The ark of consequence The classic rainbow shows as an arc, a bridge strung in thinning clouds, but I have seen it flash a perfect circle, rising and falling and rising again through the octave of colors, a sun shape rolling like a wheel of light. Commonly it is a fraction of a circle, a promise only partial, not a banal sign of safety like a smile pin, that rainbow cartoon affixed to vans and baby carriages. No, it promises only, this world will not self-destruct. Account the rainbow a boomerang of liquid light, foretelling rather that what we toss out returns in the water table; flows from the faucet into our bones; what we shoot up into orbit falls to earth through the roof one night. Think of it as a promise that what we do continues in an arc of consequence, flickers in our children’s genes, collects in each spine and liver, gleams in the apple, coats the down of the drowning auk. When you see the rainbow iridescence shiver in the oil slick, smeared on the waves of the poisoned river, shudder for the covenant broken, for we are given only this floating round ark with the dead moon for company and warning. § Marge Piercy In The hunger moon : new and selected poems, 1980–2010 / by.—1st ed.
photo credit: FWStudio pexels,com
Death follows naturally from old age. For John, it was not to be feared. It would be “a very beautiful meeting between you and yourself” and there would be “a great fiesta time ahead.”Walking in wonder: eternal wisdom for a modern world / John O’Donohue and John Quinn.
If you find yourself in a heated discussion with your ego off on a crash flight, try imagining your grounding cord planted in the earth with Gaia swinging from it. Not only will the image return you to presence, but if you dress her quite outlandishly, the chuckle it evokes may change your mood!
Grab on Gaia To the grounding cord Of my being. Hold fast, swinging in circles That pull me down down down Rooting me in the fertile compost Of your faithful mystery. www.spiritualitywithoutborders.blog
In solidarity with the climate change summit, I offer this musing from a previous post. May we have a change of heart and habit.
“…This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened.”
Down Here Wispy tendrils of hazy smoke from Canada’s forest fires Lasso branches of not-so-evergreens And the aberrant heat drapes its humid blanket over this bed We now must lie in. Over There Adam lies drowning In a pool of lethal despair While in Bahrain more mundane matters Press on Ahmad and the butterfly spirals down To The Boneyard of Indifference. ©Rita H Kowats August 3, 2017
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Illuminate The shadows that loom And shatter peace By piece by piece, But gentle your swings- Don’t show us all at once Lest you send us scampering Deeper into the cupboard. Illuminate. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Cauterize. Bring your light beside our wound To staunch the steady stream of negativity That threatens our well-being; A slow burn, endearing and enduring. Cauterize. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Heal, Lightbearer. Ignite us with love And stoke it, until transformed, We bear the light to others. Heal. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. c. Rita Hemmer Kowats November 5, 2021
photo credits: Pexels.com
Recently I submitted this video-essay to my faith community’s talent show. A friend suggested that some of you might relate to its message, so here it is. I think it may be especially helpful to those of you who suffer with a loved one. It matters profoundly if we are there with them in their struggle, whether or not they know we are there. Blessings to you. May we receive what we need this day.
BELOVED IS WHERE WE BEGIN If you would enter into the wilderness, do not begin without a blessing. Do not leave without hearing who you are: Beloved, named by the One who has traveled this path before you. Do not go without letting it echo in your ears, and if you find it is hard to let it into your heart, do not despair. That is what this journey is for. I cannot promise this blessing will free you from danger, from fear, from hunger or thirst, from the scorching of sun or the fall of the night.
But I can tell you that on this path there will be help. I can tell you that on this way there will be rest. I can tell you that you will know the strange graces that come to our aid only on a road such as this, that fly to meet us bearing comfort and strength, that come alongside us for no other cause than to lean themselves toward our ear and with their curious insistence whisper our name: Beloved. Beloved. Beloved. —Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
It seems to be our human experience in dealing with chronic disease, (especially an unseen one) that we unintentionally hurt and misunderstand one another. Instead of asking for an explanation so we can understand and support, we sometimes make assumptions based on ignorance. Other times we are impatient and push the other to get better because we’re tired of listening. Sometimes a valid sentiment! I’ve done all the above! Likely you have too.
My spiritual practice around this tendency, however, takes a different perspective. I want to grow into a place where I don’t have to have full understanding and respect around the chronic disease that I have lived with for ten years. Enough of this lonely feeling of abandonment!
This mantra seems especially timely considering the pandemic when so many suffer so intensely:
I am Beloved. I have everything I need within me. I am Beloved.
Photo Credit: Autumn Road by ferro hanc, deviantart.com
I rediscovered this photo while rummaging in a long-forgotten drawer for a greeting card. The find has had me rummaging through the time I spent in the Ground Zero community, a nonviolent resistance movement to nuclear weapons. I lived in the woods in a house above the railroad tracks that moved weapons and fuel in and out of Subase Bangor in Poulsbo/Silverdale WA. Perhaps the message I want to share in the accompanying poem is the realization that if we allow our spiritual practice to divest us of the need to cling to possessions, the world will not need weapons to protect the “lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed.”
I. My intrepid Blue Cream Tortoise Shell boldly went where no sane mortal dared to roam. Emily slinked across the railroad tracks which carried warheads and fuel- fresh and spent- into Subase Bangor. She scooted under the gate making her way to the bunkers where armed marines waited ready to shoot intruders at first sight- but surely not Emily. Emily who did not threaten to destroy "the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed."* II. Jim and I passed out the week's leaflets from our respective lanes at Trigger Avenue gate. We shivered against the temperature outside, and the inside temperature of workers as they spotted us when traffic stalled. It was a typical early morning arrival- yawning, putting on makeup, shaving. Until an unexpected guest materialized darting in and out of cars, nostrils flaring eyes betraying the deer's sheer terror. Guards rushed out to stop traffic and opened the gate wide. We waited. And waited. Finally the deer leaped up and shot to safety on the other side. Jim looked at me and said, "How ironic that she is safer in there than out here." No open gate for those who "threaten the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed." *Admiral Trost in The Trident Tides U.S. Navy publication c. rita hemmer kowats Indigenous Peoples Day 2021