The Thaw

frozen-spider-web

 

The Thaw

 

Lifelines, once malleable networks of grace
Have become static tendrils stretched
In a circuitous highway to nowhere
No more kicks on route 66.

Lifelines freeze up without
Time, solitude and silence
To stoke the fire of grace
Waiting to thaw
The once intimate connections
Gone rigid with neglect.

Do you hear their call?

 

© Rita H Kowats 12-19-16

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

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.”

Slouching Toward Bethlehem?

yeats-double-gyre-on-desert

 

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?

January 1919

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

 

ENOUGH!

soul card for combat fatigue

I.

 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.

 

      framed fire in the belly soulcard 

II.

Some demons
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

Hope.

© rita h kowats 10-20-16

 

Photo Credit:   

“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

 

   

Truth Power

morning-sun-in-mist

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&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Impossible Dream is Possible

windmills-in-la-mancha

 

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
[1]To be better far than you are[1]
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
[2]To be willing to give when there’s no more to give[2]
[3]To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live[3]
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.

My Front Yard

 

images_kindlephoto-11504516

 

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 the Space industry, where few people can afford the rent much less a mortgage. Come to Seattle where downtown has become a parade of Effie Trinkets pulled by the strings by a capitalism gone 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.

Let Go of Letting Go

marionette woman

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.
yank
“You should let go of your desire to save the world.”
pull
“You should let go of your frenetic pace.”
yank

No.  
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

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37996586683@N01/3791531918“>Wendy shadow puppet</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/“>(license)</a>

 
 

 

Making a Case for LEISURE

Leisure the word

Now that I am retired…

I have leisure to paint my nails to complement my cat’s fur as I pet him.  leisure nail paint on sherlock

I have leisure to solve jigsaw puzzles while contemplating the BBC Newshour.

leisure jigsaw puzzle

I have the leisure to read The Danish Girl  simultaneously flipping in and out of Saint Google to learn more about the real lives of these extraordinary women.

I have the leisure to stroll alongside Puget Sound shooting thought-provoking photos.

Leading to Nowhere for leisure post

 

I have the leisure to write for uninterrupted hours dipping into soul depth only to emerge in the welcome reality of holy mundanity.

I have the leisure to listen to the spaces between words instead of riding on their persistent melody.

I have the leisure to listen to the subtle whispers of Spirit missed while caught in the throes of THE BRAND.

I make a case for leisure.  I make a case for luxuriating in the leisure of 70.  It is not given to me to pretend that it is the new 60.  At last I can breathe. So I will.