Blessing in the Chaos Jan Richardson To all that is chaotic in you, let there come silence. Let there be a calming of the clamoring, a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you, that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest, will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you. Let what distracts you cease. Let what divides you cease. Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans, and let depart all that keeps you in its cage. Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos, where you find the peace you did not think possible and see what shimmers within the storm. Jan Richardson in The Cure For Sorrow: A Book Of Blessings For Times Of Grief
Morning Meditation Hunting for solace Fleet-footed and soul-suppled, We dash down labyrinthine paths, Crosscuts furrowed by unbounded grace. Like steam-fog rising from ponds in early morning, Grace rises from well-worn paths And enfolds us in a holy embrace. If we let her. c. Rita H Kowats January 8, 2022 With a grateful nod to The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson
When the pandemic first began, I longed for the comfort of Three Pines Village featured in the Louise Penny mystery series. So I reread all of the books. It helped! “Some might argue that Three Pines itself isn’t real, and they’d be right, but limited in their view. The village does not exist, physically. But I think of it as existing in ways that are far more important and powerful. Three Pines is a state of mind. When we choose tolerance over hate. Kindness over cruelty. Goodness over bullying. When we choose to be hopeful, not cynical. Then we live in Three Pines.” (Louise Penny) So I read. And read. It’s time to go back to Three Pines on this anniversary of the horror perpetrated in the U,S. Capital.
One of Penny’s books, Glass Houses, features a cobrador, a “cloaked figure acting as a conscience to those without one. Forcing payment of a moral debt.” (Penny) He/she stands wordlessly in the village green. Waiting. I’m reminded of that book every day lately when I see an unsheltered person come to rest on the bench across the street. Sometimes in chilling, drenching rain and high wind. They just sit for a while, and I hold vigil with them from my warm, dry apartment. I pray for forgiveness for my complicity with an unjust system that keeps them unsheltered. The visitor to the bench is a cobrador for me, calling me to accountability and inspiring me to action. My hope is that all of us will stand as a conscience that reminds us that there is still such a thing as the common good. That we will stand as a conscience that says no to violence and selfishness.
We stand. With or without words. We stand boldly in our “no.”
The Light Bearers Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Illuminate The shadows that loom And shatter peace By piece by piece, But gentle your swings- Don’t show us all at once Lest you send us scampering Deeper into the cupboard. Illuminate. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Cauterize. Bring your light beside our wound To staunch the steady stream of negativity That threatens our well-being; A slow burn, endearing and enduring. Cauterize. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. Heal, Lightbearer. Ignite us with love And stoke it, until transformed, We bear the light to others. Heal. Carry your light into the dark. Swing it wide Into the hidden cupboards Tucked away Under the staircases of our souls. c. Rita H Kowats 2021
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Beannacht (New Year Blessing) – John O’Donohue On the day when The weight deadens On your shoulders And you stumble, May the clay dance To balance you. And when your eyes Freeze behind The grey window And the ghost of loss Gets in to you, May a flock of colours, Indigo, red, green, And azure blue, Come to awaken in you A meadow of delight. When the canvas frays In the currach of thought And a stain of ocean Blackens beneath you, May there come across the waters A path of yellow moonlight To bring you safely home. May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, May the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow Wind work these words Of love around you, An invisible cloak To mind your life. by John O’Donohue In To bless the space between us: A Book of Blessings
Creator and Sustainer of Time Hold us close on this last day of the year, as we disentangle unwelcome energies from body and soul. Spirit these burnt-out energies away on the updraft of time. Rejoice with us over past energies that sustained and enlivened our weary souls. Bring us, we beg, seasoned courage and hope wafting on the currents of your love. Creator and Sustainer of Time, May it be so. Amen c. Rita Hemmer Kowats December 31, 2021
Ever constant Light Splits open solid soul walls Life surprises dark.
This Christmas Eve I send blessings of light to all of you.
May we all receive what we need in this moment.
Blessing for the Longest Night All throughout these months as the shadows have lengthened, this blessing has been gathering itself, making ready, preparing for this night. It has practiced walking in the dark, traveling with its eyes closed, feeling its way by memory by touch by the pull of the moon even as it wanes. So believe me when I tell you this blessing will reach you even if you have not light enough to read it; it will find you even though you cannot see it coming. You will know the moment of its arriving by your release of the breath you have held so long; a loosening of the clenching in your hands, of the clutch around your heart; a thinning of the darkness that had drawn itself around you. This blessing does not mean to take the night away but it knows its hidden roads, knows the resting spots along the path, knows what it means to travel in the company of a friend. So when this blessing comes, take its hand. Get up. Set out on the road you cannot see. This is the night when you can trust that any direction you go, you will be walking toward the dawn. —Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief
After a morning inundated with news of violence and the omicron variant sweeping with breakneck speed across the world, I am once again rescued by the Meister’s stunning insight into the essence of divinity, “God laughs and plays.” (Meister Eckhart)
Stuffed bird flew the coup At Ascot’s royal racing Racy Tweets Twitter
Sherlock sleuths out sleep Wherever he can find it- Exercise be damned.
Clap your hands believe Magic dances in wide eyes Resurrection Day
Its been a challenging morning for me here in my fifty-five+ apartment. Most of us are eons past fifty-five. I often see first responders arrive below my window and most of the time I am grateful for the opportunity to ponder my own mortality. Today is not one of those days. Sitting at the front door earlier I saw five first responders leave in somber silence, when often they leave in jovial camaraderie. Remembering that I’ve not seen Steve lately I went to his door to check and his U.S. Army flag was gone, likely draped on his coffin now. I let all my feelings have their say then turned to Jan Richardson for solace. Ahh. All is well. May you too receive what you need today.
Blessing When the World Is Ending Look, the world is always ending somewhere. Somewhere the sun has come crashing down. Somewhere it has gone completely dark. Somewhere it has ended with the gun, the knife, the fist. Somewhere it has ended with the slammed door, the shattered hope. Somewhere it has ended with the utter quiet that follows the news from the phone, the television, the hospital room. Somewhere it has ended with a tenderness that will break your heart.
But, listen, this blessing means to be anything but morose. It has not come to cause despair. It is simply here because there is nothing a blessing is better suited for than an ending, nothing that cries out more for a blessing than when a world is falling apart. This blessing will not fix you, will not mend you, will not give you false comfort; it will not talk to you about one door opening when another one closes. It will simply sit itself beside you among the shards and gently turn your face toward the direction from which the light will come, gathering itself about you as the world begins again. —Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
The ark of consequence The classic rainbow shows as an arc, a bridge strung in thinning clouds, but I have seen it flash a perfect circle, rising and falling and rising again through the octave of colors, a sun shape rolling like a wheel of light. Commonly it is a fraction of a circle, a promise only partial, not a banal sign of safety like a smile pin, that rainbow cartoon affixed to vans and baby carriages. No, it promises only, this world will not self-destruct. Account the rainbow a boomerang of liquid light, foretelling rather that what we toss out returns in the water table; flows from the faucet into our bones; what we shoot up into orbit falls to earth through the roof one night. Think of it as a promise that what we do continues in an arc of consequence, flickers in our children’s genes, collects in each spine and liver, gleams in the apple, coats the down of the drowning auk. When you see the rainbow iridescence shiver in the oil slick, smeared on the waves of the poisoned river, shudder for the covenant broken, for we are given only this floating round ark with the dead moon for company and warning. § Marge Piercy In The hunger moon : new and selected poems, 1980–2010 / by.—1st ed.