life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “inspiration”

awareness is the key to change 

I tell my father about the way 

I collect small things

in the sacs of my heart—

thick juniper berries

apple cores that retain their shape

and the click of shells

that sound like an oven baking.

He presses the mole on my shoulder

that matches his shoulder,

proof that I was not found

at the bottom of the sea.

I also got his feet, far from

Cinderella’s dainty glass slippers

—
and fingers, too wide for most

Cracker Jack wedding rings.

I read how some mammals never

forget their young—

their speckled spots, odd goat

cries, or birthmarks on curved ivory tusks. 

There must be some

thread of magic there

cooling honey to stone—where

like recognizes like or how

a rib seeks its twin.

🙋🏼🙋🏼

A Taste of Blue by Cynthia Manick


Our survival adaptations are so tough, but our wounds are so delicate. To heal, we have to lift the armor carefully- it saved our lives, after all. It’s like moving your best friend off to the side of the path. You don’t trample on her, you don’t hit her with a sledgehammer. You honor her presence like a warm blanket that has kept you safe and sound during wintry times. And then, when the moment is right, you get inside and stitch your wounds with the thread of love, slowly and surely, not rushing to completion, nurturing as you weave, tender and true. The healing process has a heart of its own, moving at its own delicate pace. We are such wondrous weavers…

💞

 – Jeff Brown


TO STAND HERE
is to stand

at the center

of circle 

after growing circle

and reach

in the mind

for a far circumference

that holds as focus

an interior so far in

so concentrated

with origin

we find ourselves

by looking out

at what looks back,

the lighted edge 

of rock and sky,

the sweet

unmoving darkness

over the horizon 

that makes

a perfect 

beckoning symmetry

to the night

beneath our feet,

the underground

where light cannot live

but whose darkness

makes a ground 

on which to stand.
The central 

ancestral story

of those who

lived here

looking out

at the same horizon

and the same 

surrounding

ground,

who saw a world

that witnessed them

at a privileged 

center,

their lives caught

like ours

in the glance

of what lies beyond

only 

for a fleeting

moment.

From LON’S FORT

From Pilgrim: Poems by David Whyte


Refuse to fall down

If you cannot refuse to fall down,

refuse to stay down.

If you cannot refuse to stay down,

lift your heart toward heaven,

and like a hungry beggar, 

ask that it be filled. 

You may be pushed down.

You may be kept from rising.

But no one can keep you from lifting your heart

toward heaven

only you.

It is in the middle of misery

that so much becomes clear.

The one who says nothing good

came of this, 

is not yet listening.

–Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

   – Mahatma Gandhi


I’m not here to live up to your expectations and you’re not here to live up to mine. 

    – Bruce Lee

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I am here to tell you morning has come 

there’s this whisper promise 

in the breeze,

a bit of ethereal fog slipping between the sheets 

of night 

and dawn breaking.
there’s this rumor running 

afoot in this new born day,

a sideways glance of something – 

Oh it’s JOY! 

and all this glory burning hot. 
there’s this holy hushing

songs of angels,

a chorus of bluebells

bowing heads

softly clapping

as they watch it all approaching. 
there’s this first blush of light,

smudging darkness,

a bit like the bitter and sweet

mixed each day with our longing 

for joy to come nest. 
there’s a song playing on low

sometimes you forget to remember 

be still and know

as sure as spring follows winter

love always wins

listen to your heartbeat 

joy is our birthright 

right now

morning has come

🌞
Amy Lloyd (AL)


It could happen any time, tornado,

 earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

 Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake

 and look out — no guarantees

 in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,

 like right now, like noon,

 like evening. 
Yes!
-William Stafford

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

 

 – Albert Schweitzer

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 

i am learning 

i am learning to be brave

i am learning to speak my own language 

i am learning what i want to become

i am learning what kind of life i want to live

i am learning to stand in my place without flinching

i am learning to go my own way 

i am learning not to help people who don’t want help

i am learning to embrace my powerful spirit

i am learning how to build my own bridges 

complete with lions to guard against the foot-traffic

i am learning i have value to bring to those waiting to hear my voice

i am learning the intensity of my own burning passions

i am learning to keep digging in the murkiest of my own brokenness 

i am learning to accept my imperfections as beautiful 

i am learning to think in terms of unlimited possibilities 

i am learning i will not always be understood in the way I intended 

i am learning to apologize and then move freely forward 

i am learning

and learning 

and learning

new things

every minute

every day

i am a learning to be a part of the healing of the world 

because i am willing to learn to be me

💞

Amy Lloyd (AL)


inhale to receive exhale to give      

Earth our waitress

            comes to the table in her rumpled apron

            stained with a hundred juices.

