Here is a little something for us to sit with in preparation for Easter.
It is time.
We sit on our designated hills
overlooking our private Jerusalems
watching the malignant intruder slither
toward the Holy City.
So they say.
They say it is a holy thing
that one chooses to die for all.
So we remember and choose
to muddle through our own dry and tattered times.
Like stark, barren limbs
giving way to bursts of chartreuse leaves
and sweet-smelling blossoms
that waft on winds of promise,
we too shall bear luscious, ripe fruit.
© Rita H Kowats
Photo Credit for Magnolia tree: photo credit: jennifernish <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/15004954@N03/6968390159″>sneak peek at spring</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
The leaf photo evokes the image of a crab’s pinchers poised to strike as it sidles sideways across the sand. As we know, the astrological sign of cancer is named for the crab. Those who are born under this sign are said to struggle letting go and they often communicate indirectly. Outer appearances serve as an armor of sorts, hiding the depths of their feelings, a universally human tendency.
In the process of growing up, crabs have to molt their hard shells many times to make way for each new, larger shell. As it molts, the old shell has to soften while the beginnings of the new shell grow under it. The crab must pull its whole self from the old shell; if it gets stuck, it dies.
Thinking sideways slanders truth.
Speaking sideways swindles youth.
Legacy leaving requires
Brittle, whittled half-truths
must soften and slip
to make room for new strata
soon sloughed off to shine
brilliant on sparks of pure
© Rita H Kowats. 3-22-19
As the creator of this photograph, I instinctively positioned the leaf one way and have only seen it from that direction. Until now. I decided to let the photo speak to me from all four possible positions. I invite you to do the same. You have my permission to position it as the spirit urges. For my first meditation I wrote from this position
The bone-weary phoenix
emerges from his marrow yet again
with wings worse for wear and poised for take-off.
He hitches a ride on Spirit Breath,
animated and ablaze, drunk
on the sweet elixir of life.
“Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”
Borne on the wings of grace
we reach into the marrow of our souls
and pull ourselves back to
© Rita H Kowats 3-17-19
In another post I told the story of this photo,
On my walk along the lake I spotted a maple leaf, dried to death by the intense summer heat, stunning in its aridity. Unable to ignore its call, I snatched it up and carried it home to await the muse.
It called to me again as this season of Lent commenced, but I wasn’t prepared to receive its unexpected power. The liturgical artists from my spiritual home, Seattle Mennonite Church, extended an invitation for us to engage our lenten theme, Parables of Abundance: “We are interested in creating a visual piece that reflects both the abundance we experience in trying to live with less, as well as our feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.” We are invited to bring our image or our written piece to the sanctuary to create a rich collage of our experiences of abundance.
As the photographer, I instinctively positioned the leaf one way and have only seen it from that direction. Until now. I decided to let the photo speak to me from all four possible positions. I invite you to do the same. You have my permission to position it as the spirit urges.
This is an offering I posted a few years ago which seems even more relevant today as many churches grapple with deeply felt justice issues. May we learn to bend without breaking.
Photo Credit: Tumsu/Pixabay in https://radio.wosu.org/term/brain-plasticity#stream/0
Jim Neafsey https://www.sacredbondprints.com
used with permission
I wanted to evoke a living Presence, a palpable sense of Mystery
infusing the mother and child, the green hills, the foggy valleys,
the starry night…and ourselves.
This stunning and evocative icon gifts me with a rich array of feelings, faith and questions. It takes me to that place where you, my readers, also desire to go, so I offer you this introduction. On his website Jim offers us insight, knowledge and experience about the creation of his icon and how to use it in meditation. Many of you are involved in spiritual practices for yourselves and others. Prints can be effortlessly ordered here. I intend to hang my print above my sacred space where it can be a spirit muse for my own meditation and for those who join me in spiritual practice. Those of you active in a myriad of justice ministries, especially immigration justice, might hang a print in your office. I can see it sparking rich sharing. Greeting cards are also offered…these could be meaningful Christmas cards for friends and family this year.
Invitation to Fireworks
Can you see her there
Vibrating in the spaces between stars?
A persistent luminescent beacon, she beckons
you in and
Throw on her cape of lush verdant vales and flailing whales
Move with her through divine pregnant spaces
until you come to that road rarely walked.
Plant your soul-feet firmly on it and bring her home.
What was otherwise mundane and profane,
Becomes fire-infused divinity.
© Rita H Kowats 2-19-19
Yesterday, to save time, I took the E-line bus which runs through the non-Amazon side of Seattle. It is a route which usually leaves me depleted of psychic energy. However, this time the E-Line gifted me with the blessed ordinariness of life. It was a holiday and folks were basking in their liminal time. Gentle smiles graced the faces of the poorest of the poor. An aging woman who still walked well gave her seat to an aging man who no longer walked well. I was unaware of my need to see ordinary folks going about their lives with courage and joy. Today this poem emerged.
Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/349447/ by Eugenia