“The Art of Precious Scars”

 

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Explosion

DANGER
Sizzles between air molecules
In spaces intended for patience and love.
Two-year-old Alice, impatient for food
Punctuates the room with a crescendo of piercing cries.
You are in the kitchen cooking a dinner that refuses to cook…
The Protector is away on retreat.
My seven year-old empathic brain is on high alert
Pleaser Stand-in Protector
I seek a distraction to divert the explosion.

From my place under the high chair
I make faces at Alice. It has worked before
BUT
As the high chair is bumped the milk sprouts wings

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW?”

Your behemoth bulk looming over me
You snatch me up and carry me to my bedroom

Do you know how terrified and shamed I am
As you pull down my pants
EXPOSING
My tiny seven-year-old bottom?

Off comes the belt
Which leaves angry welts on
The seven-year-old
Who just wanted to keep the peace.

THE PROTECTOR
Never left you in charge after that.

Reconciliation

My fifty-five-year-old empathic brain had evolved
By the time of your visit.
The Protector came first on another bright Autumn day
After she died. “Honey, I’m alright,” she said.
You came many years later, having also evolved.

I lay on the couch before a roaring fire
Pretending to grade papers
While Beethoven’s Ninth wove its magic.
The chorus intoned Shiller’s “Ode to Joy”
And I became the music.
You came to me at the fireplace
As I stoked and the chorus proclaimed

Brothers, above the starry canopy
Must a loving Father reside.

“Honey, I do love you so much. Forgive me.”
Came the gentle whisper in my ear.

I wonder if Beethoven ever heard those words
From his abusive father.

Kintsugi

Sixty -six years later
The fissure gleams
With the gold
Of healing experiences
Whole gift to fellow fractured
Pilgrims

© Rita H Kowats 2017

 

 

For a poignant description of Kintsugi go here

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Sending Loving Kindness to Furloughed Government Workers

 

scream

The Scream Edvard Munch

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mysterious-motives-behind-theft-scream-180964531/

 

 

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Loving kindness Meditation

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation

My Soul Is My Soul

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I was recently introduced to a children’s song about respect for body. These lines caught my attention:

“My body’s nobody’s body but mine.
You run your body, let me run mine.”

Peter Alsop, entertainer, counselor, psychologist

I am taken aback by its stark, bold truth. It carries a wake-up power that summons us to respect. What if we paraphrased these lines to read:

“My soul’s no one’s soul but mine.
You run your soul, let me run mine.”

Thoughts translated into words are an energy that either affirms or negates its intended target. Yet, we pass easy judgment on the process of one another’s spiritual development as though we have that right and as though we actually know the heart of someone else.

In their book, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald describe their study which concluded that every human being fills in what we don’t know with what we think we know. We develop Mindbugs which keep us from seeing reality clearly. E. Adelson defines them as “ingrained habits of thoughts that lead to errors in how we perceive, remember, reason, and make decisions.” Banaji and Greenwald point out that mindbugs can be so powerful that they can cause us to more often remember things that didn’t happen than things that did happen. Given this research, I ask, Who has the moral authority to judge the status of someone’s soul? Is it not deserving of as much respect as our body?

There is a place for professional discernment, even for nonprofessional discernment for the sake of protecting our souls from intrusion. However, we must always be aware that we have mindbugs and try to get out of their way as we discern. Otherwise, discernment becomes judgment of motives and choices .To pass on judgments made out of our mindbugs is not only irresponsible, it is often just an act of self-aggrandizement. If the other is down, I am up.

Isn’t the task of running my own soul monumental enough without trying to run other’s souls? Leave it, I say.

“My soul’s no one’s soul but mine.
You run your soul, let me run mine.”

A Spiritual Practice

My spiritual practice comes in the form of a pause. I try to pause before I judge. I breathe in respect and release fear. I breathe in love and release judgment. Once in a while it works. Our human instinct is to protect our ego, but the pause interrupts the knee-jerk impulse to insert our ego into the unknown spaces of the other. The pause lets in the Spirit who sees reality as it is.

Photo Credit:  Pixabay.com

 

Winter Solstice Sonnet II

Profound food for thought from Jane Woodman on this Winter Solstice. Enjoy and reflect.

inlovelustandlaughter

With weight of Winter warming causing pain,
We long for snow and ice to come again
To bring protection for the soil below
And friendly freezing’s later soaking flow.
The birds know this warm Solstice isn’t kind
And mob each seed in feeders they can find,
Soft breezes telling them what we can’t hear:
All harsh winds, frost and biting cold draw near.
Come cold night, then, and even colder dawn;
This warm December should not, can’t go on.
All seasons have their purposes in turn;
Pale Winter balances Sun’s Summer burn.
This Solstice counterweighs its Sister’s light
With sparkling cold and deeper, lusher night.

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Being Light

light in eye

 

Recently I introduced the newly published book of spiritual poetry, Rose Petals Floating Downstream by Anita Neilson (  https://anitaneilson.com/ )

I picked up the book in an in-between time today and opened to the poem below, “If Thine Eye be Single.”  Here it is, accompanied by what it evoked from me.

If Thine Eye be Single

“The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light.”

Matthew 6:22

 

Eyes twinkling
like headlamps dipping
o’er the brow of a hill;
silent messengers
through the mists of time.

Windows on the world
but also to the soul
if we look deeper.

Codeless truths blink
to those who seek
meaning en route.

An eternal clignoter
Clic, clic, clic.

If thine eye be single
a million stars
Will diffuse into one
and every twist and turn
a delight will be
on this path to eternity.

Anita Neilson

 

Response

The eye with which god
sees me is the same eye
with which I see god.

One seeing
knowing
loving.

My eye and god’s eye
are one.

Meister Eckhart

∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞  ∞

The light with which god
sees me is the same light
with which I see god.

One seeing
knowing
loving
One  Light.

God’s light and my light
are one light.

rita h kowats

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Petals Floating Downstream

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I recommend this lovely new book of Anita Neilson’s spiritual poetry:

https://anitaneilson.com/2018/12/07/its-raining-rose-petals/

Advent God

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The Innerness of All Things

You create yourself in
ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff
of our days-
unsung, unmourned,
undescribed,
like a forest we never knew.

You are the deep
innerness of all things,
the last word that can
never be spoken.
To each of us you
reveal yourself
differently:
to the ship as a
coastline, to the shore
as a ship.

from The Book of Hours II, 22

in A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke
by Rainer Maria RilkeAnita Barrows (Editor)Joanna Macy (Editor)

 

Response

 

Advent God .png

 

 

Photo Credit:  pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

Advent

Light from Light Holy Night 2

Darkness is a gathering time, a state set apart from the glare of light in which we can see what is real.

In the dark we sit with the energy generated in the light and try to make sense of it. We sift through, “clinging to what is luminous in ourselves, in others, and in life itself,” and releasing unwanted ego energy.  We brood our way through the darkness back into light, illuminating the way for fellow pilgrims, each bound for their own Bethlehem.

So we begin.  Advent 2018.  See you on the way.