Reimagining

“After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system.“

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

Photo credit: shininglightenergyworks.com


On this day of remembering the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the effects of trauma are very much with me.

I began my day listening to family members read the names of victims. Then I read the newsletter from my 55+ apartment building which announces that management is being harrassed and treated as less than human. It was not stated, but I wonder if as Asian Americans, they are being unconsciously scapegoated for “causing” the pandemic. I am brought back to our response to 9/11: an endless war laced with anti Muslim sentiment.

We are afraid. We feel helpless. Instead of reimagining a life without the threat of COVID, thus ending the power it has over us, we project our fear and rage on the nearest target.

I send light today to all the loved ones left behind.  May we all find healing.  Here is a guided meditation to help us through.

Dance Today

NYT

Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.

Dance today’s dance

Today.

RHK
Soon we live again exuberant and relieved;
But now we do a strange Lindy Hop
In a marathon not of our making,
We drag our weary bodies and souls behind us
Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note,
Releasing us from our dis-ease.

We yearn to dance again with abandon;
But in the time between we endure,
Faithful to this dance here and now.
Learning the steps as we go
Leaning against one another,
Cheering on, crying with.
Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.
Dance today’s dance
Today.

c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021


A bit of context. You can have this day’s dance. I don’t want it. I imagine there are some dances you don’t want either. This one is called pneumonia. The fact that precautions weren’t enough in this precarious time is what sticks in my craw. I feel more vulnerable. So I searched my posts for a spiritual practice that sustained me in another time. I’m getting ready for the Lindy Hop.

Spiritual Practice

I often use 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.


Soon we live again exuberant and relieved;Ssdo a strange Lindy Hop
In a marathon not of our making,
We drag our weary Sssssbodies and souls behind us
Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note,
Releasing us from our dis-ease.

We yearn to dance again with abandon;
But in the time between we endure,
Faithful to this dance here and now.
Learning the steps as we go
Leaning against one another,
Cheering on, crying with.
Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow.
Dance today.

c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021

Surprised By Presence

Two crows canoodling
On a fence
Sound the mindfulness bell,
Calling me back to presence.

I snuggle into sister soul
Canoodling with the divine,
While warmed by gracious grace.

c. Rita Hemmer Kowats August 29, 2021






In Need Of A Lullaby

After the onslaught of wolves and worries hurled at me on the news channel. After dealing with a sick cat and a sick me. I cuddled around my re-membered blankie and settled in for a reassuring lullaby. “Silver Birch” restored me, as I hope it does you as well.







“Silver Birch
a lullaby”

…Round and round the dangers prowl
-wolves and monsters, worries, witches-
but the birches stand like churches
as the dark around them surges,
Circles, crouches, clutches, lunges-
but breaks its power on birches’ branches,
Held at bay until at last the sun emerges,
warms the pines, the larches,
lights your yawns, your stretches,
there among the silver birches.

from the lost spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

https://www.thelostwords.org/lostspellsbook/


Light In August


In William Faulkner’s Light in August, Reverend Hightower marvels at “how that fading copper light would seem almost audible, like a dying yellow fall of trumpets dying into an interval of silence and waiting”* 





In the embers of an August day
I stroll through rows of magnificent dahlias,
waning sun casting muted light on a kaleidoscope 
of unexpected patterns of crimson, yellow, orange and pink.

In the last hurrah of summer
this rich contrast of muted light on dazzling dahlias
is an unexpected harbinger of hibernation,
A time of soulseeing by fresh angles of light,
waiting for outside sun to rise and warm again.

Summer still.
Yet I stroll through this “interval of silence and waiting”*
expecting the gift of harvest and the calm of the cave.


c. Rita H Kowats 8/9/2021

Spiritual Listening

It becomes increasingly more lonely to live a life of presence in today’s world. We try to listen deeply and the other drinks in the empathy we channel.  Then when we need deep listening, it is often not to be found.  We are greeted with a barrage of self-absorbed words tripping over more words. We survive by leaning into the constant presence of the divine that informs and sustains us.  

We desire to listen as an unconditional gift, even making it an intentional spiritual practice; however, our humanity longs for reciprocation. May we live into a bountiful space where deep listening defines our humanity and each one is blessed with a generous listener.

Constant Spirit Sprung

My young self shook
with sheer terror
in the Disclosure Confrontation Marathon
where they likened me to a monkey
swinging from bar to bar
shrieking,”Look at me, look at me!”

A constant stream of words
“saying nothing worth hearing” until,
the truth I sought so desperately
welled up from Constant Spirit

“I don’t love anyone because I don’t know how.”

Redemption.
Relief 
to know a starting point for growth.

Disclosure Confrontation Marathon-
No deep listening here.
Trauma aside, it pushed me onto the path.
How much better to have been led to it.

c. Rita Hemmer Kowats 7/31/2021


photo Credit: Pexels.com

Intentional Speaking: A Spiritual Practice

When I am giddy with the prospect of juicy gossip, John O’Donohue throws down this gauntlet to me:

May you not disrespect your mystery
 through brittle words or false belonging.

-“For Absence” in To Bless The Space Between Us


Physicists tell us that our thoughts are energy and energy doesn’t die.  Do I really want the negative energy of gossip to be my lingering legacy in the universe?

A Blessing For These Times

Blessing in the Chaos

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

—Jan Richardson



https://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/01/24/epiphany-4-blessing-in-the-chaos/