I never know what I will find at the beach
Photo credit: pexels.com
Photo credit: pexels.com
This post goes back a few years. I was reminded of it now while much of the world is burning up from forest fires. The earth does renew herself, as witnessed in the terrain of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, USA. If we renew our souls as faithfully as nature renews herself, there is hope for us.
In an effort to protect our egos, we leave in our wake a destructive landscape of regret. Our acts of protection are as much an animal response as protecting their physical lives is for other animals. The difference, of course, is that we can strengthen our egos sufficiently to withstand attacks and move beyond them for the sake of the common good. The process of moving beyond ego creates a soul-landscape rich in variety. Remnants of ego caught on jagged crags, conjure memories of lies to self and others; charred skeletons of timber stand in witness to courageous suffering endured, and hopeless suffering self-inflected.
Our soul’s geography resembles the terrain of active volcanoes years after they have exploded. Destructive lava flow has given way to affluent bursts of bold, bright, wildflowers- the acts of justice and compassion sown as seeds alongside germs of ego. Patches of green miraculously inch their way through the bowl of impenetrable metamorphic rock.
Just as rock can be intrinsically altered by the flow of hot lava, so is the soul dramatically altered by the movement of the Spirit, and our response to her. If we trust the Spirit, and trust ourselves to grapple with our instinct to protect our egos, seedlings will dot the horizon. Wildflowers, once extirpated by fear, will burst forth like fireworks on Independence Day.
I recommend frequent road trips through the terrain of our souls.
When we are at home in our souls our actions flow freely with great power to change situations for the greatest good.
All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all manner of thing
shall be well.
Dame Julian of Norwich
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement.”
T.S. Eliot The Four Quartets
The Roundabout and the Still Point
Under clear blue sky
in Central Park carefree
girls and boys hop
onto a roundabout and spin
each rotation carrying them
away from the nascent secret
we conceal from them and ourselves:
the sky has fallen
yin has become yang.
clinging and cleaving to roundabouts
forged by fear.
Our grip is slipping now
and we are falling
by default into that Still Point of is-ness
where we embrace the yang
until our yearning for yin
puts the sky back in place
and the children back
on the roundabout…
As for us-
© Rita H. Kowats
Photo Credit: imgbin.com
Although we are not celebrating Rosh Hashanna today and the calendar may not mark the beginning of another year, I offer Marge Piercy’s poem to give us hope that every day is new and we can come back after immigrants are rounded up like cattle and congresswomen are told to go back to the country they were born in if they don’t like this one.
I simply have no words for the treatment of migrants at America’s southern border, so I rely once again on the words of poet Jack Gilbert and the sculpture of Albert Gyorgy to convey feelings intense enough to move us to action.
THE ABANDONED VALLEY
Can you understand
being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the
well so you could feel something
tug at the other end of
Jack Gilbert in Refusing Heaven
It’s a soggy summer day in Seattle, folks, a day to silently drink in this pithy piece of wisdom and store it until the sun graces us with its presence again.
Photo Credit: true self portraits https://www.newscientist.com/round-up/your-true-self/