            “What will it be this morning?” 
            “Let’s start with some mist

            in one of those green valleys,

            and a cup of black loam with

            a single tree frog.

            Then fallen apples over easy

            with extra worms,

            a side of scattered leaves

            in a caramelized sunbeam.” 
            “That comes with Summer’s last

            abandoned bird’s nest salad.

            Or soup of the day, fern bog

            with skunk cabbage and blue

            chanterelles.” 
            “I’ll take the soup,

            a half carafe of Autumn rain,

            and a cruller the shape

            of a groundhog’s hole.” 
            She remembers your order by heart.

            Old ones keep coming back to this place.

            They bring grandchildren.

            She knows what you love. 
            There’s a line to get in.

            Sometimes it seems

            we have to wait a year,

            but its worth it.

🍃

Alfred K LaMotte

Packed in my mind lie all the clothes
   

Which outward nature wears,

And in its fashion’s hourly change
    

It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad,
    

And can no difference find,

Till some new ray of peace uncalled
   

 Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
   

 And paints the heavens so gay,

But yonder fast-abiding light
    

With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,
  

  Upon a winter’s morn,

Where’er his silent beams intrude
    

The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known
    

The morning breeze would come,

Or humble flowers anticipate
    

The insect’s noonday hum,—
Till the new light with morning cheer
    

From far streamed through the aisles,

And nimbly told the forest trees
    

For many stretching miles?
I’ve heard within my inmost soul
    

Such cheerful morning news,

In the horizon of my mind
    

Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn,
    

When the first birds awake,

Are heard within some silent wood,
    

Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen,
    

Before the sun appears,

The harbingers of summer heats
    

Which from afar he bears.
🌞

The Inward Morning 

Henry David Thoreau

Every night before I go to sleep

I say out loud

Three things that I’m grateful for,

All the significant, insignificant

Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

It’s a small practice and humble,

And yet, I find I sleep better

Holding what lightens and softens my life

Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

Sunlight, and blueberries,

Good dogs and wool socks,

A fine rain,

A good friend,

Fresh basil and wild phlox,

My father’s good health,

My daughter’s new job,

The song that always makes me cry,

Always at the same part,

No matter how many times I hear it.

Decent coffee at the airport,

And your quiet breathing,

The stories you told me,

The frost patterns on the windows,

English horns and banjos,

Wood Thrush and June bugs,

The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,

An old coat,

A new poem,

My library card,

And that my car keeps running

Despite all the miles.

And after three things,

More often than not,

I get on a roll and I just keep on going,

I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,

Blankets pulled up to my chin,

Awash with wonder

At the sweetness of it all.
🤗

Three Gratitudes

BY CARRIE NEWCOMER
these two pictures are from Robin OK’s morning from Michigan. The rest are from my morning walk in Branford, CT with Phoebe Snow Good Times!


adding this below – just sent via text from my friend, Anni, currently in Scotland for her daughters wedding!! 

and from my friend, Bill…this day just keeps giving…


and from the lunch table


chances are something you give yourself. – The Universe (TUT)

It was a long time ago. 

I have almost forgotten my dream. 

But it was there then, 

In front of me, 

Bright like a sun- 

My dream. 

And then the wall rose, 

Rose slowly, 

Slowly, 

Between me and my dream. 

Rose until it touched the sky- 

The wall. 

Shadow. 

I am black. 

I lie down in the shadow. 

No longer the light of my dream before me, 

Above me. 

Only the thick wall. 

Only the shadow. 

My hands! 

My dark hands! 

Break through the wall! 

Find my dream! 

Help me to shatter this darkness, 

To smash this night, 

To break this shadow 

Into a thousand lights of sun, 

Into a thousand whirling dreams 

Of sun!

As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes

It’s a story as old as time itself

Girl meets boy

There they go

Falling in love
It’s an ending no tale wants to tell

Girl and boy

Drifting farther 

And farther apart
Now she lives in the house of broken dreams

pictures fade 

Time stands still

All the shadows standing in their places

Cracks appear

Clock feebly striking on through the gloom

As the tears fall down her face
It’s all just the way it all was then

Just the same as the day when life broke 

30 years ago

although lots of things have gathered

 into every available surface and corner

Dust falls down

Settling on fading glitter

Grime on glass 

Fogging up the window panes 

mold grows free 

covering years of freeform piles

She still smiles that painted smile

You can’t see the lonely spaces

when you meet her on the street

Life moves on and on without her

It’s illusion that you see
Because she lives in the house of broken dreams

pictures fade 

Time stands still

All the shadows standing in their places

Cracks appear

Clock strikes weakly at each hour

As the tears fall down her face
It’s the ending no reader wants to read

Girl and boy

Drifting farther 

And farther apart

until he leaves

and she fights 

to get something she can keep forever 

as she always dreamed it would be
Never letting go

Never moving on 

It’s the hardest part

Nobody wants to read this ending

This extreme dirty secret behind estate gates

stone lions eternally guarding 

heartbreak frozen in time

hoarding only she can stop

💨

Amy Lloyd (AL)

If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.

