On the cusp of Autumn
We dare to beg:
On brittle leaves already colored
Dull yellow, gold and red.
On forest-fire smokescreen,
On eerie orange sun
Casting shadows in shades of pink.
Rain down on day-long dusk
Wash ashen scales from purblind eyes
On the parched spirits
Of dreamers curled up into themselves
Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Remove the smokescreen of words
That splays their spirits waiting
To be sacrificed on the altar of American jobs.
© Rita h Kowats 9-7-17
Photo Credit: J&V Photography
“Salmon Berry Blossom on Black Water” Lynn Schooler
The impetus for this post was the beauty of our solar eclipse with its dramatic changes of light.
: pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color
: the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art:
the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow
Inside every living thing, no matter how beautiful, if opened fully enough was darkness. A Trick of the Light Louise Penny
If you have ever spent time in the company of the dark emotions, you too may have received subtle messages from friends and strangers alike that you were supposed to handle them and move on sooner instead of later. Some of us have even gotten the message that if we cannot do this on schedule, we may not have enough faith in God. If we had enough, we would be able to banish the dark angels from our beds, replacing them with the light angels of belief, trust, and praise. Greenspan [Healing Through the Dark Emotions by Miriam Greenspan] calls this “spiritual bypassing”—using religion to dodge the dark emotions instead of letting it lead us to embrace those dark angels as the best, most demanding spiritual teachers we may ever know…The emotions themselves are conduits of pure energy that want something from us: to wake us up, to tell us something we need to know, to break the ice around our hearts, to move us to act.
Learning to Walk in the Dark Barbara Brown Taylor
Lynn Schooler photo used with permission
You Are Invited
A sincere welcome to you recent companions on this blog, and gratitude to long-timers.
A word about the process I use to write my post. All of it emerges from my own human condition, the status of my own soul, if you will. I spend time in meditation asking the spirit moving in the universe to offer connections to us. “Show me what my reader’s hearts long to hear and need to hear,” I ask, and usually that’s what I write about.
So, let’s not be ships passing in the night. If you have a topic about the spiritual life, something that is bringing you close to your center or away from your center bring it to me and I will hold vigil with it and offer a reflection. No catch. No money involved. Just one human being blessed with the privilege of education and experience extending a heart to other human beings. (see my page Spiritual Companion Ministry).
Shoot me an email at:
It can be from Mickey or Minnie Mouse if you like, and I would respect that anonymity in my post.
Blessings on you and on those whom you love,
Last night, as I was sleeping
I dreamt-marvelous error!-
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly
Bees weave their burden
In and out and in between
Ahh… Sweet Communion
© rita h kowats July 31, 2017
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” …The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by 1 Kings 19:9;11
FORMS OF HOSPITALITY
from Henri Nouwen’s book, Reaching Out
We probably will never be free from all our hostilities, and there even may be days and weeks in which our hostile feelings dominate our emotional life to such a degree that the best thing we can do is to keep distance, speak little to others and not write letters, except to ourselves. Sometimes events in our lives breed feelings of bitterness, jealousy, suspicion and even desires for revenge, which need time to be healed. It is realistic to realize that although we hope to move toward hospitality, life is too complex to expect a one-way direction. But when we make ourselves aware of the hospitality we have enjoyed from others and are grateful for the few moments in which we can create some space ourselves, we may become more sensitive to our inner movements and be more able to affirm an open attitude toward our fellow human beings.
Marguerite Hemmer Kowats
Some thought she slipped
into madness for the way she changed.
She thought it was madness
to live the life she once did.
One evening when my little momma was 76 we sat together in her living room after supper and she said, “You know, Honey, there are dishes in the sink and I just don’t give a damn!” This was indeed a healing proclamation for me, as I had begun the struggle to let go of the heightened sense of duty which I had so diligently learned from her.
This new version of Mom reverted to her era as a flapper girl when she loved dancing in the arms of handsome medical students in the best hotels in St. Louis. Once she dropped a smuggled bottle of booze on a bedazzled lobby floor. Call it madness if you will. She knew how to live back them.
I rejoice that by the end of her life she had left the dirty dishes in the sink where they belong.
