life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “compassion”

world changer 

You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.

    – Carol Burnett

A KEY TO HAPPINESS — SPIRITUAL HUMILITY

So many religions and philosophies, ancient and modern, set forth paths to happiness, fulfillment and the end of suffering. Many of these paths are filled with great wisdom and deep spiritual insights that have helped countless people throughout the ages. I have been inspired by so many of these spiritual traditions; and I have learned so many hard lessons though my own inner struggles and challenges, as we all have. Consistent with so many of the spiritual traditions, I have found that one of the keys to happiness and finding a deep spiritual connection is cultivating a spiritual humility — reaching beyond our egos as best we can by quieting our minds with a bit of wisdom, by opening our hearts to a bit of unconditional loving-kindness, and by expressing a bit of gratitude for the light and wonder that has been given and that touches us even in the dark times.
1. WISDOM AND THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF ALL EXISTENCE. We — and all of life — are interconnected in a vast and boundless divine tapestry. Our belief that we have a separate, “fixed” self is a delusion that cuts us off from the flow of life and the interdependence of all things. We are nothing but a wondrous part of a larger, interwoven whole. To see all this, even a little, leaves us humble, but also touches us with a deep wisdom that we are connected at our core to something so much greater than we can imagine.
2. THE INNER SPIRIT. As a part of that greater whole, we are truly children of God, at one with the divine essence. Yet, when we come into this world at birth, we put on a limited and fragile ego mask that we wear throughout our lives, believing that the mask is our real self and forgetting our true, inner spirit that is a part of the greater divine radiance. So, we struggle to keep this mask-self safe, closing our eyes to the flow of the divine presence through our lives. Seeing all of this, even a little, we begin to see the futility and childishness of so many of our self-important dramas; and, with the resulting humility, we begin to let go of the ego games and begin instead to focus humbly and joyously on our connection to others and to the greater divine reality. 
3. JUDGE NOT. Looking with an open heart at the cosmos, we may begin to see, even if dimly, the presence of a boundless divine power that supports all of existence, guiding the planets in their orbits, causing the flowers to grow, holding all of the law of physics in the palm of a hand, and supporting our very existence. But, when we grasp after our ego-mask self, and forget our own inner spirit and its connection to the greater divine presence, we begin to make judgments, limiting and defining God, ourselves and each other. We think that we know better — indeed, we think we “know” what is really going on — but the mystery and wonder of existence is beyond any knowing. We do not know, for instance, the truth of another person and where he or she is on the spiritual path. Indeed, we do not even know who we are ourselves. How, then, can we presume to judge others and where they stand in God’s plan? How can we truly judge ourselves? And, even more importantly, how can we judge God, the ineffable foundation of all existence and non-existence? Seeing all this, even a little, we can only begin to humbly let go of our limited, ego-based judgments and open our minds and hearts to a gentle faith in the divine, in ourselves, and in each other. 
4. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. So, how do we come to see all of the above and cultivate a joyous spiritual humility? Each must find their own way. For me, it come from a gentle spiritual practice: 
(a) First, I try to be mindful of the interconnection of all life, as well as of the impermanence and transience of my own ego-mask self. Then, with a little inner quiet and stillness, I try to watch for the presence of ineffable wonder; I listen for the quiet whispers of my own inner spirit; and I open my heart to the rumblings and reflections of the presence of a boundless God beyond all knowing or grasping.
(b) Next, each day I try to practice a little kindness and unconditional love, as best I can and with as much wisdom as I can muster, quietly shining some light in the darkness on myself and those around me. We all can open a window in our hearts to the divine and let the divine presence shine through us, as if through a glass darkly — but we can polish that glass each day to let in more and more light.
(c) I judge God, myself and others so much. So, I practice not judging by being mindful of how much I do judge, and examining how much of that judgment comes from my own arrogance or insecurity. I then think about the the mystery and power of the divine presence — and the preciousness and miracle of all life, including my own — and stop for a moment and acknowledge, as best I can, that the divine presence is boundless in ways I cannot begin to fathom or judge.    
(d) Finally, I try to find reasons to be grateful: for the presence of wonder, wisdom and light, even in the darkness; for the preciousness of my own life and that of others; and for the blessings, sometimes hidden, that grace my life. There are so many opportunities to express that gratitude to those around me through words and deeds; and to God in my prayers and in the songs of my heart. Finally, I try to express gratitude to myself in the words I use in speaking to myself. We all can begin to appreciate more our own inner, luminous spirits. Humility in the face of the overwhelming wonder of the universe may cause us to begin letting go of our ego games, but it also opens our vision up to the magnificence of the cosmos and to the luminous wonder of our place in it.
Simple Inner Truth by Steven Jay




