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

Seething In The Soul





What to do in the Darkness
by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Go slowly
Consent to it
But don’t wallow in it
Know it as a place of germination
And growth
Remember the light
Take an outstretched hand if you find one
Exercise unused senses
Find the path by walking it
Practice trust
Watch for dawn

Soul Sloth

Soul lethargy is not Letting go.

It is soul sloth.

Soul lethargy is not 
Letting go.
It is soul sloth.

Like Sherlock asleep
on his exercise wheel,
I emerge from this pandemic
afraid to get back on the wheel,
curled up instead around my COVID fat
feeling sorry for myself.
Feeling pseudo-safe in a cocoon
of my own making.

A cocoon leading not to new life
but to one doomed to die by soul sloth.

Up! 

My soul opens like a morning glory 
starved for sunlight, waiting
for grace to pull me up.
Divine Spirit ever folding and unfolding, 
Show me the way out.

In the asking, soul sloth becomes
Letting-go.

c. Rita H Kowats 5-30-21

* Apologies to my feline sleuth for so cavalierly exposing his soul and fat belly for all to see.

Loving Kindness for February 8

“He was pinned to himself to die,
a royal tern with a black crest blown back
as if he flew in his own private wind.”

Gracious Goodness
by Marge Piercy

On the beach where we had been idly
telling the shell coins
cat’s paw, cross-barred Venus, china cockle,
we both saw at once the sea bird fall to the sand
and flap grotesquely.
He had taken a great barbed hook
out through the cheek and fixed
in the big wing.
He was pinned to himself to die,
a royal tern with a black crest blown back
as if he flew in his own private wind.
He felt good in my hands, not fragile
but muscular and glossy and strong,
the beak that could have split my hand
opening only to cry
as we yanked on the barbs.
We borrowed a clippers, cut and drew out the hook.
Then the royal tern took off, wavering,
lurched twice,
then acrobat returned to his element, dipped,
zoomed, and sailed out to dive for a fish.
Virtue:  what a sunrise in the belly.
Why is there nothing
I have ever done with anybody
that seems to me so obviously right?

___________________________________________________

I offer this poem once again because it speaks to the place many of us find ourselves in today, “pinned to ourselves to die,” and waiting for some one, some event, to unpin us. I have added new lines to my meta prayer:

May we be content with our own best selves.

May we be open to receive the help that we need.

May we recover those who are pinned.

May it be so.

“Why is there nothing
I have ever done with anybody
that seems to me so obviously right?”

Photo Credit: Media Tweets by Teresa Fernandez (@TeresaF35309694) on Twitter

Waiting

bird-blue-heron-shore-birds-animals-37992

The virtue of patience often eludes me.  Today I am longing to return to the swimming pool in the worst way.  The confines of covid don’t bother me, nor do long periods alone, because it is my intentional lifestyle. But my poor old body can barely wait to get back to the pool.

A meditation on I Ching 5 hexagram this morning is helpful, especially this line:

It is only through patience that you can
become the bridge between the fickle fish
and the eventual feast.

I send you the gift of graceful waiting today.

 

Heron Patience

The Great Blue Heron
Lurches from side to side
Scouting succulent salmon
Twitching in the tide.
Settling on a spot in which to spy
She turns her head sideways
To see salmon swimming.
And waits.
And waits.

In my dotage
I too lurch from leg to cane to leg,
Longing for the feast, but missing it,
Too intent upon ego offerings
That clamor for attention.
The wait is too long;
“Succulent salmon, slither hither!”

c. Rita H Kowats 5-28-18, revised 7-7-20

 

https://divination.com/iching/lookup/5-2/

https://tricycle.org/magazine/finding-patience-2/

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Hilary Halliwell from Pexels

A Spirituality Of Aging

MontfauconArgonne081710.JPG

I stand here
Outside of myself
And watch as I commence
the journey
Into venerable vulnerability-
At least that’s what the young call it;
It doesn’t feel venerable yet.

I watch with surprise
That this old body that once
Could stave off
All manner of ailment
Bouncing back stronger,
Now fights a succession of infections
On a pilgrimage to commune
With the bones
Of my once stately cathedral.

I stand here
Outside of myself
And watch as I
Cry through the loss
Like an ancient willow wailing
Over limbs taken by thankless winds.
I feel the phantom sensations
Of my coveted limbs tingle
With strength, endurance and joy.

If I stand here
Outside of myself long enough
I will see green-leafed limbs
Poke through the paneless windows
Of my bone cathedral,
Stretching toward
patience, acceptance and resignation.

I stand here
Outside of myself
Awestruck by this holy episode
We call life.

c. Rita H Kowats May 18, 2020

Photo Credit: Wikipedia  Commons

Wedding Patience With Longing

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.

Blessing

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

Photo Credit: https://everydaypower.com/patience-quotes/

Disposable

Quarantined Italians Sing To One Another Across Empty Sreets

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…”


Disposable

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.

c. Rita H Kowats 3-13-2020