I am indebted to John O’Donohue once again for this lovely poem. It seems I will forever learn at the soul of this great contemporary mystic. Josie is John’s mother who died after him in 2011.
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
“A New Year Blessing”
Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)
Photo Credit: Pastor Linda Roddis
Now is the Time In Between
When the dissipated shards of last year
Crunch under the feet of the new year coming.
We watch couples stroll arm in arm in parks,
Their blithe children trailing on their Christmas bikes.
As we watch we muse
Over New Year’s resolutions
Scattered among the fragments of 2016
The spent year spins a yarn
About hawking the common good
To the highest bidder
But it was also a year
In which lost conscience
Watchers no more, we resolve to sift the shards,
To separate life from death.
We choose Life for ouselves
And for blithe children playing.
© Rita H Kowats. 12-27-16
A “SoulCard” 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 woke up at 2:00 a.m. with the Spirit knocking on the door of my unconscious. I am unaware of having been dreaming, but a clear and precise message boomed out: “I can see water swimming in a cave.”
Here is how I have worked with it:
Our bodies make their first journey out
Of the cave with reluctance to leave
The safe solitude of buoyant waters
Life moves on and away
From the startling solitude of caves
Yet our souls yearn to return
Not to be carried aloft by gentle waters
But to dive deep
With the first drop.
© Rita H Kowats 12-14-16
photo credit: BlakeLewisPhotography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7838598@N06/27327710701″>Ruby Falls</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
One in our reading community suggested this article…fascinating connection!
In the Word was life,
And that life was humanity’s light
A Light that shines in the darkness,
A Light that the darkness has never overtaken.
Don’t let your light go out. Embrace it in the hollow of your hands until it flames and flickers sparks of hope.
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:
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
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.
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
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>