words and eye above by Jen Lemen 

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the wild & salty now 


Welcome and entertain them all

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

🏡

Parker J. Palmer with a light-hearted metaphor from Rumi — on the unexpected visitor and welcoming her in, serendipitous chaos and all.


I paddled a small boat

through wind and waves in the open sea,

the wind wanting to wipe me sideways,

waves lurching me about,

the constant pressing, the effort, 

the all aloneness of it,

a little dot in an ocean wide of green,

the struggle so welcome, so satisfying,
because I was there. 
I have climbed mountains and hiked deserts,

raised children and journeyed through a marriage

simply to be there.
You have swung the hammer, sewed the seams, 

taken the bus, changed the diapers,

recovered from the illness, done the time.

You run races, you wash dishes,

you row your body through its failings,

you work the work of youth or of aging,

you put your shoulder to it.

Even in prayer’s stillness

you go the distance.
This is the holy pilgrimage:

to meet the given day.

You give yourself to this moment as it is,

hand to hand, all in,

and beyond all accomplishment

you are given the gift 

of this life.

You come home with salt in your hair

and a whole wide sea in your heart. 

      
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


Yesterday afternoon I watched Kate Hudson die in her movie,

A Bit of Heaven,

and I thought about how important our little bit of time is here on this earth. 

The vast importance of now! 

To never hold back sharing our love,

our bit of time here with the ones we love. 

This morning, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed,

I read posts from various friends,

anniversaries of loss. 

The shock of too young loss. 

The bewilderment of unexpected loss. 

The anger of longing for the love loss. 

Missing persons. 

Persons missing persons. 

I listened to the music these friends shared. 

Music chosen in a very personal, intimate way,

helping them deal, 

bringing them comfort,

tapping into their passion, 

their anger,

their extreme feelings,

their great oceans of emotion. 

Music helping them allow,

helping them to move,

helping them release,

as they remain here, feeling left and bereft. 

Music. Always music. 

I cried with them, 

for them,

for my own tsunami of losses. 

As their music poured into me,

I felt their particular loss, 

and I stood along side them and held them in love. 

I honor the grieving hearts of the world. 

I honor the gift, and power, of music. 

🎼

Amy Lloyd (AL)


Love, like fire, can only reveal its brightness On the failure and beauty of burnt wood.           – Philippe Jaccottet   

Everyone is having a hard time. Everyone is insecure. Everyone is hassled. Everyone is tired–we all need more sleep. Everyone wishes he had more courage, more money, and better social skills. Everyone wants more glamour in his life, and we all desperately need more laughter. Few can figure out how they ended up living the life they lead. Don’t be misled by flippant talk; it’s a battle for everyone.
🔥

– Joshua Halberstam​


the flesh covers the bone  

and they put a mind  

in there and  

sometimes a soul,  

and the women break  

vases against the walls  

and the men drink too  

much  

and nobody finds the  

one  

but keep  

looking  

crawling in and out  

of beds.  

flesh covers  

the bone and the  

flesh searches  

for more than  

flesh.  

 

there’s no chance  

at all:  

we are all trapped  

by a singular  

fate.  

 

nobody ever finds  

the one.  

 

the city dumps fill  

the junkyards fill  

the madhouses fill  

the hospitals fill  

the graveyards fill  

 

nothing else  

fills.

