Radical Hope

2015 struggling to be born

Rather than focus on what’s threatening to strangle you, why not focus on what’s struggling to be born?

Given recent events in our world I sometimes feel downtrodden in Biblical proportions.  Hate, greed and ego-centered behavior have shoved us to the brink of Armageddon.  I’ll refrain from reciting the litany since you’ve heard it recapped on every broadcast this week.  I’ve been searching hard in my meditations for any glint of hope that still lingers for humanity.

I found RADICAL HOPE  in  a flower bloom.  If we study and celebrate nature we will learn how to be human.  This clip from the BBC production of David Attenborough’s “It’s a Wonderful World” is a beginning.  

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/58969511″>David Attenborough – Wonderful World – BBC – Full HD 1080p</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/portaldoleblon”>Portal do Leblon</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

“The Work of Christmas” Rev. Howard Thurman

The Work of Christmas


When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.


“The Work of Christmas” in The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)

Christmas SoulSeam

Christmas SoulSeam

Photo Credit:   

A “SoulCard” by Deborah Koff-Chapin.  The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.”  The  cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools.  They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with.  www.soulcards.com

Used with permission from the artist

Embers of December

embers in december


I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape- the loneliness of it- the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it- the whole story doesn’t show.  ♠ Andrew Wyeth

A week away shops and streets
Are all glitter and glare.
No clandestine chink reveals
The bone structure of holy audacity
That supports the waiting prophet.        

We must peer with inside-eyes
To catch sight of the faithful
Embers of story that wait
Behind glitter and glare.

© rita h kowats   December 2014



photo-credit-a-hrefhttpswww-flickr-comphotoszharth8372204605zhartha-via-a-hrefhttpphotopin-comphotopina.jpg ed.by rita h kowats

A Voice Cries in the Wilderness

2 nudes in the desert

 A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare
The way of the LORD!  Is.40:3


I offer this poem to honor the struggle and the victims caught in the wilderness:  Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Joseph, Diana, Linda, Jim, Jeremy the Boy Poet, Eddy, Bob, and thousands more. Presente!

 In the Wilderness



Photo Credits:  Female nude: photopin.com creative commons.  Male nudestudy of a male nude in desair trying to hide himself nicolai Abraham Abildgaard.jpg: Metropolitan Museum of Art used with permission.

“This Is the Way; Walk In It”

I have been feasting on the words of the prophet Isaiah in these early days of the Christian season of Advent. This morning came a clear message, a voice from behind sounded in my ear: “This is the way; walk in it.” Is. 30:21.  Not that way, but THIS way.  A voice hard to ignore.  It seems the poet John O’Donohue can’t ignore it either.  Enjoy.

walk your meditation


by John O’Donohue


Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.


New Strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening a conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight.

You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the to transform

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call

in To Bless the Space Between Us:  A book of Blessings