life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

unseen business

 Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don’t mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, “It’s hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there’s no one
to say what a good job you’re doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache.”
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.

There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world’s heart.
There is no other art.

 There are prayers that God hears

That may not even noticed
by the one praying –
The eyes lifted in awe to a sunset. 
The beach comber picking up rocks as she grieves huge losses. 
The deep breath before entering the office of the abusive, power-hungry boss. 
The smell of your first cup of coffee. 
The watery laughter through brimming tears of the overwhelmed new mother. 
The patience of the store clerk doing his best with the impatient standing in line. 
The smiles of the people who know the secret of choosing to live life well. 
The accomplished weariness at the end of a good days work. 
The ride to home after 17 years of waiting. 
The beautiful silence of a couple sitting together holding hands. 
Candles burning in the darkness their shadows dancing on the walls. 
The smell of an old library. 
The many tastes of freedom. 
Sharing gifts with others because you know there is ALWAYS enough. 
Finding something special on the sidewalk. 

Waking up with someone to smile with. 
The list never ends – 
It’s why we are told to pray continually – 
Keep naming. 
Stay aware. 
Living as if everything is the miracle that it truly is –
Everything is grace. 
Our world is the spoken word of God,
we breathe the very breath of God which brought us to life,
and, as God said,
It is very good. 
AL 2/18/14

 My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from him. Psalm 62:5
Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come.      

 – Watchman Nee 
Listen to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sing It’ll All Work Out 

photo sources found at


Sent from my iPhone



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