Alone With Everybody by Charles Bukowski


in the world between worlds

where the shimmering abstract

holds all the secrets within us

words are absent

no scripture exists

there are no definitions

as there is no need for such things

in our eternal knowing 

we are ever-being known

the mystic colors of God fill us

unseeable in this earthly realms obscured vision 

they hold us there 

where we don’t need to be understood 

or understand anything

we are simply

all we could ever hope to be

we are the lover and the beloved

eternal love

eternally loved 

complete

You in I

I in you

one

until the scab scraping 

demand of this waking earth

this illusion glazed moment we choose to serve

pulls us completely blinded

into a day in a life

pushes us ass-backward 

into the harsh reality

of jaded time

of hard-earned, hard-learned experience 

of continually disappointed expectation

of broken hearts, once tender

of broken dreams, once beautiful 

broken everything, once whole and healthy

and instead of fighting for our very lives,

we put away our dreaming space,

as if it were somehow the wrong

we decide we’ve learned the truth – 

that love hurts –

though what we’ve learned is trickery –

because true love sets us free

and so we surrender to 

the soul-sucking zombie apocalypse of our addictions,

our chosen favored forms of slavery

as the children of chattel always do

not knowing our vast worth

our royal bloodline

our supreme destiny

we clothe ourselves in useless, flimsy armor 

our only known defense. 

we use fools gold 

cheap drug store variety,

Madison avenue, false-advertisement protection, 

these rabbits feet of proclaimed luck,

these traps of anger, arrogance and pride,

against the barbarian onslaught

of what we have been brainwashed to accept

as important 

the carnivorous eating of our flesh

by the demands of our own complex making

focused only on our foolish collecting of silly objects,

overrated treasures and pleasures 

as we ignore our need for love

choosing instead to battle

the cannibals salivating at every corner

waiting for us to stumble and weaken

so they can take our place at the top of the illusive list 

of whatever sort 

we have entered into 

as our arena of competition  

eventually they will toast to their victories over us 

with our own fresh, falling blood

pouring from the golden goblets we ourselves had taken from another 

we accept it as normal

as we attend to the business of forgetting 

who we are

pretending to be full

as we starve to death

in order to get just a little bit more than those waiting 

for what will never satisfy any of us 

lusting for salt 

even as we faint from dehydration 
we live, lonely, in empty mansions

forgetting all that makes a house glow

is the home light burning inside of our other to warm our bones

in order to impress those who will never truly know us, love us, or want our best to be honored 

in order to arrive at the end of our hourglass 

dragging what we will not be able take with us…
we trade our chance to be truly remarkable

to create singular intimacy

we see our chance to find gardens of happiness,

to build something as mind boggling as the seven wonders,

and we choose to ignore it

as we continue on.

too busy, too consumed,

to stop for a moment,

just one moment,

to take off our shoes,

fall down and worship…

to allow the lover into our heart –

as though love isn’t important enough for the likes of us

why do we go about wasting our opportunity here?

how can we awaken to the highest and best within ourselves?

how can we choose to lay our hearts bare in vulnerability?

how can we empty the deepest motes of fear and isolation?

why do we trade love for ash?

why would we ever do such a thing? 

why?

Let us return again to where we began…

the joyous place of our belonging

to the passion and wild danger inside our freedom loving hearts

children on Christmas morning 

full of sheer wonder and excitement 

at the beauty of who we are 

passionately in love with our created uniqueness

the fullest colors of our self unleashed

living worship eternally under vast blue skies

shining from our highest place, 

with the extreme audacity, 

the sheer wonder and glory

of our calling as love

pure love

I in you

You in I

as we 

the many

become 

the one 

💞

Amy Lloyd (AL)



Many of us seek that which we will flee if we find it. I have seen this time and again, both in myself and in others. We seek, we search, and then we find a calling or a relationship that is a perfect reflection of our yearning and we turn away and go back to seeking, almost as though the light of our true-path was too bright for us, too vulnerable for us, too real for us. This is a pattern that we have to recognize and heal or else we will never stop looking for what is already there. True-path is not always around the next corner. Sometimes it’s right under our feet…

