Feast on this offering from John O’Donohue. Happy New Year!
A Blessing For The New Year
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
“A New Year Blessing”
Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)
You may enjoy Krista Tippett’s interview with John O’Donohue months before he died January 2008:
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42741557@N05/16871458598″>Dawn</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
The Washington Post accompanied by a cup of Joe these days can cast an aura of noxious negativity that permeates one’s day; spiritual work must balance this practice of staying informed. I put my Post aside and settle in for meditation. The sun escapes a thick bank of clouds momentarily blinding me. I close my eyes and follow my breath. It draws me into an extraordinary lucid dream.
The brilliant orange orb pulsates behind my eyelids, approaching and withdrawing, approaching and withdrawing, morphing into a red crab whose legs gyrate aimlessly in elusive air, while iridescent green claws pull it forward by stabbing furtively into earth. Exit stage right.
Enter: an eye moving slowly across the horizon of my inner eye. It is shut tightly and encircled by a wreath of rich long lashes. The eye moves in closer as if pulled by an invisible but powerful magnet. Enlarging as it moves, it opens and closes in some predetermined rhythm until the horizon swallows it and spits it out as a bright white light.
From this light two inchoate inhabitants, a naked woman and man, tumble out and spin rapidly downward leaving a trail of brilliant sparks in their path.
A new aura of peace replaces the noxious aura of negativity.
“I will build a great wall- and nobody builds walls better than me-“
On and on the vitriol violates
Ensnaring the unsuspecting
In a net of noxious fumes.
To the womb of Light
Until Sight returns me
To my Self,
Light from Light.
© rita h kowats December 23, 2015
Photo Credit: Rita H Kowats; aurora borealis from:
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48503330@N08/8751278074″>Moon and Aurora</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
One never knows where inspiration will pay a welcome visit. This picture graced my newsfeed this morning (no credit given the photographer, apologies). I wondered if human beings, like mountain goats, are spiritually coded to stand on the ledges of spirit. Must we, if we expect to grow?
I published this poem one year ago as a way to deal with my sorrow and fear over our increasingly hate-filled world. With a fresh onslaught of hatred being spewed out on innocent Moslem American citizens after the attack in San Bernardino I place my hope on paying attention. May we all slow down and listen to what is being said and felt in the spaces between the words. May we give voice to trust and love as we oppose injustice.
I have honored the place of synchronicity in my life for a very long time. Five years ago my explanation of Carl Jung’s theory was met with incomprehension, so I gave my companion the example of Jung’s scarab beetle on the window sill. The beetle made a ruckus just as Jung’s client related her dream about a scarab bracelet. Jung brought the beetle to her and said, “Here is your beetle.” When I finished the story my companion reached into her bag and pulled out a photo of a beetle which she had taken the day before. “And here is your beetle,” she said.
Now, I thought this experience was a bit astounding…until Halloween week, the time of the Thin Veil. It was the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 28 when my bus took me past Washelli Cemetery, as it always does. Thirty minutes after I settled back into my apartment the phone rang. A telemarketer for Washelli Cemetery. My cremation is already paid for, thank you very much. I barely had time to recover and the phone rang again. A telemarketer from a different cemetery. Before this I had never received such calls.
Yesterday I learned that if my friend dies before I do, some inheritance will come to me. This person enjoys good health at this time, but I am momentarily unsettled and wary.
Coincidence? That would be a valid interpretation. I imagine that such phone solicitation is stepped up Halloween week (imagine having that job). But these synchronous events say something different to me. They say, “Pay attention.” That’s all. Let go of the panic to figure it all out and control it. Watch and wait. I begin my day with this prayer:
Divine Spirit moving through the universe,
I open myself to the possible connections you put before me today. I will pay attention and facilitate the connections as I am able. May it be so. Amen.
And the hits just keep on coming. You may enjoy this recent award-winning film, “What Is Synchronicity?”:
Down-and-Out in Downtown
I wait twenty minutes for the bus
To wisk me into a miasmic state
Of cowardly amnesia far away
From the man sleeping In the doorway
Of the Courtyard Marriott
Where I could get a room
And a swim for $249- if I wanted,
© rita h kowats 2015
Story Recording: “The Miser’s Slippers” by Shoshannah Brombacher
Shoshannah Brombacher’s story, “The Miser’s Slippers,” helps me to deal with my experience while waiting for the bus. In her story Shoshannah stresses that the man is a miser. That he is rich seems secondary. When we live miserly lives of attachment to material goods, we don’t see the poor. As human beings, our call is to cultivate a practice of spiritual poverty, by holding our possessions and our status like feathers in our hand. This practice, over time, removes the scales over our eyes and allows us to understand and empathize, and ultimately share. I call myself and the world community to this spiritual practice of being poor.
Do you live in the Seattle area, USA? Do you know someone who does? Come to the next gathering of the worship community at Welcoming Waters, October 18, and pass the word. We are growing in number and our intention is clear: healing and spiritual nourishment in a loving and inclusive environment.
Welcoming Waters is a gathering of people who seek to hear the message the spirit is speaking through one another. Many of us were asked to leave religious institutions because we revealed our authentic selves. Some of us told our worshiping community that we were members of the GLBT community, others of us expressed our doubts, and some of us expressed an understanding of faith that was outside the borders of the church we were attending. When we were all ushered to the door, formally, or subtlety of those communities, we found that the Spirit of love, the Spirit of God, the insights of our faiths did not stop working in our lives or teaching us profound truths. We simply lost a place to talk about them.
We are so blessed to be able to gather at the beautiful Lake Ballinger Community Center five miles north of Seattle on the third Sunday of the month at 10:30 and like the great blue heron who finds herself on the shores of Lake Ballinger, we wait and wade in the waters of the Spirit together.
If you sense the spirit has something to say but you have not found a safe place to express those words, or if you are seeking a faith gathering that will accept all of you, we invite you to come to our gathering.
We will gather again on October 18 at Lake Ballinger Community Center 1030am.
All are welcome.
If you would like to talk to someone before attending please email
Pastor Linda Roddis firstname.lastname@example.org
Rita kowats, MA Theology email@example.com
Mountlake Community Center
23000 Lakeview Drive
Mountlake Terrace WA 98043
: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40883175@N06/19803298938“>Surfer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/“>(license)</a>
On my walk along the lake I spotted a maple leaf, dried to death by the intense summer heat, stunning in its aridity. Unable to ignore its call, I snatched it up and carried it home to await the muse.