We Are The Song

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Louise Penny writes a mystery series about a detective in a mythical village in Quebec called Three Pines. I love these books especially for the author’s keen insight into human nature and her prose which flows like poetry. A favorite from the series is The Beautiful Mystery, about a murder in a monastery set deep into the wilds of Canada. Although hidden away, the monks are renowned for their near perfect expression of Gregorian chant. The abbot says, “Each of us individual notes. On our own, nothing. But together? Divine. We don’t just sing, we are the song.” The narrator says, “Gamache wondered if an equally important part of a chant wasn’t just the notes, but the space between them. The silence…They had such a profound effect on those who sang and heard them that the ancient chants became known as “The Beautiful Mystery.”

 

The Beauriful Mystery

 

 

Photo Credit: https://www.smov.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=347&Itemid=717

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A Request

Kids-at-DACA-rally

 

A Request

Drought-Weary
On the cusp of Autumn
We dare to beg:

Rain down
On brittle leaves already colored
Dull yellow, gold and red.
Rain down
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

Rain down
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.

Some relief
We beg.

© Rita h Kowats 9-7-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: J&V Photography

http://www.americabythenumbers.org/learn-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca/

La Vita Bella

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Along with millions of others I recently viewed a photo on Facebook of a group of elderly women at La Vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson, Texas.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey they sat in water up to their waists waiting to be rescued.  Not exactly the Beautiful Life they had expected.  One resident did craft work, others just sat and waited.  How does one keep one’s self stable and centered when fear stands watch outside the door threatening to knock it down?  As I’ve continued to ask myself that this week a memory of another tragedy caught my attention.

September 11, 2001.  An eerie, out-of-character silence had settled on my class of seventeen-year-olds as we waited for news of a sighted but now missing hijacked airplane. Two had already crashed into the twin towers.  A wail shattered the silence, emitted from a slumped-over manchild. “Where is my brother?  He isn’t answering his phone.  WHERE IS MY BROTHER?” How does one keep one’s self stable and centered when fear stands watch outside the door threatening to knock it down?

One day at a time, one choice at a time.  In another era we would have said one self-denial at a time.  As a young nun in pre-Vatican II days I wore sacrifice beads and pulled one down with each denial.  Please.  Meister Eckhart fiercely condemns such practices as blocks to birthing the real God in our lives.  I think we prepare for those times of no control with the practice of relinquishing control. By letting go of the need to control we become free and able to endure lack of control.  We can let go of our need to have the last word, the most stunning idea, the brilliant psychoanalysis of our neighbor. By living outside of  our egos we learn to live inside of ourselves where we are sparks of the divine.  If we address the fear which stands outside our door from that place, we know how to wait for the rescue.

For the Women of La Vita Bella

 

 

Cold water rising
Strong women reap peace past sown
Fear flees in its wake

rita h kowats 9-4-17

 

 

La Via Bella

 

 

Photo Credit Hands: creative commons https://pixabay.com

Photo CreditLa Vita Bella: Trudy Lampson via AP

 

 

 

Kendra’s Bench

Reginas Bench

 

Friday would have been an idyllic Northwest summer day except for a foreboding haze of smoke from Canada’s forest fires settling in tree branches and hugging the shoreline. Determined to enjoy my excursion to the beach in spite of it, I set out to wait for my friend to arrive by ferry.

Happily ensconced on a promenade bench I relished the briny odor of Puget Sound and the glad sounds of children romping in waves. Smoke obscured my lifelong mountain friends but my memory served up a feast of towering snow-capped craigs.
My reverie was abruptly interrupted by an approaching man who lingered at the bench and gingerly draped his hand over the back. “Excuse me,” he said. “I just want to say ‘hi’ to my little girl.” I noticed the memorial plaque and offered to move so he could sit with her a while. He countered, “Thank you, but my wife is waiting in the car and she isn’t well.” We said our good-bye. Alone now, I studied the memorial plaque. Kendra was nineteen when she died and her dad wrote, “No father should ever have to bury his child, but I put my trust in the Lord.” I wept.

 

Kendra,
Did you know?

He loved you
To the top of the mountains
To the bottom of Puget Sound whose healing waves
Carried you aloft and soothed
Your seashell cuts and scrapes.

Here he stands
Grief barely at bay
Even now.
A father who never
Should have buried his child.
A father whose tender love
Is balm for this fatherless soul.

© Rita H Kowats 8-14-17

Note:  you can see a photo of Regina’s bench at Olympic Beach Here.

 

 

 

 

Ascension

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On this anniversary of the day the United States brought down “fire and fury like the world has never seen,”* on Nagasaki, Japan, many seek refuge from fear, hoping to ascend from the muck of unconscionable rhetoric.  Mary Oliver takes us there on the wings of the magnificent great blue heron.  May we also walk on water.

*Donald Trump 8-8-17

 

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond

by Mary Oliver

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

 

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

 

http://www.bestpoems.net/mary_oliver/heron_rises_from_the_dark_summer_pond.html

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 . All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit:

http://garysoutdoorwanderings2.blogspot.com/2012/06/heron-oddity.html

Changeover

lotus figure with honeycomb heart

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective

Jabberwocky_kindlephoto-19720962

Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
the jaws that bite and claws that scratch…
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

Through the Looking Glass Lewis Careoll

 

I awoke to the shrieks
Of an avaricious vulcher
Tweeting a Tornado of Tweets
Each one trumping the next.

“Ahh, the sky is falling,
The sky is falling,”
Said I.

Said Spirit,
“Put the sword down, Alice.
Look inside.
Tend first the vulcher
Inside
And the one outside
Dwindles to a dodo.”

c. Rita H Kowats 7-25-17

NOTE: The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The dodo’s closest genetic relative was the also extinct Rodrigues solitaire, the two forming the subfamily Raphinae of the family of pigeons and doves.

Dodo – Wikipedia

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Tap Dance Dodge or Truth Tango?

Having completed my morning wade through the daily swamp of American news I leave it to place this question before us:

Can we make America great again this way:

Or this way:

Truth Tango

That old familiar tune
Strikes up in the recesses of my soul
Heralding the familiar promenade of pretense.
I cast off layers of deceit
To the tattoo-tune of the Holy Stripper
And the raucous pleadings of my victims,
“Take it off! Take it all off!”
The bright white bones of truth
Step out of their camouflage
To dance La Cumparsita with wild abandonment
Until the familiar tune calls me back
To the stage of my humanity.

© Rita H Kowats June 3, 2017

6:00 p.m. And the hits just keep on coming. TapDanc

 

 

And the hits just keep on coming.  Tap Dance ad nauseum:

6:00 p.m:. Tuesday:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4708778/Trump-Putin-held-second-undisclosed-meeting-G20-summit.html  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4708778/Trump-Putin-held-second-undisclosed-meeting-G20-summit.html

Divine Magnetosphere: A Love Poem

Auroras continue to intrigue…what a lovely afternoon I had meandering around Jupiter and my own soulscape….enjoy.

Divine Magnetosphere A Love Poem

 

Photo Credit:

Jupiter’s powerful magnetosphere extends up to two million miles into the space around the planet (illustrated) and is thought to be responsible for sending charged particles in the space around it hurtling at high speeds towards the poles

Here is how our spirits look when we make the connections to the divine:

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/07/17/photos-solar-storm-spurs-dazzling-northern-lights/?utm_term=.b6c8141f03d6

 

“You’ve Been Gone Too Long, Alice.”

Mom on John Stasneys motorcycle.

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.

J.M. Storm

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