🛤

  Jeff Brown

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

~Erich Fromm

getting to know me, myself & I  


Spending time with myself

a day apart

alone

 (sort of….I’m never really alone)

I sing my soul

I confront my blocks

I challenge my status quo

I confront my ambivalence 

I shake the foundations of my acceptance

I shatter long shadows of my shame

I resolve erroneous stories 

I let go of my need to stay the same

I enter my griefs 

I accept my feelings

I forgive my failures

I write my treasures

I talk to my people

I connect with the world beyond my knowledge 

I laugh…just because

I move into new freedom

I express my thanks

I smile and smile because of you

the sheer ecstasy that you are my friend (humming a little tune here)

Then I keep letting you go and letting you go

I destroy expectations 

I combust my wanting

I celebrate my freedom 

I explore how it will feel to have a structure

my structure

a home of my own

that important moment

I delve into my desire for a circle of true accountability 

I call into being this right time for like minded friendships

responsibility in its highest and best format

I rise to meet my new 

I give away my longing for the familiar

I slash the tires of my comfort zone

I conjure magic 

all kinds of magic

I walk into this new room 

the theatre of my making

hung with velvet curtains

the colors are mystic and navy blue

I am ready

I am willing 

to bear this new badge

of courage

to assume the custom role 

only I can fill

to step into these shoes…

designed just for me…

I love new shoes…(happy sigh)

central player of this fabulous life 

I’ve been given

for this very time and place

I walk center stage

content with my integrity

proud of my accomplishments

prouder still of my strength of doing right

doing the hard things

of my open heart

my truth-filled speaking

which, sometimes,

brings silence to the room

I have done the work

I am prepared to preform 

my calling is sure

leaving everything else far behind me

I saddle up

I put my game face on (Michael Phelps Style)

grace drips down my back

puddling around my feet

love clouds surround my going

like dust clouds of glory 

keeping pace with my steps (Pigpen shout out)

I acknowledge the truth

I didn’t want to be here

hopes illusion lay dead 

I didn’t know how I could go on

I challenged my very existence 

I refused to save myself (I acknowledge my own sheer foolish audacity and ruthless trusting of Love)

and in doing so

I, somehow, saved myself

arose on the wings of the glorious morning

I bow to your wisdom

I thank you for this moment

this day of acknowledgement 

this touch

this state of being just so

this satisfaction of discord 

this testimony of salvation

this pilgrimage of miracle

this pathway of true glory

this victory of faith  

this resolution of the awkward 

this life of waterfall grace

the lighting bolts of my own thoughts

the thundering intensity of my own worded quotes

hanging chad of my living

scale of justice balancing in my favor

karma smiles at this boomerang harvest of goodness

this resurrection of Phoenix

 rising and rising (there should be birdsong here)

this burning bush of unrelenting passion

all this is

just me myself 

burning away

stripping away

chipping away

throwing away

breaking away

continual discovery

uncovering

excavating

reclaiming

becoming

I AM

All is well (shhh…do you hear the fireworks here?)

🔥

Amy Lloyd (AL)

the space between breaths


All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.

    – Octavia E. Butler


fierce surrender
relentlessly engaged
In a loud and howling world, it’s in the silence of a broken heart that the chambers of you can hear the sound of God speaking. It’s in the emptiness that happens in the wake of a broken heart, that God fills you with Himself.
Soundlessly, relentlessly praying through your spaces of brokenness makes the heart bigger, until you hold the gift of God alone.
I memorize the white of the moon. Freeze frame the Farmer grinning in the white light of it there on the tractor seat, the peak of his feed cap pulled low over his face. We get to inhale. We get to live every day like it might be our last —- because one of these days, we’re guaranteed to be right.
We get to surrender to the glory, to the weight of it coming through the thinning sky, and there’s nothing in this world that’s normal — there’s only growing blind to the glory. There’s only growing blind to the injustice, to the blood on our own hands, to the love we could make, to the One who says, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name…. —- that they may be one, even as we are one” (John ‪17:11‬) to the truth that we all belong to one another. It’s the cynics who wear armour to shield the heart from all this beauty that wounds.
You are perishable here.

