The first headline screaming at me this morning was about a political rally in Mississippi in which survivors of sexual abuse were denigrated and doubted. I held on tightly, riding a wave of rage. Energy is hard for me to come by these days and I didn’t want to step into this carefully choreographed drama yet again.
Enter stage left, headline #2: possible tax fraud. “Gottcha!” Justice at last. True. If it plays out this headline may turn the tide. In the meantime, how do we get off this stage to protect our energy? How do we change our focus?
The process that has helped me in the last two months is a re-read of all the Louise Penny novels. By immersing myself in her poetic prose and the wisdom of her character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, I have regained hope in humanity. Living in the village of Three pines again for that time away changed my focus. Here is how the author described it:
Some might argue that Three Pines itself isn’t real, and they’d be right, but limited in their view. The village does not exist, physically. But I think of it as existing in ways that are far more important and powerful. Three Pines is a state of mind. When we choose tolerance over hate. Kindness over cruelty. Goodness over bullying. When we choose to be hopeful, not cynical. Then we live in Three Pines.
Louise Penny Glass Houses
As I read the last page of the last novel I heaved a sigh of relief. Stronger again, I have slowly re-entered the news cycle and contemplated how to do justice without being victimized by the drama. I have discovered that it helps me to intentionally hold in light persons wronged by the drama. Sending loving kindness to them not only helps them. Putting my focus on their well-being gives me hope and directs my focus away from the “Gottcha!” spin. Many of you have found other ways to help you through this. Please share them with us.
Peace be with us all.
photo credit: Me now0 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/53421063@N02/16428362010″>Lake in the park. Изкуствено езеро в парка</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
And the feelings flattened and folded and
turned into something else, like emotional origami. Made to look pretty, but disguising something not at all attractive.
A Rule against Murder Louise Penny
Giddy with relief
We bid “Good Riddance!”
To the flattened and folded emotions of the old year,
Now smoldering embers of dashed dreams.
We stand poised to welcome a fresh start
Even as the embers flare up again,
Undulating on updrafts of promise-
Fleshed-out feelings inflated
With the expectation of transformation.
© Rita H Kowats 12-30-17
Photo Credit: DaPuglet <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/43810158@N07/36341206095″>Dove Lounging In The Apple Tree</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
It was such a perfect and appropriate image. Of being blind. Of the people who use the blind not seeing the cruelty of what they did, not seeing the beauty of what they were about to kill. It was, after all, a perfect word for that perch. A blind.
Louise Penny Still Life p. 257
These wise words from Louise Penny refer to a murder committed in the shelter of a deer blind perched out of sight in a tree. The image moves me to reflect on all the ways we ambush one another then cover it up in the safety of our self-righteousness.
Pledge: A Spiritual Practice
I will pay attention to the words and actions I hide behind to ambush the other.
If I must say or do the hard thing let it be said and done with eyes wide open rather than with eyes wide shut.
I will seek out those who speak and do in the light, and learn from them how to begin.
I will replace the violence of the blind with compassion and understanding.
photo credit: felipe_gabaldon <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/25716821@N04/36415309560“>From the cave</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
that the drama of mottled clouds
stirs the iffy places in our souls?
that skeleton trees create space
for soul seeing?
that the snare drum dissonance of leaves
announces the death of misconceived decisions
and promises life conceived in hope?
that the pungent odor of garden leftovers
wafting on crisp autumnal air
promises a resurrection like none other?
that the threads of November’s spider webs
emanate from the same spiritual fiber
that weaves one soul to another soul to another?
© Rita H Kowats
Louise Penny writes a mystery series about a detective in a mythical village in Quebec called Three Pines. I love these books especially for the author’s keen insight into human nature and her prose which flows like poetry. A favorite from the series is The Beautiful Mystery, about a murder in a monastery set deep into the wilds of Canada. Although hidden away, the monks are renowned for their near perfect expression of Gregorian chant. The abbot says, “Each of us individual notes. On our own, nothing. But together? Divine. We don’t just sing, we are the song.” The narrator says, “Gamache wondered if an equally important part of a chant wasn’t just the notes, but the space between them. The silence…They had such a profound effect on those who sang and heard them that the ancient chants became known as “The Beautiful Mystery.”
Photo Credit: https://www.smov.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=347&Itemid=717