Life at Midlife
I am no longer waiting for a special occasion; I burn the best candles on ordinary days.
I am no longer waiting for the house to be clean; I fill it with people who understand that even dust is Sacred.
I am no longer waiting for everyone to understand me; It’s just not their task
I am no longer waiting for the perfect children; my children have their own names that burn as brightly as any star.
I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived.
I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now.
I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held.
I am no longer waiting for a quiet moment; my heart can be stilled whenever it is called.
I am no longer waiting for the world to be at peace; I unclench my grasp and breathe peace in and out.
I am no longer waiting to do something great; being awake to carry my grain of sand is enough.
I am no longer waiting to be recognized; I know that I dance in a holy circle.
I am no longer waiting for Forgiveness.
I believe, I Believe.
Author: Mary Anne Perrone
Sleep leaves us totally vulnerable to the beck and call of our unconscious. We spend a few hours each night open to stark naked truth, for better or for worse. If we turn our attention to those nocturnal events in our wake time, we glean valuable insight.
Lately I have been called to that vulnerable space in waking time as I deal with an incident that sent me into an emotional hurricane of old tapes. Around and out and in my ego spins on the rim of the hurricane, covering the same territory ad nauseum while longing to catch hold of the Eye where I can be drawn down into Presence for as long as that gift lasts. This time is both cursed and blessed. Cursed because that slip into emptiness is unspeakably lonely. One day when I was twenty-seven years old I thought I was losing my mind. I wasn’t, but the feeling of abandonment was keen enough to convince me I was. I shouted out to the God of my youth, “Help me! I don’t know what to do.” And the way opened.
I hate the hurricane and I love it because it makes me strip down to my essential humanity where I have to wallow in my muddy feelings. It’s so damned uncomfortable. And so redeeming because it’s in the wallowing that I become vulnerable enough to let go and can slip into the Eye of Presence.
After four dizzy days of spinning and three sleepless nights, I have finally caught onto the innermost rim and slipped into the Eye. Ahhh.
An Offering of Spiritual Practices for Hurricane Times
- I kept my battery powered candle on throughout the night as a symbol that it is through the wounds that the light gets in (Thank you, Leonard Cohen.)
- Sent loving kindness to the object of my wrath (between rants)…poured love like gold into the wound that wounded until it’s scar blinded with bling! Here is my version of it:
- Swore softly at my cat between clenched teeth
- Called upon my angels and spirit guides to surround me and let pass into me and from me only that energy which is for the greatest good.
- Cleansed my aura often with spritz spray because-
- Debriefed with a friend
Breathing in I am peace
Breathing out I release anger
Breathing in I am power
Breathing out I release dominance.
May it be so.
Photo Credit: http://www.nocturnepodcast.org/ Artist: Robin Gelanti
1 Kings 19:11-13
11 God said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of HaShem, for HaShem is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountain apart and shattered the rocks by HaShem ’s power—but HaShem was not in the whirlwind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but HaShem was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire—but HaShem was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
You come to me,
Eyes Ears Mouth relinquished,
I hear the steadfast summons
With Other ears.
Here I am. Send me.
© Rita H Kowats May 21, 2017
“Their Eyes Were Watching God”
Spiritual awakening is the process of recognizing our essential goodness, our natural wisdom and compassion. In stark contrast to this trust in our inherent worth, our culture’s guiding myth is the story of Adam and Eve’s exile from the Garden of Eden. We may forget its power because it seems so worn and familiar, but this story shapes and reflects the deep psyche of the West. The message of “original sin” is unequivocal: Because of our basically flawed nature, we do not deserve to be happy, loved by others, at ease with life. We are outcasts, and if we are to reenter the garden, we must redeem our sinful selves. We must overcome our flaws by controlling our bodies, controlling our emotions, controlling our natural surroundings, controlling other people. And we must strive tirelessly—working, acquiring, consuming, achieving, e-mailing, overcommitting and rushing—in a never-ending quest to prove ourselves once and for all…. Feeling that something is wrong with me is the invisible and toxic gas I am always breathing.
-Tara Brach, PhD Radical Acceptance
Photo Credit: Goblin State Park Hoodoos