Taste the moments accordingly.
Taste the space between every breath like it is bread, the space between the stars where you and he are just for now, the space between you and faces you love and being here no more, the spaces between the pain, between you and streets of grief, between you and injustice and war and mothers cradling their babies in fear, and learn to love before it’s too late. I need to etch that into me.
You are perishable here, Taste the moments accordingly —

You get to decide whether you are going to taste it, all of it and know that God is good and enjoy Him and make your life about others tasting His goodness too.
You get to decide whether you’re going to spend your one life trying to make an impression and look good —  or make a difference and do good.
You don’t get long here before you get to be a memory — so make your life about getting thirsty people glasses of water.

💧

    – Ann Voskamp

blog: aholyexperience.com


Isaiah 6
There were banks of candles flickering in the distance and clouds of incense thickening the air with holiness and stinging his eyes, and high above him, as if it had always been there but was only now seen for what it was (like a face in the leaves of a tree or a bear among the stars), there was the Mystery Itself, whose gown was the incense and the candles a dusting of gold at the hem. There were winged creatures shouting back and forth the way excited children shout to each other when dusk calls them home, and the whole vast, reeking place started to shake beneath his feet like a wagon going over cobbles, and he cried out, “O God, I am done for! I am foul of mouth and the member of a foul-mouthed race. With my own two eyes I have seen him. I’m a goner and sunk.” Then one of the winged things touched his mouth with fire and said, “There, it will be all right now,” and the Mystery Itself said, “Who will it be?” and with charred lips he said, “Me,” and Mystery said “Go.”
Mystery said, “Go give the deaf hell till you’re blue in the face and go show the blind heaven till you drop in your tracks, because they’d sooner eat ground glass than swallow the bitter pill that puts roses in the cheeks and a gleam in the eye. Go do it.”

Isaiah said, “Do it till when?”

Mystery said, “Till hell freezes over.”

Mystery said, “Do it till the cows come home.”

And that is what a prophet does for a living and, starting from the year that King Uzziah died, when he saw and heard all these things, Isaiah went and did it.

🔥

~ Frederick Buechner originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words


What is your unrelenting passion?

My Beloved said, “My name is not complete without yours.”

And I thought, How could a human’s worth ever be such?

And God knowing all of our thoughts, and all our thoughts are just innocent steps on the path, then addressed my heart.

God revealed a sublime truth to the world when He sang

“I am made whole by your life. Each soul, each soul completes Me.”
– Hafiz


threads that won’t break 


On Dec 3, 2014 (2 year anniversary of my living death in the dark night of the soul, I got a post titled Love never Dies from Jen Lemen at Hopeful World http://hopefulworld.org

Here’s a taste of what it said:
I am struck also as I write to you from this wintery desk, that building our capacity for stillness helps so much when the wild comes to our restless souls. Without that practice of being quiet, it’s easy to be scared when our wild, instinctual thoughts pop up. It’s easy to think that they are bad somehow or in need of corralling. But the practice of quiet and stillness helps us recognize our instinctual knowing for what it is: a call to our most true nature. A call to a kind of expression that is more vibrant, more textured, more passionate, more alive–even if it’s a little bit messy. Even if it kicks up a little bit of shame that we are this human, this raw.
So I invite you today to sit with me for three magic minutes. I’ll be right here with you, my own mind a rollercoaster of crazy, of frantic, of nonsensical worrisome things. I’ll sit with you and notice everything in my own soul, while you notice everything in yours and together we will begin to knit together an understanding of what’s underneath that noise: a gorgeous, exquisite tapestry of human longing designed to carry us to an awake magnificent place.
Will you join me?

Setting the timer now.

