Respite

My candle batteries are still lasting. They’ve brought me light since Wednesday, but this morning I need more. So I curled up in the embrace of the two gigantic angels who always stand at my back, have my back. More than one person who has eyes to see such beings has pointed them out to me. At first I kept asking them for their names but they never told me, so I called them “Frick and Frack.” It stuck. So this poem is for them.

Respite

Standing at our backs,
Your expansive wings enfold
These unfledged humans
Who recoil from the miasma of hate
That now pollutes each breath we take
In this land of the once free.

Recoil or cower,
Which is it?

We shelter within stalwart wings waiting
For healing and spirit-washed air
To fill our lungs.

Then
We repair the breach.

c. Rita H Kowats 1-9-21

Photo Credit: https://www.jing.fm/idown/iimxihw_clipart-chromatic-angel-wings-within-angel-wings-clipart/

Find Life. Celebrate it.

Crow Wisdom

Crow Wisdom
(An Irreverent Rumi-like Ramble)

The incontinent crow
Flying over my window
Bids adieu and screw you
To this year without cheer.
Crow wisdom:
Let go,
Let hope in,
Live.

2020/29/12
rita h kowats

Honor the Blooming

This poem by Wendell Berry, simple in the stark power it offers, has become the center piece in the Advent rituals of Seattle Mennonite Church (https://seattlemennonite.org). This season is offering me the opportunity to identify what is blooming in me now. Not what will bloom when covid passes. What booms now.

Berry’s poem invites us to fear not those ubiquitous travelers, dark feet and dark wings, for they are the essence of our humanity. They are the redeemed coals that smolder in the cauldrons of our souls, the sparks of light we bring into the dark and out of the dark.

Spiritual Practice

Breathing in I become the dark.
Breathing out I disperse light.

Breathing in I receive the bloom.
Breathing out I release despair.

Breathing in I am peace.
Breathing out I release anxiety.

May it be so.

Embracing the Dark

Sometimes the sanctity of our homes has felt instead like a jail cell in this pandemic. At times, we have collapsed into despair. Yet, other times we are embracing the dark creatively.

In addition to these thoughtful poems from Wendell Berry and Jan Richardson, I recommend Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Photo Credit: https://lmw.org/gods-light-shines-in-the-darkness/

Living The Now

“There’s no pre-pandemic button we can hit. This is our life now. We shouldn’t waste it.” Steven Petrow https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/covid-36c93e6e94fb_story.html

In Steven Petrow’s essay he gives us a Buddhist-like road map to living our lives in this pandemic now, while it is still with us. After reading it, I took an audio walk in Gordon Hempton’s forest:

(Ear buds recommended for fuller experience)


https://music.amazon.com/albums/B000QZTD5W?ref=dm_sh_dIHqCvzt9tzx7onJuq6bC0ROs

(Also available on spotify)

You might also appreciate reading:

and this…

Photo Credit Hoh Rainforest: https://www.planetware.com/seattle/olympic-national-park-us-wa-onp.htm

Stoking Divine Light

How powerful it is when together we harness divine light for the greatest good. In this tenuous time of political unrest and hounded by sickness and death, may we be intentional about gathering those sparks of light ignited in the fire of our suffering. May we not tire of stoking our light and dispersing its healing warmth.

May it be so.

(Ahh. Such holy words, yes? But just yesterday a man in our small elevator invited more folks in against my expressed request. What did I do? I yelled, “No!” Then I got out. That little light of mine was not shinning very brightly! Or was it? He wouldn’t listen and I took care of myself. A different spark of light, but illuminating, nonetheless? You be the judge!)