Blurred Borders

I rediscovered this photo while rummaging in a long-forgotten drawer for a greeting card.  The find has had me rummaging through the time I spent in the Ground Zero community, a nonviolent resistance movement to nuclear weapons. I lived in the woods in a house above the railroad tracks that moved weapons and fuel in and out of Subase Bangor in Poulsbo/Silverdale WA.  Perhaps the message I want to share in the accompanying poem is the realization that if we allow our spiritual practice to divest us of the need to cling to possessions, the world will not need weapons to protect the “lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed.”

I.

My intrepid Blue Cream Tortoise Shell
boldly went where no sane mortal 
dared to roam.
Emily slinked across the railroad tracks
which carried warheads and fuel-
fresh and spent- into Subase Bangor.
She scooted under the gate 
making her way to the bunkers 
where armed marines waited 
ready to shoot intruders at first sight-
but surely not Emily.
Emily who did not threaten to destroy 
"the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed."*

II.

Jim and I passed out the week's leaflets
from our respective lanes at Trigger Avenue gate.
We shivered against the temperature outside, 
and the inside temperature of workers
as they spotted us when traffic stalled.
It was a typical early morning arrival-
yawning, putting on makeup, shaving.
Until an unexpected guest materialized
darting in and out of cars, nostrils flaring 
eyes betraying the deer's sheer terror.
Guards rushed out to stop traffic
and opened the gate wide.
We waited. And waited.
Finally the deer leaped up
and shot to safety on the other side.
Jim looked at me and said,
"How ironic that she is safer in there than out here."

No open gate for those who "threaten the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed."

*Admiral Trost in The Trident Tides U.S. Navy publication

c. rita hemmer kowats Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

Spiritual Mulching

Sodden, mottled mulch
Mercurial Meanders
Lush feast for Gaia

(soul feast for the divine)


www.spiritualitywithoutborders.blog

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

The Grace Of Empty Space

Curious, isn’t it?
How laying bare 
one emptiness
exposes another
        and another
        and another.

Yesterday my friend’s cat
snuggled in her lap as we met
and I woke up later reaching for mine
but found instead the space 
where he used to be.
Where a sister used or be
            a brother
            a friend.

As this wave of grief recedes
I comb the beach of my soul
for bits of grace left behind.
Emptiness isn’t so empty after all.

c. Rita H Kowats
September 26, 2021

Reimagining

“After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system.“

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

Photo credit: shininglightenergyworks.com


On this day of remembering the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the effects of trauma are very much with me.

I began my day listening to family members read the names of victims. Then I read the newsletter from my 55+ apartment building which announces that management is being harrassed and treated as less than human. It was not stated, but I wonder if as Asian Americans, they are being unconsciously scapegoated for “causing” the pandemic. I am brought back to our response to 9/11: an endless war laced with anti Muslim sentiment.

We are afraid. We feel helpless. Instead of reimagining a life without the threat of COVID, thus ending the power it has over us, we project our fear and rage on the nearest target.

I send light today to all the loved ones left behind.  May we all find healing.  Here is a guided meditation to help us through.

Dance Today

NYT

Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.

Dance today’s dance

Today.

RHK
Soon we live again exuberant and relieved;
But now we do a strange Lindy Hop
In a marathon not of our making,
We drag our weary bodies and souls behind us
Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note,
Releasing us from our dis-ease.

We yearn to dance again with abandon;
But in the time between we endure,
Faithful to this dance here and now.
Learning the steps as we go
Leaning against one another,
Cheering on, crying with.
Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.
Dance today’s dance
Today.

c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021


A bit of context. You can have this day’s dance. I don’t want it. I imagine there are some dances you don’t want either. This one is called pneumonia. The fact that precautions weren’t enough in this precarious time is what sticks in my craw. I feel more vulnerable. So I searched my posts for a spiritual practice that sustained me in another time. I’m getting ready for the Lindy Hop.

Spiritual Practice

I often use the Insight Timer free meditation app on Google play. My favorite music is “Delta Waves and Oceanic Sounds.” I like it because I can sync my breathing with the ebb and flow of the waves and because it is unobtrusive.

Inhaling, I breathe in healing energy.

Exhaling I send it to every place in my body that needs healing (to my mind as well, in an effort to dispel fear and anxiety).

Inhaling I gather up all sick energy from my body.

Exhaling I send it down to the earth where it can be renewed.


Soon we live again exuberant and relieved;Ssdo a strange Lindy Hop
In a marathon not of our making,
We drag our weary Sssssbodies and souls behind us
Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note,
Releasing us from our dis-ease.

We yearn to dance again with abandon;
But in the time between we endure,
Faithful to this dance here and now.
Learning the steps as we go
Leaning against one another,
Cheering on, crying with.
Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.
Dance today.

c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021

Surprised By Presence

Two crows canoodling
On a fence
Sound the mindfulness bell,
Calling me back to presence.

I snuggle into sister soul
Canoodling with the divine,
While warmed by gracious grace.

c. Rita Hemmer Kowats August 29, 2021






In Need Of A Lullaby

After the onslaught of wolves and worries hurled at me on the news channel. After dealing with a sick cat and a sick me. I cuddled around my re-membered blankie and settled in for a reassuring lullaby. “Silver Birch” restored me, as I hope it does you as well.







“Silver Birch
a lullaby”

…Round and round the dangers prowl
-wolves and monsters, worries, witches-
but the birches stand like churches
as the dark around them surges,
Circles, crouches, clutches, lunges-
but breaks its power on birches’ branches,
Held at bay until at last the sun emerges,
warms the pines, the larches,
lights your yawns, your stretches,
there among the silver birches.

from the lost spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

https://www.thelostwords.org/lostspellsbook/