Let me know how it is on the other side.
With so much love,

Jen
It’s now 3.5 years later and Jen Lemen is still bringing all that, and more to me, to you, to the shaky, hoping world, to the edges of eternity…love never dies. 
Today, in this crazy, brutal brutal place, where we ask…
how can these two people be our Presidential choices?
how can people keep killing other people?
how can I deal with the grief and the fear of this? 
how can I help?
what is the solution? 
what is my part? 
Jen Lemen is doing her part. She’s offering Soul Snacks – 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Amazing gifts to all of of struggling, hungry, hurting, angry, frustrated pilgrims and poets. 
Right now she has open enrollment and I have just this…
Don’t wait! http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Gobble this up, savor it a bite at a time, eat them from start to finish, or nibble from the middle to each edge of crust. Savory, delectable soul-spices involving all your most subtle senses. 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

💞

Keep wrestling, burn, scream, let go, melt, let your heart keep breaking for the sake of your heart, keep saying the names of your people, fiercely defend your tenderness, think, grieve, repair, renew, continue to do what’s in your heart to do…each thread matters…each color makes the world more beautiful…
in the end, only love is eternal, only love remains…
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

🔥

AL


We are God’s thread

weaving through the tapestry,

the masterpiece is slowly 

created. 

Potential for beauty, we can’t know,

    unfolding,

       becoming,

          revealing glory 

so bright 

it makes the sun squint 

and reach for sunglasses.  

Brilliance so far beyond ourselves

we go shining into the gray

as we open to the new jewels appearing,

sparkling in the moonlight. 

As we step into the needle’s eye 

the angels catch their breath,

cheering our blazing garments,

dazzled by the vision

God is revealing through the creation. 

As we surrender to the greatest mystery,

the beauty we inhabit 

becomes us,

walking in humble clay

eyes out shining the stars 

set in the heavens. 

Until we totally disappear and all that’s left

is holiness 

so pure 

all we can do 

    is 

bow in wonder 

at ourselves

and give thanks 

as the silk thread 

becomes liquid gold and silver

pure and simple

glory

as we realize our place in the whole. 

We are the temple of our creator. 

The home of God. 

😎

AL



As deftly and finally as one pulls out a thread

someone is weaving them, gracefully tying them,

minute and irreversible.
In the towering sky, even under the fortress, 

root tendrils muscle in and bind ligaments

through an abyss we had been told was absolute.
No enormity of terror

can keep up  

with the steady, unseen healing. 
Before the assault, the horrible wound, 

gaping and exposed,

the stitching has already begun.
Even as we sigh in our own world,

moving on, separate,

we are being sewn in. 
In the earthquake, the collapsing mountains,

not a bit of rubble falls

on the path from the temple.
If you could hold your immortal soul

in your hands, you would hardly recognize it

from one moment to the next.
Your grave is already empty. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


photo sources found at pinterest.com

peace. love. seal the deal.   – Miles  


White and black cannot be found

in the ruins and valleys of a human face. 

You’re the dust in a wrinkled rainbow,

whorled pallet of earth tones,

ginger, sorrel, burnt sienna. 
Who called you “white,”

that disdain for shadows,

color of the fear of falling 

through the prism of contradictions?
You are not white, you are oak,

apple wood and dandelion. 

Make wine of yourself. 

Make a barrel of your bones. 

Acquire the flavor of your ancestors. 
Who called you “black,”

that abstraction of a laughing tear?

You are not black, you have sown

sunset in your cheek furrows. 

You are banyan, and mahogany,

kola nut and olive, cocoa bean of grief,

kinnikinnik of the sacred pipe. 

You are the night. 
Voracious love has dipped us both

in honey, meshed our dreams

in darkest cilia, netted our souls

like mushrooms in sweet loam,

the wild manure of one dragon. 
Through innumerable pungent roots

the same juice bears us upward

into starlight. 

🌠

Who Told You? by Alfred K. LaMotte



my heart hurts today

for this pain. 

