Love In Absentia

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For ten years
I stepped and misstepped
In and out of the
Craters of your absence,
Tangled in the tidewrack of
Your memory.

You married
Someone else and
The tidewrack tangled
Around wounds not yet congealed,
In craters not yet sealed .

Twenty-nine years of
High tides and low tides have
Closed the craters now.
Tidewrack washes ashore to be sure,
But it doesn’t stay.
While you must be coupled,
I must be solitary.  Your gift to me
Is your absence, wherein I found
My Self.

© rita h kowats

Laying It to Rest

dementor2One particular scene in the film,“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” always sends shivers through me.  Harry and his friends are on the Hogwarts Express when a dementor  attempts to suck out Harry’s soul.  That is what they do.  They prey upon all positive energy and leave their victims in a state of emptiness.

I think of this symbol today because I just spent sacred time with a friend, putting to rest a time in our youth when we were preyed upon simply because we were there.  And we were vulnerable.  I am keenly aware of the need to develop spiritual practices that protect us.  I know that many of my readers have experienced similar betrayal, for it is a human experience.  I pray that you also experience healing and forgiveness.

Blessings.

LAYING IT TO REST

Two aging soul-sisters
Hold vigil in a Victorian café-
A sanctuary for deep
Soul-work.

No brain fog mimics the
Claustrophobic fog outside.
We remember every word of
Our story.

In tandem we tell the story
For what we hope will be the last time:
How dementors in a consecrated community
Sucked out our souls and how-
Because we were young and wounded-
We let them.

Stronger now, our souls are safe.
In the telling, we recognize
Healing and forgiveness-
Self-forgiveness stumbles
Through the fog.

 It is past time
To pack up our pain and
Rise from our chairs.
Claustrophobic fog has no power
To crowd our spacious spirits.
Our eucharist has ended, and we
Step out.

© rita h. kowats

Pieces to Peace: Redemption

free photo of desert

I have banished pieces of my soul
To distant places in the desert of my life,
Where no predator can sniff the scent of shame.
Parched, pale remnants of miscarried experiences,
Are separated, not cut away
As Tibetan Buddhists
Dismember their dead to honor life.
These are abandoned out of fear of life.

The Seer inside weeps for the missing pieces
Until the time for action replaces grief.
She lifts up her mighty frame, and swaying across the desert,
She swoops up the cast-off pieces
And with one sound kiss, redeems them
With her love.

What was separated is seamed.
Pieces to Peace.

c. rita h kowats 2013

Published in presence, An International Journal of Spiritual Direction: Vol. 20, NO.1. March 2014

Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ story about La Huesera, The Bone Woman, has walked with me in this meditation.  A Jungian psychotherapist and a keeper of the stories, Dr. Estes is a read you will not easily forget (http://www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/index.htm) .  The Bone Woman, as the legend goes, lives in our souls and does the work of collecting bones from the desert so that she can sing life back into them.

THE PIECES

Walk with me in meditation for a time.  What experiences have you hidden away out of shame or anger or disappointment or revenge?  If your experience could talk to you, what might it say?  What do you want to say to it?

SENDING FORTH

Look deeply into your soul.  What do you see?  Can you find the Bone Woman?  What form does she take in you?  What qualities does she have- courage? intuition?  “holy audacity?” forgiveness?  perseverance?  Do you have faith that she can redeem your lost pieces?  Is it time?  Which particular pieces can she bring back to you at this time?  Which ones need to stay in the desert until you are able to make a home for them?  Can you release Bone Woman to do her work?  Do you need help?  Who would you ask to help you?

HOMECOMING

How can you ritualize homecoming- a feast, with a friend, perhaps a reconciliation? (“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” Lk, 15:24.)  Make a welcome- home card and keep it in your journal.  Write a dialogue with your soul-piece, forgiving it and asking its forgiveness for abandoning it.  If you are a painter, paint the return!  Just do something to mark it.

PRAY

In the presence of the Holy, I shed the shroud of shame and fear.  I commit myself to live in one peace.  Amen.