When I was 3 years old, I stopped a murder. I literally placed my body between two people who were killing each other: my parents. I remember it vividly; someone would have died that night had I cowered in my room. The most common mistake people make when they see me going on about love and themes of compassion and joy is that my ideas come from an idealistic, unchallenged place of fluff and fairies where no actual strife exists. But I grew up in violence with distress spewing from all directions – parents, grandparents, aunts uncles cousins – bipolar, personality disorder, alcoholic madness confounded by cancers that made frequent guest appearances.
In March 1968, at the peak of dark insanity and bright potential in the Civil Rights movement and the war in Vietnam, I chose to be born in Memphis, TN to two people who had no business being married to each other. My mother used to tell me the story of how the nurse working to help her recover from the cesarean ran screaming from the house when she heard Martin Luther King had just been shot a few miles away. She ran screaming into the street, believing the world was coming to an end – it was. We had a freak snowfall that spring, and a few months later Bobby Kennedy was also killed.
I arrived in a world of extremes and violence and leading edge growth on both macro and microcosmic scales.
When my parents divorced, I was 4 and relieved to experience a house without fighting. That peace was short-lived, though because my grandparents were melting down, too. At 5 years old, it was Gran and Grandaddy I had to stand between, blood on his face, weapon in her hand. After that, it was my mother and grandmother – verbal brutalities escalated over decades of low self-esteem and anger. I was an only child and sole grandchild inside a system of rage and mixed messages. Through all of their storms, I was the eye in the middle. When someone’s sobbing echoed through the house at 2am, I was the one who stood and soothed.
I can keep layering details (there’s so much more), but you get the picture. These things are all past, not because I’ve forgotten but because I no longer identify with that story. I moved to the desert, I gazed at the big horizon, I endured the sweat lodge, worked 30 different jobs, lived in 5 countries, practiced Qi Gong, read and studied, became a Reiki master, burned through ink and keyboards, wrote thousands of pages and taught fearlessly all I know and keep learning more. And I let the injuries go. All of them. When I say things like “love is more powerful than hate, more resilient than fear” I know what I’m talking about. It’s not a hallmark card; it’s a gritty truth. Love is stamina. Love is relief. Love is potency. Love is vibrancy. Love is courage, underscored and elevated.
Love is sanity.
Raising a daughter now, I’m most grateful to have the perspective I’ve earned. Our home is a conflict-free haven – not because we lack difficulties or frustrations, and not because we’re freakishly perfect (ha! so very not), but because love is the assumed priority here and 99% of the time we let love make the call. When we slip, we catch ourselves quickly and return without hesitation.
When you look at the world and see things you don’t like or behaviors you disapprove of or fear, you’re really on to something. How you respond is key. You can point a finger in disgust, or you can inspire by example. You can add violence to the storm, or you can become the eye.
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
You can shame people into hearing your message OR you can empower them to see things in new light, to see their options with a more soulfully-enriching perspective. One approach reinforces separation; the other encourages community. One perpetuates distress, intolerance and judgment; the other fosters creative action and compassion.
One mindset feels riveting-yet-raunchy as it courses through you; the other feels nourishing and uplifting – you know the difference.
“Becoming the eye” doesn’t mean submitting to a life martyrdom or codependency. It means filling up with light and allowing that light to radiate from and carry you. Light is never passive. It’s the real deal: how you think impacts the world; the light of your perspective is your first ripple in the stream. Love one another. Solutions depend on it.
Cynicism stems from a feeling of disempowerment, yet all people are innately powerful in a way that cannot be diminished by even the most extreme brutality. Love is how you turn the key to access that power and move forward.
In high school, I marched in peace rallies, protested “white trains” with my math teacher, became an autodidactic expert on the conflict in the Middle East, wrote my congressmen and had pen pals in the war zone. It’s only in retrospect that I can see it as a metaphor for what was happening at home.
The world at first appears to be much too big for one person to impact, but the world is in you, not separate and out there. Loving and forgiving and transcending what is immediately active in your daily life is the essential step toward enlightening all the rest.
“I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me.” -U2 (my campaign slogan in 1985)
Love is an all or nothing deal.
If you don’t love them, you can’t love yourself. If you haven’t learned to love yourself, you can’t handle them. Love YOU first, just as you are. Love every seed of possibility, know who you aim to be, then walk your talk, lovingly. Love the oppressor and the darkness, too, for they are the players who need it most, emerging from the mulch of great awakening.
“Strangely intimate. Strangely nuclear and cosmic at the same time – time that you point out is circular in the prologue, ‘We are not wired to process.’ Strangely euphoric in the way it hits secret passworded buttons that open niches, cracks and gates to hidden gardens in the mind that unveil insights. Beautiful.” ~P. Shukla
“This book is a masterpiece! It should be made into a movie! It has the fire, it has the spark we all crave. I do not read many novels any more, but this… this book pulls you inside and you can’t put it down… You will want to BE the main character. The books starts in a poetic way and it only gets better. One may think it’s fantasy, but if you are working in certain field, you know that what for one may be impossible- for another is a possibility and a reality.” ~Amazon Reviewer
“…a fantastical trip through the possiBilitiEs,,, smashing illusions, holding space for us to realize the expansiveness of our souls place in this human experience… what a gift she offers us, right here and NOW.!!! I love Amie Martine and so will you…” ~N. Halberstadt
“This novel is so beautiful! I certainly hope the author shares much more of her work with us all. Wonderful writing. It is luminous!” ~M. Schaller
“Every few pages, there’s a line that cracks me wide open. Or an experience that is exactly as I experience things. Or a way of describing something that fits precisely something I’ve been trying to understand, or at least hoping I’m not the only one who sees it that way.” ~M. Chai
“It’s like you are writing me as Amie… The being of the person. It’s incredible how you write similar to my experiences… I love it!” ~T. Wry
The LOOK of Amie Martine by Laurie Perez | ISBN 1523664339
The Amie series: novels for lightworkers, filmmakers, saboteurs, vodka drinkers, poets, myth lovers, Phoenicians, paradigm shifters, travelers, creatives, people who are stuck, people who are rising, introverts, extroverts, women, men, human beings – (yes, you!).
