When the well goes dry, listen.
Sit by it, your ear pressed to its rim.
Hear the empty and the hollow of it.
Let be. Let be.
When finally you hear your breath
echo back to you,
let this sound be your first prayer.
Where there is breath,
there is water somewhere.

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


Photo Credit:

In Spring




in spring
infant leaves emerge
tentatively from buds on stark white winter-limbs
like tentative souls
emerging from the dark night
into resurrection.

© rita h kowats 4-7-18


In meditation on this magnificent Rilke poem given to me by my soul-friend, I realize that it is both an echo and a fulfillment of my own attempt to grasp the depths of our spiritual journey.


God speaks to each of us as she makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame,
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.

Rilke’s Book of Hours


Dark Night of the Soul




My soul feels tight
Like a ball of yarn
Wound around itself
Strand by strand round and round
Until no redemptive chink
Admits light or air.
Ego clamors to unravel and reveal
As if knowing alone can extricate and redeem.

Spirit takes this Jonah by the hand
And descends into the belly of the ball
To sit in her light and breathe in her air
Until the beginning strand finds me,
Wraps me round and catapults me
Into divine spaciousness.

© rita h kowats 7-16




Skin on Skin

nude in the desert framed

Lest you be led astray, this poem is not about “Hot August Nights” or “The Fire Down Below.”  My apologies. Regrets also to millennials onward for antiquated references.  What can I say.  I’m antiquated.


I settled down in bed for the duration
Of the hot sticky summer night.

The long-haired Ragdoll cat
Whom I usually love
Took this as a cue to melt
Into my body, becoming one with my hot, bare skin.
My discomfort awakened the skin-close emotion
That had surprised me earlier
And I rolled away to a more comfortable place

Until morning.
Now I remember yesterday,
When the telling of the story transported me
To the raw experience of utter aloneness
Where the skin of the emotion touched the skin of my soul
Awakening memories embedded in healed scar tissue.

At last the re-living wears itself out
And I leave the story behind,
Grateful for a faithful soul-sister 
Who vigiled with me in the hot sticky
Dark night of my soul.

c. rita h kowats
August 14, 2015


Combat Fatigue

soul card for combat fatigue


I was inspired by Amy’s Campion’s post this morning, “The Meaning of Locks in Dreams. ” She gives a variety of interpretations to the symbol which you might find helpful:


Combat Fatigue



Photo Credit:  Deborah Koff-Chapin has created  a technique she calls “touch drawing.”  She calls them “SOULCARDS.” They  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.  You can learn more at Deborah’s webpage

Photo Credit Sunrise Overlay:  Linda Roddis