but you will understand with love.      – Rumi   


 does everything happen twice?
does anything come once and never show up again?

what happens if we pay attention to what comes to us in a day,

a week,

a year?

what about this morning? 

will the sun ever shine quite this way again? 

will I ever have another summer

where I actually love the heat of the dog days,

The Mets just keep winning, 

I spend days waiting, and wanting, to be kissed by you, 

and I am surrounded by fresh flowers every day? 











 photo sources at


What if this is as good as it gets?

What if THIS very day is the best life will be?

What if this is your last chance to sing?

What if this moment is what you are called to?

What if this moment is your purpose?

What can you do to find the joy in this moment?

How can you be happy and satisfied right now?

What are the miracles that are happening for you as you read this?

What joy-filled cloud is hanging in the air above your head,

ready to splash all over you?

What gifts are being offered, 

if you just receive them,

allow them to tumble all around you?

Maybe, just maybe, these questions hold the true secrets of life. 

Maybe, living life in joy-fullness right now –

not waiting for some distant glory dream to come true –

Not holding back till your illusion of happiness materializes.

But, right now, sitting in whatever circumstance you are in,

this very given moment,

you look around and begin

to let go – 

to find the avalanche of joy jewels 

you’re walking on NOW. 

Maybe this is the best, and only, secret… 


It is available now,

and every minute 

of this, 

and every, 





 It doesn’t make sense to those who can love deeply when others turn away. But not everyone is ready to keep the heart gate open to other humans. Not everyone can handle the vulnerabilities and risk. Some prefer substitute forms of love to the real thing. Perhaps they find it safer to channel their love toward a theoretical God that can never really hurt them, to a pet that will never trigger their memory of human disappointments, to a job that will gratify them economically without touching their hearts. There are so many substitute gratifications on this planet, most of them a covering over of our deep longing to connect with each other. If you are one who is truly ready to love, better to attach to those who can truly meet you there. There is the love-lit world of genuine vulnerability, and there is the love-avoidant world of seeming security. Different worlds altogether… 

– Jeff Brown (~an excerpt from the soon to be published ‘Spiritual Graffiti’)



photo sources found at


I wonder, walking in these woods,

along stone walls so purposefully laid,

what it was like to clear the land,

by hand and oxen, long ago,

and pry the stones out, lift

the smaller ones, and heft them up,

the bigger ones with tools and

chains and wheels, with all

their solid weight pushing down against

you, against your hands, your will,
stone after stone, 

to clear it out. 
How right and good it must have seemed

to see the walls set out, 

the fields enclosed.
How hard and fine, and no less work

to lift away my bitterness, my fear,

and clear an open, gentle space. 


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light






One old man keeps humming the same few notes
of some song he thought he had forgotten
back in the days when as he knows there was
no word for life in the language 
and if they wanted to say eyes or heart
they would hold up a leaf and he remembers
the big tree where it rose from the dry ground
and the way the birds carried water in their voices
they were all the color of their fear of the dark
and as he sits there humming he remembers
some of the words they come back to him now
he smiles hearing them come and go


Parts of a Tune by W. S. Merwin


Just lying on the couch and being happy. 
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t

monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven

left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People wont even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.

You can shake your head. You can frown.

Any Morning by William Stafford


 Listen to James Taylor sing You’ve Got A Friend

Quote/photo sources found at

In every moment the fire rages, It will burn away a hundred veils. And carry you a thousand steps towards your goal. – Rumi




on the edge of flying
the verge of breaking through
standing in the pouring rain
hoping to find you
somewhere in the darkness
of this dark and stormy night
questions with no answers
crash upon my soul
the fires of hell rage on
bloody battles all around
as I stand within this pain
hoping to find faith in something
in this dark and stormy night
at the end of living
not knowing what to do
lightning strikes, the fire burns,
tears, that match the weather,
flooding from my soul
releasing from this moment –
there’s work for me to do –
now I fly

ACL 2/2/15






Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
– Joan D. Chittister

photo source tracks found at

we’re all just ex-babies! embrace it!

