How do we cope with the pace of covid 19? This poem was my outlet. It is heavy, but the times are heavy and allowing myself to feel puts me in solidarity with the suffering of others, and my own suffering. I hold all of you in my prayer.
Respite (Upon seeing Aid Units take neighbors to hospitals)
Last night Lopsided Luna Had shrunk to a sliver While I rested safely In the crook of her crescent elbow.
Yet today, as sometimes happens here, Sol soars above the Salish Sea In full, bold brilliance Prompting squints to soothe and temper. But try as we might to temper traffic- The Aid Units keep on coming.
How I long to stagger the relentless surge Of this viral onslaught. Let me linger longer in that calm crescent cave Where raw sadness can live its way back to hope, Where I can hone the creed That all is well- Regardless.
C. Rita Hemmer Kowats 4-20-2020 Birthday of my father George J. Kowats +1988
Little did I know when I first posted this piece, that it would become far more haunting and applicable to today’s experience of a pandemic.. I wondered if human beings, like mountain goats, are spiritually coded to stand on the ledges of spirit. May we not fall off. And if we do fall off, may we land well. Godspeed everyone.
The reflections of Jan Richardson always delight and enrich me. This piece I meditated on today seems particularly apt nourishment for us now.
Richardson reflects on Hildegard von Bingen’s work, Scivias, in which the mystic personifies virtues. “Longing stands next to Patience,” says Hildegard, and Richardson reflects, “Yes, and I am wedged in between them. How do Patience and Longing live together in you?”
A question for us to ponder as well.
“Longing stands next to Patience”
Longing would sometimes like to be assigned a different spot. Would like to be less near this one who approaches everything with such equanimity. Would like some distance from the measured way that Patience marks time, holds herself with such politeness toward its passing. Patience knows this about Longing. Accepts it, even loves it about her. This makes Longing crazy. Patience has not told her she has some envy of Longing’s perfect ache or that she thinks it must be an art to hold oneself so perpetually poised toward the horizon. For her part, Longing has not confessed that there are days she finds Patience restful. Soothing. A relief. Meanwhile, by little and by little, so slowly its appearance will startle them both, a horizon is drawing near.
May Longing and Patience teach you by turns: not just the fire but the tending of it, not just the well but the digging; not just the vision but the enduring it asks, by day and by darkness drawing us on.
In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer by Jan L. Richardson
Looking out my window beyond the splash of pink cherry blossoms, I see an unsheltered man in the little park on the trail organizing his treasured belongings for the day.
He has spread a blanket on the grass beside his commandeered shopping cart and organized his treasures into categories that make sense to him. He is retrieving them one by one and arranging them neatly in the cart.
My mind immediately jumps to an analysis of the injustices that may have catapulted the man into this situation and my heart weeps that he endures it as his well-being is threatened by the pandemic crisis. A new question replaces my grief and anxiety:
What is he teaching me? The lesson lives in this advice from the PBS drama, “Call the Midwives,” ‘You just have to keep on living until you are alive again.’ Keep on living each moment with integrity. Like my unsheltered teacher grabbing a little bit of control over his situation, I have to be creative and intentional in choosing control when it’s possible and faith when control evades me.
In what small ways can you choose to keep on living through this pandemic until you are alive again?
“False alarm, everybody…turns out the coronavirus only kills old people.” @ahleuwu
Laura Dorwart, Ph.D. on Twitter: “Trying to claim disabled people aren’t regularly and systemically devalued, disposed of and dehumanized is pretty tough given all the “don’t worry, Real People won’t die, only Non-People like old and disabled people will.”
Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday 3-11 Seattle in response to a reporter’s question about the penalties for those who ignore social distancing mandates. “Penalty is you might be killing your grandad if you don’t do it.”
Elderly and disabled persons, among other groups, are often considered disposable. I do not refer to the medical community which has to make necessary decisions about who lives and who dies in extreme emergencies. I mean us. Let’s take the word “only” out of these discussions about covid-19.Instead, we could say, “primarily affects…”
The Common Good lurks Under a subterfuge of denial:
Only the old die. Only the disabled die. Only the poor die.
Come back, Common Good. Cast your expected aura Of empathy-energy around us. Redeem our frightened and frazzled spirits.
So many of you either have already, or are now experiencing the fallout of Covid-19. I am a seventy-five year old with a compromised immune system, recovering from flu and sitting in the epicenter of the outbreak north of Seattle WA,USA. I think of you all much more lately, believe me! Your courage and faithfulness to spiritual practice sustains me and lifts me up.
I have developed the practices below as a way to remain at peace and to balance the lack of control with the power of spiritual action. My list of people and places to protect grows with each day. These are the people and places I hold in light:
Thank you for whispering a quick blanket protection for us.
My sister and her husband My nieces and nephews My sister-in-law and everyone at her memory care center, including the families My spiritual director and soul sister My church campus, staff, our neighbors there without a roof over them Members of my geographical house church Life Care Center in Kirkland where nine have died and others are infected The hospital where my friend works and my friend and herself The 50+ Apartment building where I reside Myself My friends
Protection Ritual For This Time Of Epidemic
Ground yourself using whatever ways help you. Begin when you are ready:
Spirit of divine, cauterizing light,
Surround this place (name) and/or person (name) with your brilliant, healing light. Above, below, behind, in front, around and around.
(Imagine the swirling light banking and building heat and sending it throughout this person and/or place. Imagine that this spirit light is brooding in the center of this place/person)
Spirit Light, brood within them. Generate healing light and warmth. May they be free of all dis-ease. May they be free from harm. May they be happy and peaceful. May they be strong and healthy. May they take care of themselves with joy.
May it be so. Amen.
Protection Ritual For Yourself If You Are Sick
Susanne has recommended 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.
This first week of Lent in my Mennonite faith community Mark 10:17-21 takes center stage in our human drama.
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
The rich young man who thinks he has done everything right is disappointed in Jesus’ response. I would be too except that Jesus looks at me and loves me.
Imagine this sacred bowl as the womb of the divine. Toss in all those grasping ego trips we hoard. Keep digging down until you get them all, and then you will be poor of grasping and rich of spirit.
My bowl is ready. My Lenten practice will be to root out the unhealthy ego manifestations that hold me in a death grip, write them down and toss them into my bowl. At Easter they will become my whole burnt offering.