A new bedtime tradition is taking over — it involves me improvising tales of Princess BooBoo who lives in a Bandaid box and has the most varied, spontaneous adventures. My 5-yr-old daughter, Sachi gets so tickled as I make the stories up, she demands more and wants a new one every night. Nothing written – this is strictly an oral tradition. What I love is the momentum of the story being summoned through me by her eagerness to receive it.
This is why writers need readers!
The very first reader of a book is the author herself – on behalf of the many, she opens into that state of eager innocence and from there the story begins its telling. Of all the gifts Princess BooBoo has been delivering, this pure delight in creative process is the gem for me.
A short list of things I’ve outgrown the need for evidence to support:
Proof is in the pulsing of my heart.
This is not a foolish statement.
Your love for me is inside my love for you. Needing proof of it is like needing proof that I myself exist. If someday it turns out I don’t (by some unimaginable standard) actually exist, then and only then can you speak to me of the need to rationalize Love.
Read my new novel, released like a valentine this month… The LOOK unravels life, love and the mysterious, precarious, perilous truths funding our existence: It’s here!
From “Circus Among Us” by Jordan Matter
I’m constantly inspired to loosen my mind, rev up stamina and try harder to push the creative envelope every time I see this man’s photos. Nimble perspectives + books! Just had to share. -L
The storyteller picks a place to begin and a place to end, but, unlike a plot, story is alive before the beginning and after the end. In our days, we live plotless stories – inherently interesting, because we’re alive.
From Letters at 3AM by Michael Ventura
Good poetry depends on “integrity of the line” – a concept that suggests you should be able to pluck any individual line from a poem and it will stand on its own, with its own integrity.
Living “in the moment” is like this.
We craft a lifetime one breath at a time – out of billions of moments leading one into another, we become who we are here to be. The quality of the whole story depends on the integrity with which you imbue each moment.
Naturally, from the perspective of just one line, it’s impossible to experience the art and presence of the whole poem. The same way you can’t SEE a photograph by staring at a single pixel, you cannot read an entire poem in a single line. Which is the liberating beauty of living in the moment: there’s no room for conclusion or judgment here because you can’t see what it’s all adding up to from inside the NOW.
The big picture depends on what you express in this line – this pixel – this heartbeat in time – and the very best you can do is tend to what is right in front of you, trusting in the way your moment-to-moment presence manifests a meaningful body of work, the totality of which you may never actually know.
The clearest gift you can give yourself is to have NO Conclusions about anything, for everything is forever in-progress and Now is blind to the sum of what’s becoming.
- Now is the point of power.
- Now is the gift to enjoy.
- Now is the wellspring of all.
- Now is the time to appreciate.
- Now is the time to choose
- to be free.
PS: There’s another important element in any successful poem: the SPACE between the lines. The space in which nothing at all has been written, but through which all substance materializes. A joyful life story revolves around a calm, central core of possibility – the sweet, eternal emptiness inside the fullness of who you are.
To call it writing is flat out wrong.
Expressing this thought to you in neatly typed words: this is writing.
Bringing a novel to light – revealing the form and cadence, shadows and demeanor of a protagonist constructed from thin air – linking scenes and synchronicity across translucent time – holding up a glass brimming with chilled, never-tasted liquid, then sipping from it with intoxicated focus – allowing lovers to make a perilous mess of things, fall apart and nakedly come back together again – looking through conjured windows deep into someone else’s snow-bound solitude, feeling utterly alone yet being all-connected: this is not writing. It’s world-creating.
It’s raw, exposed dreaming. It’s humbling. At first too personal and intimate to share, it evolves like a child into a life of its own until I have no say in what comes next.
It’s what I wake at 4am to say Yes to, the spinning possibility of a new story relentlessly commanding me to write it down so it can whirl in your experience.
Wake up in the predawn dark, allergies in bloom. Sneezing, nose running, crazy need to pee — first thing I do when I get out of bed is:
type! Because I woke with a whole conversation in my head and I’ve got to get it down before time’s up. Before my little girl and the sunrise traffic, overflowing bladder, cascading sinuses and lifelong enslavement to hot cups of coffee – before all of these and more converge on my focus to steal the words out from under me (for surely I am riding them like a magic carpet over concrete reality into the wilds of pure discovery – and I must not fall before we get there).
In the beginning of this process, I needed an alarm clock and a mental crane to lift me from the pillow. Now the characters wake me up routinely, unapologetically, with less mercy and more love.
Every time, I’m glad to be of service. I can’t wait to read this book!