“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

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“It was a bright cold day in April [January], and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

19842017

epa-silencing

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

― George Orwell, 1984

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

― George Orwell, 1984

“It was a bright cold day in April [January], and the clocks were striking thirteen.” So begins George Orwell’s story of descent from freedom, 1984.  When I read the news in real-time this morning my instinct was to panic; instead I determined to weave reality with Orwell and develop a spiritual practice with which to combat the onslaught. Here it is:

Turn PANIC into PRESENCE:

P= Pay attention, live consciously

A= Analyze the situation; no intellectual or spiritual sloth

N= Now; Live in the now.  Don’t let fear of the future take possession

I=  Inhabit;  live in the deepest self where the divine in us is present

C= Call on the wisdom of the Spirit.  We are not alone.

And breathe…..be well travel companions.

 

It is encouraging to me that so many are in sync in our response to news of the last two days.  This morning the Washington Post carried this story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/why-orwells-1984-matters-so-much-now/2017/01/25/3cf81964-e313-11e6-a453-19ec4b3d09ba_story.html?utm_term=.b4ab636b7a1b&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

 

Post Election Grief

nude in the desert framed

In solidarity with those who grieve the American election results:

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.

Beach Homing

girls building fort on beach 2

Camping chair sunk in sand
Feet cooling in aberrant waves
Towering crags bear witness
To the muse asleep in my interior shelter.

Their first trip past me almost escaped notice
Giggling girls gallivanting (Do Not Disturb)
Except these girls did not giggle.
No bikini-clad Beach Barbies here.
No Pollyanna pleasantries.
These new women were beach-striders on a mission
Spurred on by the Women’s World Cup amulets they wore.

They return dragging driftwood booty
To some sacred place beyond me.
I call out, “I bet you girls are building a fort, aren’t you?”
They break into ecstatic grins and throw down the gauntlet
“YES!”
I shout a blessing, “Oh, what fun!  Carry on!”

A shelter of their own
Away from adult eyes and ears
Away from expectations of princess peers
They build their sanctuary
And weave stories to carry them
Through to the other side
Where a god of strength and freedom
Welcomes their self-assurance.

The day-before-yesterday
My twelve-year-old self combed
This beach for driftwood booty
Which has become the sacred shelter
Of my Muse.

 

© rita h kowats June 2015