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
“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.”
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.”
So. As the U.S. presidential election draws to a close, are we “slouching toward Bethlehem” or are we slouching toward Armageddon? Regardless of our hope or fear, this pair of poems by William Butler Yeats offers us a rich reflection. They were Crittenden the world was at war and tensions between Ireland and England were at the boiling point.
The Second Coming
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Remorse For Intemperate Speech
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I ranted to the knave and fool,
But outgrew that school,
Would transform the part,
Fit audience found, but cannot rule
My fanatic heart.
I sought my betters: though in each
Fine manners, liberal speech,
Turn hatred into sport,
Nothing said or done can reach
My fanatic heart.
Out of Ireland have we come.
Great hatred, little room,
Maimed us at the start.
I carry from my mother’s womb
A fanatic heart.
28th August 1931
I push against
The wild errant energy
Of this malicious aura
That holds me in its spell,
Lilliputian hands alone impotent
To break through the lure
Of its siren song.
Can only be cast out
By prayer and fasting
And Fire in the Belly.
I reach into the center of power
And snatch up a fireball,
Heaving it into the surrounding sludge
Separating atom from atom
Until fire has reconstituted
The errant energy
Into radiant redeemed
© rita h kowats 10-20-16
“SoulCards” by Deborah Koff-Chapin. The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.” The cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools. They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with. www.soulcards.com
Used with permission from the artist
I Ching Oct. 17,2016
“What has been weak is ascending…
goodness in human nature is like the dim but beautiful early morning light.”
On Thursday, October 13, 2016, Michelle Obama responded to the allocations of sexual harassment made against Donald Trump. The effect of her words still reverberate today because Mother Michelle lifted up her stong, tall frame and swayed across deep desert recesses picking up the abandoned pieces of our dark experiences as she went. She called them by name and redeemed them with the power of her truth and love.
Here is a taste of her power:
It has shaken me to the core in a way I couldn’t have predicted.
I feel it so personally.
It is cruel. It is frightening. And the truth is it hurts.
We as women
We as Americans
We as decent human beings
Can come together to stand up and say,
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
A Spiritual Practice for Developing Satyagraha, Truth Power
(For Gandhi satyagraha was more than a movement of nonviolent resistance. The word comes from Hindi to Sanskrit. sat= being satya= truth graha= fervor or power.)
In my deepest being, my Self, I am strong.
Breathing in I rest in being.
Breathing out I release fear
Breathing in I am true
Breathing out I release deception
Breathing in I am powerful
Breathing out I release doubt
Breathing in I am peace
Breathing out I send peace.
May it be so.
photo credit: Patrick_Down <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97206958@N00/22811267325″>Morning mist (312/365)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
I have to believe that we have it in our power to diffuse this miasma of hate and despair that holds the American electorate in its grip. We must protect our souls from its onslaught in these final days of the campaign and in the aftermath. Pray protection prayers. Surround ourselves with images and actions that exude positive energy. Avoid media binges.
One Positive image
The Impossible Dream
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To write the unrightable wrong
To be better far than you are
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To be willing to give when there’s no more to give
To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
Songwriters: Joe Darion / Mitchell Leigh
The Impossible Dream lyrics © Helena Music Company
Enjoy this youtube delight.
Yesterday I watched a man make his home at the bench along the Interurban trailhead across from my apartment. First he emptied his black plastic bag onto the grass and draped his clothes over the railing to release three days of rain. Then he sat on the bench and basked in the welcome sun. Thirty minutes later he moved on to another home.
Last week I watched a man pace furiously up and down the same trail while shouting and articulating to an unseen listener….Unseen to me.
I live in a large, thriving suburb north of Seattle Washington. News coverage of our area focuses on the boom in technology and the influx of workers it brings, along with the construction needed to house them. Come to Seattle, the heart of Amazon, where few people can afford the rent much less a mortgage. Come to Seattle where downtown has become a parade of Effie Trinket puppets, strings pulled by capitalism run amuck.
So what do I do about the daily drama unfolding in my front yard? Eyes wide open. Don’t t turn away. Be compassionate. Be an advocate. Above all, live simply so that these “others” can not simply live, but thrive. That’s what it means to tend to the common good.
Letting Go of Letting Go
My puppets’ strings lie limp
Against their hardened bodies
Which hang on walls
In the foyers of their souls…
Until I barge in
To yank and pull and prod:
“You should let go of that passion- too sensitive.
“You should let go of your desire to save the world.”
“You should let go of your frenetic pace.”
Detach the strings.
Welcome zealots and compassionate warriors
Into sacred space where they are free
To live from this moment
Into another moment.
Let go of your need to let go.
Live. No strings attached.
© rita h kowats 6-9-16