I feel great sorrow,

shattering grief,

love cracks me open,

allows me to feel this

hurricane of rage,

this fraction of our creation –

soul division. 
for what we,

as human-kind,

have chosen to accept

within the soil of our borders,

our birthright is so much more. 

we are each beloved. 

we are royal, each and every one. 
sadness sits on me,

a heavy fog,

as I drive,

wait, 

pay,

that smarmy man 

with the weird goatee,

wearing the faded Jack Daniels t-shirt,

I try to love him – 

I humbly admit my failure today,

I promise to keep trying, 

it is my only hope to change this world.  

I return to my place in this universe,

the one I belong to for this moment –

I walk a mile quickly

my angst 

mixing with grief 

tears won’t stop

I walk this beach,

so familiar,

yet always new.

I pick up rocks, 

I move from rocks,

to sand,

to benches. 

I stand while the gulls float,

so easy,

so secure,

so assured,

so secure,

so loved,

so free. 

As I watch

peace fills me…
I let go…
always a brutal struggle for this stubborn girl, 

(I prefer to name that quality ‘determined’)

always, always, worth it. 
trusting life is a ruthless business. 

I choose to live,

I choose to feel,

I choose to open,

I choose to pay attention, 

I choose to connect,

I choose to participate,

I choose to love,

ruthlessly. 

What about you? 

💞

AL


God grant you the eyes of heaven

         to see each person’s divine belovedness

                  and so find joy.
God grant you a listening heart 

         to hear the cries of the silenced, 

                  and so gain wisdom. 
God grant you humility

         that unburdened by yourself

                  you may be free.
God grant you courage 

         to enter the world’s dark wounds, 

                  and so bring healing.  
God grant you patience, 

         to know the strength of the long journey, 

                  and so be given hope. 
God grant you a heart of love, 

         to be moved to action, 

                  and so receive deep peace.  
God grant you God’s own spirit 

         to share in the healing of the world, 

                  and so know God’s deep delight. 

__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net



if you look for me…


Nature, 

my teacher

my school

my temple

my shed

my friend

my lover

my passion

my peace

my darkness

my shining

my opening

my knowledge 

my quests

my mystery

my luminosity

my path

my return

my budding

my harvest

my seasons

my eternal 

my connection 

my uniqueness

my blush

my beauty

my ravaging

my savaging

my circle

my arrow

my path

my journey 

my longing

my desire

my tryst

my trust

my hope

my haven

my safety 

my risk

my skip-itty-doo-dah

the hair on my chinny-chin-chin

my space

my intimacy

my solitude

my family

my found

my faith

my dancing

my lame

my music

my words

my rhythm 

my song

my vision

my sight

my lost

my found

my sin

my soul

my tears

my laughter

my being

my belonging

my life 

my love

my looking in

my letting go

my begging

my abundance

my start

my stop

my end

my beginning

my heart

my skin

my senses

my fences

my flash 

my fire

my living

my death

my creator

my Spirit

my wound

my healer

my receiver

my giver

my adventure 

my wild

my silence

my sound

my doo-be-doobie-do

my fa-la-la-la

my going

my coming

my heaven 

my home

my ashes

my resurrection 

my grounding

my wings

my births

my deaths

my everything 

🌸🌻🌺🌾🌷🌹

AL


photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT


in the heart of the yellow sun

the great current

the blinding white stars 

over a blue sheet

.

when this age has passed

and thunder rolled back its 

ringing flames

nestled in the high pines                 

of course these wild atoms of your heart

.

swallowed by the great current

the burning wings

the wedding at cana

and so it happens

to each and all

water to wine

flesh to light

.

it is summer now

in the skies long house

a rib cage of heat and fragrance

surrounded by 5000

your a lifted fish 

or a loaf

in the hands of christ

.

it is no wonder now

you are surrounded 

by immigrants and thresholds

 as vulnerable as dew

 in a field of fire

.

it is useless now 

to utter

the unsayable

why would you want to burn redemption

when the whole world is an open secret

totally lifted 

and out of proportion

🌞
Adam A DeFranco

check in


thank you, dear heart,

for being so brave,

for the courage to stay open,

for giving, and receiving, love,

for taking me into battles

and winning wars with your ferocious strength

for valiantly defending your fragile tenderness 

for loving your own terrible beauty 

for revealing your deepest darkness to the light of discovery

and laying open your wounds to the healing air

for being willing to walk into heartbreak again and again,

knowing what you do. 

