On Being Present

An offering for us in this season of Halloween, when the veil is very thin. Be a thin place for one another today.

Photo Credit Tree: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/350366046000668181/

Spiritual Luminescence

Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light by a substance not resulting from heat; or “cold light”. It is thus a form of cold-body radiation. It can be caused by chemical reactions, electrical energy, subatomic motions or stress on a crystal.

Wikipedia

May the divine reactions in our souls emite glorious light to all those we encounter today.

FLIGHT OF FANCY

Flight of Fancy (for my Canadian friends)

(Genesis 19:26)

Last evening as we sat on the balcony
luxuriating in the lush autumn sun,
a flock of Canada geese lifted
off the lakeside, dwarfing us mere mortals.
If they had pooped
we would have been entombed
in white slime, not unlike Lot’s wife
entombed in salt.

Like her, we look back at the past year
which feels like an onslaught of geese poop.
We’ve been children hiding behind our ego forts, desperately heaving giant poop balls
at the “winter of our discontent.”

How we long to hitch a ride
on the backs of Canada geese
and head for their homeland where, of course,
life is greener…
always greener on the other side.

Lest we meet the fate of one who looked back,
we turn
setting out ready to grow
our own green grass.

♡ rita h kowats 10/16/20

Photo Credit: JSTORdaily.org

Solace: Offering And Receiving

In this strange stretch of time, we take turns needing and giving solace. What we receive today we give tomorrow. May spirit guide us to pay attention to others’ need for solace and offer it; that we have the humility to accept solace when it is offered. It’s simple. “Shine your shoes. Fill your refrigerator. Water your plants. Make some soup.” Say thank you. And together we will survive.

Solace Blessing

That’s it.
That’s all this blessing knows how to do:

Shine your shoes.
Fill your refrigerator.
Water your plants.
Make some soup.

All the things
you cannot think
to do yourself
when the world has come apart,
when nothing will be normal again.

Somehow
this blessing knows
precisely what you need,
even before
you know.

It sees what will bring
the deepest solace
for you.
It senses what will offer
the kindest grace.

And so it will step
with such quietness
into the ordinary moments
where the absence
is the deepest.

It will enter
with such tenderness
into the hours where the sorrow
is most keen.

You do not even
have to ask.
Just leave it open—
your door, your heart,
your day
in every aching moment it holds.

See what solace
spills through the gaps
your sorrow has torn.

See what comfort
comes to visit,
holding out its gifts
in each compassionate hand.

Jan Richardson in The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Here We Are. Send Us.

John Quinn closes his book of essays, Walking in Wonder with this poem. Poet and mystic John O’Donohue died in 2008 and this stanza was penned by Quinn after the celebration of his life.

Envoi

Sometimes
A voice is sent
To calm our deepest fears

Sometimes
A hearty laugh
Will banish all our tears

Sometimes
Words will wing
Our dreaming ever higher

And sometimes
A mind will set
Our imagining afire

John Quinn

In Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World by John O’Donohue and John Quinn

Here we are.

Send us.

In Memoriam RBG

El Malei Rachamim – God Full of Compassion

God, full of mercy, Who dwells above, give rest on the wings of the Divine Presence, amongst the holy, pure and glorious who shine like the sky, to the soul of Ruth Bader Ginsburg…for whom prayer was offered in the memory of her soul. Therefore, the Merciful One will protect her soul forever, and will merge her soul with eternal life. The Everlasting is her heritage, and she shall rest peacefully at her lying place, and let us say: Amen.

In Memoriam RBG

We fold our splintered spirits
Into the waiting arms
Of the Crescent goddess
And hang on to the last vestiges
Of hope smoldering in the ashes
Of our rancorous discontent.

May our god full of compassion
Grant compassion to
Your abandoned ones
Bereft and beset with despair.
Unleash her holy audacity
In an outpouring of strength
That will pry us from the comfort
Of our grief.

May we rest in peace with her-
Not a “piecemeal peace,”
But a peace
That “comes with work to do…
Comes to sit and brood.”*

Amen

c. Rita H Kowats 09/19/2020

*Gerard Manley Hopkins Peace

OPEN

My pastor, Megan Ramer (seattlemennonite.org) offered this prayer yesterday, and in turn I offer it to you on this day dominated by horrific memories of the 9/11 attack on the United States. Pictures of powerful wildfires and suffocating lowland smoke are a constant reminder of the violent unrest sweeping through many cities; violence fueled by the hot wind of divisive rhetoric spewing from the mouths of those entrusted with the mandate to protect and care for their citizens.

Still. And yet. The image of this lilly, exquisite in it’s vulnerability and exposed to the sun and elements, calls me to remain open to hope. Vulner-able. Accepting the wound and exposing ourselves to the possibility of healing. May the healing you long for be yours today.

Sharing a prayer by Anna McKenzie, from Good Friday People by Sheila Cassidy, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991

And so we must begin to live again,
We of the damaged bodies
And assaulted minds.
Starting from scratch with the rubble of our lives
And picking up the dust
Of dreams once dreamt.
And we stand there, naked in our vulnerability,
Proud of starting over, fighting back
But full of humility
At the awareness of the task.
We, without a future,
Safe, defined, delivered
Now salute you God.
Knowing that nothing is safe,
Secure, inviolable here.
Except you.
And even that eludes our minds at times.
And we hate you
As we love you,
And our anger is as strong as our pain.
Our grief is deep as oceans,
And our need as great as mountains.
So, as we take our first few steps forward
Into the abyss of the future,
We would pray for
Courage to become what we have
Not been before
And accept it,
And bravery to look deep
Within our souls to find
New ways.
We did not want it easy God,
But we did not contemplate
That it would be quite this hard,
This long, this lonely.
So, if we are to be turned inside out,
And upside down,
With even our pockets shaken,
Just to check what’s rattling
And left behind,
We pray that you will keep faith with us,
And we with you.
Hold our hands as we weep,
Giving us strength to continue,
And showing us beacons
Along the way to becoming new.
We are not fighting you God,
Even if it feels like it,
But we need your help and company,
As we struggle on.
Fighting back
And starting over.

Photo Credit: Susan Wehrman

Off The Hook

We try so hard, don’t we? When spiritual development becomes a passion we sometimes work at it to the point of exhaustion, excluding all spontaneity of spirit. That’s why I’m letting myself off the hook today, and invite you to join me if so moved.

In her book, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Prayer and Reflection, Jan Richardson suggests with Thomas Moore that we let ourselves “get sleepy” once in a while, because it is in the latent spaces in-between when we let go, that spirit can then plant seeds that can germinate. Moore suggests that “…awareness, wisdom, and soulfulness do not arrive solely through perpetually vigilant consciousness.”

So today, let yourself off the hook and let spirit do her work.

Blessing

May you grow sleepy
enough
to find the gap where God lives.
May your soul find its waking
there.

Jan Richardson In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Prayer and Reflection

Photo Credit Fish Hook: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/yikdE9EiE.htm

Photo Credit Person Floating: Esther Lui for NPR