The Remnant

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שְׁאָר‎‎

Isaiah 11:16
There will be a highway leading out of Assyria for the remnant of the people that is left, just as there was for Israel when it came up out of Egypt.

 

For Jen who summoned us with her “Up”

Hunkered down in this frigid forest of defeat
We cling to the last vestigages
Of light and warmth trying to remember
Who we once were.

What with the wailing and gnashing of teeth
(Not to mention the rending of garments)
We have forgotten the power of the Left Behind-
The holy remnant who diffuses the Light.

“Up with you!” comes the call.
Retrieving the pieces of our cast off garments
We rise. We begin.

© rita h kowats 12-8-2016

Check out Jen’s blog where you can feast on a treasue trove of thought beautifully crafted:

https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com

Waiting for a Green Blade

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It is 25 degrees F. in Seattle this morning.  The sheets of rain have given way to brilliant sunshine. I let loose a hopeful sigh that soon our spirits may shake off despair and emerge whole and enlightened.

 Messenger of Sight

I would send a raven to your window with a green blade
to show you the flood that blinded
is gone down and my eyes can see
the torn sinews of the impoverished
earth gasp in this white, winter light.

John O’Donohue in Echoes of Memory

Old People like Old Barns

rebeccas-barn

 

This poem emerges from a recent conversation with my dear friend Linda in which we commiserated and celebrated our entrance into the stage of The Velveteen Rabbit, scars and bald spots our glorious trophies. Especially the inside ones. Enjoy.

 

Old people like old barns
Lure light through weathered
Planks in sagging frames.
It spills in speckled streaks
Onto the foundations of their souls
Where young visitors can sprawl
And play at life.

© Rita h kowats 12-2-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Rebecca Staebler http://www.hubbubshop.com

Listening As Spiritual Hospitality: A Gift from Henri Nouwen

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This little piece from Henri Nouwen has  much power and offers us a way to break away from the grip of the recent campaign and election.

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

Henri Nouwen

http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/listening-spiritual-hospitality/

Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock Portrait 3-22-16

My boy is huuuuge and as sweet as can be.  This morning he taught me for the hundredth time to be brave and patient and take myself less seriously.

 

Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock sits somnolently in the spotlight
Of brilliant morning sun-
Until an orange fur fluff catches his eye
And he leaps head over heals to bring it down.
Such a vigilant sleuth, in sooth.

When last did I leap head over heels?
I will wait for a spiritbeam to burst
Through this hungry chink in my soul
Then spring into action like a gangly tween
Desperately tumbling toward her one true BFF.
Such a rollercoaster, this thing we call the Spiritual Path.

© Rita h kowats November 25, 2016

The Space of Potential Presence

one-in-gods-eye

“The eye with which God sees me is the same eye with which I see God.
God’s eye and my eye are one eye.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.”

Meister Eckhart

If you are one who grieves the election of Donald Trump you may want to assess where you are in that process before you read this post; grief has no set linear plan for the stages it lives.  If “RAW” describes where you are you may want to read this at a later time.

There is a space of potential presence where we can reside in peace with another even if we cannot be with them in any other place:  in God’s eye.  I am preparing my soul for the moment when I can share that space with Donald Trump.  Who knows what can happen?  Here is a spiritual practice which is slowly working its way into my being. Maybe it will be a help to you as well:

                                Potential Presence Mantra

 

The eye with which God sees me is the same eye with which I see God.
The eye with which God sees Donald Trump is the same eye with which Donald Trump sees God.

My eye and Donald Trump’s eye are one.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.
One in humanity, growing into divinity.

May it be so.  Amen.

 

In her article, “The Divine Dynamism:  Being and Becoming,” ( in A Matter of Spirit,Winter 2014, available at http://www.ipjc.org/journal/index.htm) Gail Worcelo, SGM, says, “As we begin to meet each other beyond the boundaries of the separate sense of self, a new, enlightened space opens up between us, bringing with it the capacity for deeper relationality and depth.”

Post Election Grief

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In solidarity with those who grieve the American election results:

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.

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Día de Muertos-Day of the Dead

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I dedicate this post to a friend whose death is close.  He has chosen to die at this time rather than wait. Being kept alive by extraordinary means at an advanced age seems counterproductive to him when he could be dancing with the dead!  

Enjoy this extraordinary film of the life cycle of nature in Alaska, remembering that we are nature. Today is a day to celebrate the cycle.

 

 

Spirituality and Genius

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Albert Einstein

Far be it from me to debunk the left brain.  This artist has struggled too long and too hard to integrate the gift of the left brain to do that. However-news flash western world- it is not our only reality! This op-ed from the Washington Post confirms my own experience and some of the whisperings that have leaked out over the years.

Five Myths about Genius
By Eric Weiner October 21

Eric Weiner is the author, most recently, of “The Geography of Genius: Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Places.”
Einstein’s genius rested not with amassed knowledge but, rather, with his ability to make leaps of understanding that others couldn’t. Einstein wasn’t a know-it-all. He was a see-it-all.

Genius clusters. Certain places, at certain times, produce a mother lode of brilliant minds and good ideas.

As Plato said, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” Geniuses are less like shooting stars and more like flowers, a natural outcome of a creative ecology.

Over the past 70 years, the scientific community has published exponentially more research papers, “yet the rate at which truly creative work emerges has remained relatively constant,” historian J. Rogers Hollingsworth writes in the journal Nature. We are producing a greater number of competent scientists, talented ones even, but not necessarily more geniuses.

We are also producing an unprecedented amount of data, but that is not to be confused with creative genius. After all, if genius were simply a function of the amount of data at your fingertips, then every smartphone owner would be another Einstein.

You can find the whole article here Five Myths about Genius

Photo credit: http://www.biography.com