– Roopleen

“I have a firm belief in this now, not only in terms of my own experience, but in knowing the experiences of other people. When you follow your bliss, and by bliss I mean the deep sense of being in it, and doing what the push is out of your own existence—it may not be fun, but it’s your bliss and there’s bliss behind pain too.
“You follow that and doors will open where there were no doors before, where you would not have thought there’d be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anybody else.
“. . . And so I think the best thing I can say is to follow your bliss. If your bliss is just your fun and your excitement, you’re on the wrong track. I mean, you need instruction. Know where your bliss is. And that involves coming down to a deep place in yourself.”
Joseph Campbell, “The Hero’s Journey”


preserving by excusing  

The true inner self

must be drawn up

like a jewel from

the bottom of the sea,

rescued from confusion,

from indistinction,

from immersion

in the common,

the nondescript,

the trivial,

the sordid,

the evanescent.

-Thomas Merton

  Seed of Contemplation


words silently spoken

from the other room

words fitly 

uttered aloud

in due time

silent revelry 

of the heart

surrendered

to defeat

successful in distraction 

sidetracked by our addictions of choice

too brilliant to be truly seen

waiting to die

too damaged to brave transparency 

too convinced that ‘nothing can be done’ to brave self responsibility 

too comfortable to say no to that monster keeping us chained to the weakest parts of ourselves

the bullsh** of wasted lives

the emptiness of wasting time

the cruel decisions of men drowning 

the hopes of the weak trampled

the tragedy of the parental misguidance 

ingrained foundations 

the travesty of religion 

gone wrong

it happens so often

doctrine and old false belief systems

 becoming the 

masters of deceit filled lives

rather than the servant

of love

oh soul arise and fight 

break up the hallowed ground of the falsified truth

oh, my friend, take back your life

open the beautiful box 

of your most vulnerable, passionate essence

the pope will never take your case

your parents will never grant permission

but then again,

why would you want them too?

This is your life! 

Only you can stand for what is given you

take that buried coffin

out of the ground

plant a seed or two inside

No one else can do it for you

or take it away from you

just you

 you can never be too sensitive 

you already know the real truth

celebrate yourself

flaunt your true colors

they’re so very beautiful 

remember to remember

only love is real

💞

Amy Lloyd (AL)


Help Me
As they’re used psychologically, words like repression, denial, sublimation, and defense all refer to one form or another of the way human beings erect walls to hide behind, both from each other and from themselves. You repress the memory that is too painful to deal with, say. You deny your weight problem. You sublimate some of your sexual energy by channeling it into other forms of activity more socially acceptable. You conceal your sense of inadequacy behind a defensive bravado. And so on and so forth. The inner state you end up with is a castle-like affair of keep, inner wall, outer wall, and moat, which you erect originally to be a fortress to keep the enemy out, but which turns into a prison where you become the jailer and thus your own enemy. It is a wretched and lonely place. You can’t be what you want to be there or do what you want to do. People can’t see through all that masonry to who you truly are, and half the time you’re not sure you can see who you truly are yourself, you’ve been walled up so long.
Fortunately there are two words that offer a way out, and they’re simply these: “Help me.” It’s not always easy to say them-you have your pride after all, and you’re not sure there’s anybody you trust enough to say them to-but they’re always worth saying. To another human being-a friend, a stranger? To God? Maybe it comes to the same thing.
Help me. They open a door through the walls, that’s all. At least hope is possible again. At least you’re no longer alone.
~ Frederick Buechner 

originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words





the dr is in   

Living systems never really settle down. 
        – John Holland

                We were only to sleep for a short while. 

Words stuck in thick layers , they are there and then they are gone …and the fire burns day and night…like some drift wood set a blaze on a lonely hill. 

Not many know the fire…not many know the Way…

but that fire keeps setting the sun to blaze; Spirit beats within the body and pages are blank…

 It is everything, and it is nothing.

  Spirit empties one to naked longing, then traps the soul in a loving embrace. 

Vowed to live it’s days on earth, as it is in heaven…

Soul , human body with mystery and mayhem…

With preoccupation with the Holy; with adoration won…with words that ache to be heard but have no expression in this realm…

Veil once torn…eye filled with Light…

Worlds riding within worlds…glances, witness, wonders. 

