The Land of Nod and The Feast

Recently, a fellow dreamer, Kayla, (www.dreamerly.com) posted this dream:

“Last night my dreams took me to the strangest places – to a little neighborhood of modern buildings nestled among the familiar imagery of my hometown.  On our way to our destination, my companion in the dream and I passed a light blue modern structure, a restaurant called “The Almond.” (I think that name is delightful and if I were to start a restaurant, I would surely name it just that!) Our destination in the dream was the house of a woman who served dinner from her home. It was a Sunday, and we were uncertain if she would be serving dinner that night. She was. When we were seated, we were the only ones there, but soon more people came and more and more, so that the room was completely full. A strange feast of the oddest foods was served. It was a marvelous dream, one that evokes memories of Babette’s Feast and that has had me moving through my day with an inward eye and a strange state of mind.”

With Kayla’s nod, I made an attempt to enter her dream and create a poem:

Tomboyseer 2

The Feast

Thirty-Seventh Ave. S.W.
Basks in the glow of yesteryear,
Yester joy, and the abandonment of youth.
Its aura creates an illusion of “All is well,”
When it isn’t….But THIS part is well:
Re-enacting every movie we saw,
I at the top of one vacant lot, a virtual Carol Burnet, singing at the top of my lungs,
“I’m calling you, ooo, ooo, ooo,”
Melania Wozniak echoing from the opposite vacant lot,
“I’m answering you, ooo, ooo, ooo.”
A “gemutlich” time, a hospitable hiatus
From a sometimes inhospitable home.
Out on Thirty-Seventh Ave. S.W.
I didn’t have to fit in where I didn’t fit.
Here, the wild, tomboy-seer
Fit.

The neighborhood of my youth
Tenders a gift:
“Return to my table and re-member the memories.”
I return.
New table.
Renovated restaurant.
And in the breaking of the bread
I see.

Deo Gratias

© rita h kowats

Pieces to Peace: Redemption

free photo of desert

I have banished pieces of my soul
To distant places in the desert of my life,
Where no predator can sniff the scent of shame.
Parched, pale remnants of miscarried experiences,
Are separated, not cut away
As Tibetan Buddhists
Dismember their dead to honor life.
These are abandoned out of fear of life.

The Seer inside weeps for the missing pieces
Until the time for action replaces grief.
She lifts up her mighty frame, and swaying across the desert,
She swoops up the cast-off pieces
And with one sound kiss, redeems them
With her love.

What was separated is seamed.
Pieces to Peace.

c. rita h kowats 2013

Published in presence, An International Journal of Spiritual Direction: Vol. 20, NO.1. March 2014

Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ story about La Huesera, The Bone Woman, has walked with me in this meditation.  A Jungian psychotherapist and a keeper of the stories, Dr. Estes is a read you will not easily forget (http://www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/index.htm) .  The Bone Woman, as the legend goes, lives in our souls and does the work of collecting bones from the desert so that she can sing life back into them.

THE PIECES

Walk with me in meditation for a time.  What experiences have you hidden away out of shame or anger or disappointment or revenge?  If your experience could talk to you, what might it say?  What do you want to say to it?

SENDING FORTH

Look deeply into your soul.  What do you see?  Can you find the Bone Woman?  What form does she take in you?  What qualities does she have- courage? intuition?  “holy audacity?” forgiveness?  perseverance?  Do you have faith that she can redeem your lost pieces?  Is it time?  Which particular pieces can she bring back to you at this time?  Which ones need to stay in the desert until you are able to make a home for them?  Can you release Bone Woman to do her work?  Do you need help?  Who would you ask to help you?

HOMECOMING

How can you ritualize homecoming- a feast, with a friend, perhaps a reconciliation? (“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” Lk, 15:24.)  Make a welcome- home card and keep it in your journal.  Write a dialogue with your soul-piece, forgiving it and asking its forgiveness for abandoning it.  If you are a painter, paint the return!  Just do something to mark it.

PRAY

In the presence of the Holy, I shed the shroud of shame and fear.  I commit myself to live in one peace.  Amen.