For, even when you are shaking afraid,

you always shout,

‘YAY!’

‘Yes’

‘Let’s dance’ 

and

‘I gotta have more cowbell…’

Thank you for your life giving work

your refusal to quit

your belief in the way I live

I adore you

I honor you

I cherish and bless

your amazing work 

in my chest,

in my world,

in my relationships,

and in my wanderings. 

I give you the gift of the best me,

in every moment we have together,

the brightest shining light, 

I can be

we do good work, girl,

you got the beat,

Oh, skip it, Let’s roll!
Yours forever true, 

❤️

AL





I see you


A woman in the city, who was a sinner,

stood behind him at his feet, weeping,

and began to bathe his feet with her tears….

He said, “Do you see this woman?”

—Luke 7.37, 44

……………………..
No, we do not see.

To one of Jesus’ most arresting questions,

we have to answer: we don’t see her.

We see our prejudices and stereotypes. W

e see our fears and projections.

We don’t see this woman;

we see what we think of her.

We see a sinner.

We see someone disrupting our dinner.

We see someone who makes us uncomfortable.

Which is to say, we see our judgment,

our expectations,

our discomfort.

We see our own stuff.

We don’t see her.
But Jesus saw this woman,

really saw her.

He saw her pain and her strength,

her gratitude, her courage,

her transformation.

He saw the precious value of her gift.

He saw her soul at work.

He saw God’s grace in her.
Jesus really saw people.

He saw who they were and knew their story,

not because he had ESP

but because he paid attention.

The woman at the well,

the bent over woman,

the rich man,

Bartimaeus,

the woman who touched him in a crowd…

he really saw people because he wanted to. He

paid attention.

And there was healing in his seeing.

What he saw in people was not their flaws

but the mercy of God.

And seeing the grace was like sunlight on plants:

it made people heal and grow and bear fruit.
God, help me really see.

Help me set aside my feelings and judgments,

and see whole people,

your beloved,

precious souls.

Help me see myself:

help me notice my projections,

and name my fears and expectations;

help me confess my blinders

and set them aside so I can see.

Beloved, help me really see people,

really see your grace,

really see at all.

Beloved, I want to see.

 

__________________

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net



At dusk, by the irrigation ditch

gurgling past backyards near the highway,

locusts raise a maze of calls in cottonwoods.

A Spanish girl in a white party dress
s

trolls the levee by the muddy water

where her small sister plunks in stones.

Beyond a low adobe wall and a wrecked car

men are pitching horseshoes in a dusty lot.

Someone shouts as he clangs in a ringer.

Big winds buffet in ahead of a storm,

rocking the immense trees and whipping up

clouds of dust, wild leaves, and cottonwool.

In the moment when the locusts pause and the girl

presses her up-fluttering dress to her bony knees

you can hear a banjo, guitar, and fiddle

playing “The Mississippi Sawyer” inside a shack.

Moments like that, you can love this country.

—–
“Passing through Albuquerque” by John Balaban


I wanna take this moment to look into your eyes.
Linger there with courage, allow your soul to rise
Feel your loving spirit
Touch your hidden dreams.
Let you know you’re not alone

that you’re finally seen…

Now’s there’s one less stranger in the world.

One less lonely heart in the night.

Lift your eyes and look at me

now there’s one less stranger in the world.

If you speak right from your heart
and let me do the same
If you allow my point of view
As we grow and change
If we both ask questions
to answers we seek
Then just sit in silence
allow our hearts to speak….

There’d be one less stranger in the world.
One less lonely heart in the night.
Lift your eyes and look at me
now there’s one less stranger in the world.

💑

AL


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