The madness that comes, when you know God,

Come back on a black horse, for the fire will chase all the others away.

Ride like the wind, knowing nothing at all….and living the Fire.

Beauty,

Donna Knutson

Above the ground after a brief silence

they resume their war

before they are even out of the graveyard,

climbing over each other

trying to save their own lives,

clawing at some unseen soil above them,
while beneath he rests in peace,

where, after all, we each long to be,

borne to our resting ground, 

cherished and at peace,

soon and very soon.
Could I slip beneath the grass

of my battlefields and travel there?

Can I find a way to live 

without that combat,

rest without that death,

to grant to the wicked

the eternal peace of the living?
God, bury me

beneath the feet of my anxieties.

Let them go on without me, arguing. 

Let me be a ghost of grace,

untroubled, unbound,

interred in love. 

         

__________________ 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net

Fidelity by Regina Spektor

all day long

the music inside me

walks me through

every day the song-lists play 

weaving themselves into the world

around my going

just yesterday

you created new symphonic occurrences 

to be forever included 

in my smile

my senses refined by the touch of you

the wind gently touching my face

with delicate fingers

my sweat soaked body 

reminds me of that deep burning fire

life plays on and on

with me for this very moment

right here 

right now

part of the harmony

a single black, dotted note

creating my little piece

of the grand composition 

the masterpiece would be completely different 

without me

without you

🎶

Amy Lloyd (AL)


One of the greatest mistakes we make in this life, I think, is losing hope when we don’t get what we want RIGHT AWAY. It takes time to do anything that matters—to change, to learn to love, to build a business or grow a child or grow into ourselves.

Sadly, too many of us (myself included) lose heart when we don’t see results RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

And when we lose hope, we lose everything.

Hope is not this fluffy thing we sometimes think it is. Hope is dangerous. It’s radical. When we hope, we take a tremendous risk, waiting and waking our hearts to something that we know full well may never come to fruition. There are no guarantees in this life. We do not have 100% control.

Hope hurts. If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t hope.

And yet I am learning what it means to take LONG view. As I look back over the past 33 years of my life, I realize most of the things I have hoped for have taken DECADES to grow into themselves. It takes a LONG, LONG TIME for things to make sense.

Hope trusts the process—that even if we don’t get the thing we want right away, the story is not over. It’s not completely written.

Hope is steadfast and unwavering. It keeps going and gong and going.

Whatever you’re waiting for, hoping for, wishing for, don’t give up. Keep hoping. Most things don’t make sense until later. Hope is your lifeline. It is your only way home.

🏡
Allison Fallon



today’s weather 


Todays weather calls for

Sunny outlook

with occasional clouds floating through

a few showers always possible

through out the day

daisies sure to peek out of the green grass

just to smile for me

wine and laughter at sunset

moon tonight 

full of you

with a sweet dream or two 

and more than a few songs

sure to drift through me

continuing on 

into my sleeping hours

Waking to a great new day of promise ‪tomorrow‬ 

🔁

Amy Lloyd (AL)

exposé   


It’s happened 

time and time again…

yet this time more so 

than anything, 

capital…ANYTHING…

ever before. 

don’t you think it’s strange,

how a shared pancake can be life changing?

it was the opposite of the final straw. 

it was the catalyst for the rising curtain of the beginning,

starting a chain reaction of Biblical proportion,

a new free-fall dive 

into the inner deep,

silence tearing up the very foundations 

of the ocean floor,   

of this life lived on the dangerous edges

of the radical cliffs of self-examination. 

Seven days of seismic eruption 

creating volcanic activity so great 

that dreams, 

long gestating in the souls womb,

burst forth – 

born, 

ready to scream in their own voice, 

into this wonderful world. 

as if no longer able to remain

hidden inside their clay container. 

Seven days so extraordinary 

they have changed my world

as I have always known it. 

uncovering the naked bones of my foundation,

exposing the shadowy villains of my learned weaknesses,

giving me new strength to heal those newly uncovered, 

rotted, shattered places.

in this place of my own choosing

I walk, choosing to be soft, 

in spite of the gripping fear. 

I choose vulnerability as my guide forward, 

into the fury of places I have long avoided. 

somehow, all of this,

including not knowing much of things 

I dearly wish I knew,

brings me hope for the brilliant future 

of this long-awaited life,

no longer holding back

but fully, wholly, inhabited,

at this current phase of growth,

as it should be

when we fall completely,

head over heels,

in love. 

🔥

Amy Lloyd (AL)



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