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 email@example.com
Rita kowats, MA Theology firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Matter matters as much as spirit, contrary to some thought in early Christianity. Matter was considered by some to be evil, while spirit was good. Contemporary Christian theology urges us to recognize and celebrate the reality that everything that exists is interrelated. What I do in my relationship with creation affects your ability to be nourished by and enjoy your environment. My friend Polly grew up in Eastern Washington in the farming town of Colton. She has lived most of her life somewhere east of the Cascades mountain range. Today the magnitude and urgency of fires that rage there came home to her. I share her letter as an invitation to all of us to take creation-centered spirituality seriously.
This morning I heard that Tonasket was evacuated because of fire danger–the whole town of Tonasket–a town where I spent a week while I taught vacation summer school in Oroville, living in the convent of the Dominican hospital in Tonasket. This town is evacuated because of the wildfires in the Okanogan. These places are not just names on a map, They are places I know. A Colville tribes person asked for prayers saying their reservation is burning. Also, the whole Spokane Indian Reservation is under a warning to be ready to move because of fire danger. This is getting closer to home and to the homes of people I know.
Meanwhile our air is smokey, our sun gives an eerie orangish glow, I go to my car and find particles of ash on my windshield. And since I’ve started writing this even the valley below my ridge has filled in with smoke.
But the coal trains keep on rumbling by with their multiple cars shipping coal to the west and likely into Canada on its way to China. And the black tanker cars carry their highly volatile oil to the west coast to refineries where it will become gasoline and other dangerous global warming producing products.
The drought and fires wouldn’t have to be. We in our state wouldn’t have to have had the hottest July on record since 1890 when records first started being kept, and our whole planet wouldn’t have to have had the hottest July on record. But we keep on drilling for oil and natural gas and keep on burning coal. I sob with heart-break for all this destruction that wouldn’t have to be.
Photo Credit: http://q13fox.com/2014/07/17/heart-wrenching-photos-fires-burn-houses-memories-in-twisp/
Lest you be led astray, this poem is not about “Hot August Nights” or “The Fire Down Below.” My apologies. Regrets also to millennials onward for antiquated references. What can I say. I’m antiquated.
I settled down in bed for the duration
Of the hot sticky summer night.
The long-haired Ragdoll cat
Whom I usually love
Took this as a cue to melt
Into my body, becoming one with my hot, bare skin.
My discomfort awakened the skin-close emotion
That had surprised me earlier
And I rolled away to a more comfortable place
Now I remember yesterday,
When the telling of the story transported me
To the raw experience of utter aloneness
Where the skin of the emotion touched the skin of my soul
Awakening memories embedded in healed scar tissue.
At last the re-living wears itself out
And I leave the story behind,
Grateful for a faithful soul-sister
Who vigiled with me in the hot sticky
Dark night of my soul.
c. rita h kowats
August 14, 2015
This morning I saw autumn
Catch a ride on a cool moist current
Arriving just in time to rescue the harvest.
Humans need self-saving
When doubt and fear
Beat us down.
We seek spirit-currents
To bring friends
Who call us by our true names
And throw out the challenge:
Harrow your Harvest.
© rita h kowats August 2015