Coleridge enthusiasts will recognize the reference to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Alone, alone, all, all alone/ Alone on a wide, wide sea/ And never a saint/ Took pity on my soul in agony.” Whether spawned from an opium delerium or a moment of contemplation, the truth is there.
A nod to my friend Ernest Hemmingway and his brilliant short, short story, “A Clean Well-Lighted place,” where all is nada without one.
Photo by Hasan Albari from Pexels
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
Lenten Meditation Two
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
infant leaves emerge
tentatively from buds on stark white winter-limbs
like tentative souls
emerging from the dark night
© rita h kowats 4-7-18
In meditation on this magnificent Rilke poem given to me by my soul-friend, I realize that it is both an echo and a fulfillment of my own attempt to grasp the depths of our spiritual journey.
God speaks to each of us as she makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame,
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Rilke’s Book of Hours
I came upon this blessing in a moment of empathy for a friend who is enduring the death of her husband. A Gift for you, Mary Lou, and for all of us who grieve loss. I am reminded of a line from Call the Midwives, “We just go on living until we are alive again.” May we endure together.
The Art of Enduring
For Holy Saturday
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. —Psalm 31: 2
as long as you can.
began eons ago
and knows the art
witnessed the turning
weathered the spiraling
is in no rush.
will plant itself
by your door.
will keep vigil
and chant prayers.
will bring a friend
will pack a lunch
and a thermos
its sweet time
until it hears
of what had lain
dead within you
and is ready
Ann Richardson in Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings
“And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with grave-clothes and his face muffled with a handkerchief. “Now unbind him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go home.” John 11:44
I sat in our humble, spirit-filled church yesterday, listening to our preacher proclaim the story of Lazarus’ return to life, all the while, the image of Antelope Canyon wafting in and out of my consciousness. This poem was born today. I hope it will be for you as it is for me: food for the journey before us.
Primal and pristine
plummets through the fissure
of my tomb,
Trumpeting untested life.
nudge an expectant spirit
through the stone canal
rubbed smooth by the struggle
I tumble out
© rita h kowats Lent 2014
Photo Credit: Antelope Canyon Page, AZ Joyce Roach, O.P. used with permission. If you would like to feast more on Joyce’s poignant images, you can reach her at 253-756-9435, 1111 Rose Lane, Tacome WA USA 98406.
Flecks of sunglow
The long-chilled backbone of
Thawing teardrops caught
Spirit-inspired dawn spawns
Drawn from the integrity of
Living winter well.
© rita h kowats Spring 2014
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/lynn.schooler
I am grateful to Lynn Schooler for permission to use this exquisite photo experience of today’s dawn in Juneau Alaska. You have a rich experience awaiting you at his facebook page. Thank you, Lynn.