…everyone is involved, whether they like it or not, in the construction of their world. So, it’s never as given as it actually looks; you are always shaping it and building it. And I feel that from that perspective, that each of us is an artist. Secondly, I believe that everyone has imagination. That no matter how mature and adult and sophisticated a person might seem, that person is still essentially an ex-baby. And as children, we all lived in an imaginal world. You know, when you’ve been told don’t cross that wall, because there’s monsters over there, my god, the world you would create on the other side of the wall.
– John O’Donohue

King Lear
THERE WOULD BE a strong argument for saying that much of the most powerful preaching of our time is the preaching of the poets, playwrights, novelists because it is often they better than the rest of us who speak with awful honesty about the absence of God in the world and about the storm of his absence, both without and within, which, because it is unendurable, unlivable, drives us to look to the eye of the storm. I think of King Lear especially with its tragic vision of a world in which the good and the bad alike go down to dusty and, it would seem, equally meaningless death with no God to intervene on their behalf, and yet with its vision of a world in which the naked and helpless ones, the victims and fools, become at least truly alive before they die and thus touch however briefly on something that lies beyond the power of death. It is the worldly ones, the ones wise as the world understands wisdom and strong in the way the world understands strength, who are utterly doomed. This is so much the central paradox of Lear that the whole play can be read as a gloss if not a homily on that passage in First Corinthians where Paul expresses the same paradox in almost the same terms by writing, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28), thus pointing as Shakespeare points to the apparent emptiness of the world where God belongs and to how the emptiness starts to echo like an empty shell after a while until you can hear in it the still, small voice of the sea, hear strength in weakness, victory in defeat, presence in absence.
I think of Dostoevski in The Brothers Karamazov when the body of Alyosha’s beloved Father Zossima begins to stink in death instead of giving off fragrance as the dead body of a saint is supposed to, and at the very moment where Alyosha sees the world most abandoned by God, he suddenly finds the world so aflame with God that he rushes out of the chapel where the body lies and kisses the earth as the shaggy face of the world where God, in spite of and in the midst of everything, is.
-Originally published in Telling The Truth

photo source tracks found at

The present is the only point where time touches eternity. – C. S. Lewis

Jane Hirshfield has a line of poetry which has been tweeted all over the world which reminds us –
How fragile we are between the few good moments.

I think somehow we have been sold the idea that life should be all thrill. That, if every moment isn’t exciting, we are somehow failing at life. I have learned, over the past 18 years, that the real wonder of life is not in the passing thrilling moments, but in the recognition of the simple and divine in the every day ordinary.

Andy Rooney says it like this –

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.

The world is full of wonder! Happiness and joy are available to all who open their senses to the beauty of the unexpected sources carried in every breath we take.
Asking, seeking and knocking are all that’s required to begin!


even so, let me thrive


Today I woke up at 5:15 am, same as yesterday, but today I can lay as still as possible with my sore body snuggled in my blue furry blanket (which I have named Cookie Monster) and listen to the wind and rain howling against the windows and be grateful I was able to execute the events of the past two weeks! I made it here safely to begin my new chapter!
God is very good!






joy comes







Although I watched and waited for it every day,

somehow I missed it, the moment when everything reached 

the peak of ripeness. It wasn’t at the solstice; that was only
the time of the longest light. It was sometime after that, when

the plants had absorbed all that sun, had taken it into themselves

for food and swelled to the height of fullness. It was in July,
in a dizzy blaze of heat and fog, when on some nights
it was too hot to sleep, and the restaurants set half their tables

on the sidewalks; outside the city, down the coast,
the Milky Way floated overhead, and shooting stars

fell from the sky over the ocean. One day the garden

was almost overwhelmed with fruition:
My sweet peas struggled out of the raised bed onto the mulch
of laurel leaves and bark and pods, their brilliantly colored

sunbonnets of rose and stippled pink, magenta and deep purple
pouring out a perfume that was almost oriental. Black-eyed Susans

stared from the flower borders, the orange cherry tomatoes

were sweet as candy, the corn fattened in its swaths of silk,

hummingbirds spiraled by in pairs, the bees gave up

and decided to live in the lavender. At the market,

surrounded by black plums and rosy plums and sugar prunes

and white-fleshed peaches and nectarines, perfumey melons
and mangos, purple figs in green plastic baskets,

clusters of tiny Champagne grapes and piles of red-black cherries

and apricots freckled and streaked with rose, I felt tears

come into my eyes, absurdly, because I knew
that summer had peaked and was already passing

away. I felt very close then to understanding 

the mystery; it seemed to me that I almost knew

what it meant to be alive, as if my life had swelled

to some high moment of response, as if I could

reach out and touch the season, as if I were inside

its body, surrounded by sweet pulp and juice,

shimmering veins and ripened skin.

“A Warm Summer in San Francisco” by Carolyn Miller

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