Gudrun Mouw Posts

I would like to be able to celebrate the news that From Ashes Into Light has won two more awards. How can this be done when the world is reeling and in shock?

I realize, after the presidential election, that my book reads like advance warning. There are things to ask ourselves, and From Ashes Into Light brings up some of these issues in stark ways. I am reminded of the Dylan line: “The times they are a changing.” And the change can be frightening.

I am reading Ge’rard De Nerval from 1854. The poem called Golden Lines begins with a quote from Pythagoras, “Astonishing! Everything is Intelligent!” Yes, I agree, we are swimming in consciousness. Still, what we do with that consciousness/intelligence makes all the difference.

The Romantic Poets responded to difficult times by turning to nature. This was an “Attack on the Old System,” according to Robert Bly in his News of the Universe poems of twofold consciousness.

How will poets respond to our current era? In many different ways, surely, unless an overwhelming movement develops in the genre.

               Morning Cold

Instead of pushing against cold,

muscles contract until

they become aware of themselves

after shock.

Many months of drought, at last, rain;

rain turned to tears.

I wear yellow to remember the sun,

to ward off complacency.

(C) Gudrun Mouw

November, 2016

A Poem From Ashes Into Light

beverlyhillsbookawardsFrom Ashes Into Light, Gudrun Mouw’s debut novel, just won two awards in the same week! In the 2016 Best Book Awards From Ashes Into Light placed as a finalist in two categories: Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. In the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards Ashes won in the same two categories. In fact if you take the win in each category as a separate award, From Ashes Into Light has won four awards, placed as a finalist in two awards, and received the silver award in another. Phew, seven awards altogether! The author asked me to guest write this post because she was just speechless with the acknowledgment.

best_book_award_badge_whiteHowever, winning awards doesn’t always translate into becoming popular. It’s challenging being an author in a genre that is possibly not well understood. Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction actually have a wide range of titles that qualify in each genre. So you can get a zombie fantasy as well as literary fiction in both categories.

For From Ashes Into Light, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. From Ashes Into Light is literary fiction with spiritual, new age (ie. the character believes in reincarnation) and visionary (consciousness-oriented) elements. It’s not exactly mainstream. But anyone interested in Buddhist teachings or spirituality in general should appreciate this well-crafted book.

In fact, the more people find out about these genres the better. Because picture this, you love books about the Dali Lama or this or that Rinpoche, and you love certain self-help books, but you’ve never tried reading fiction that’s spiritual. Now there are many, many options to combine entertainment and spiritual endeavors. Besides From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, I have read a handful of spiritual fiction that I would recommend.

Spiritual Fiction

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler

Each of these titles explores spirituality in a alternative, entertaining way. And as I immersed myself in these titles, I found myself open to new possibilities in myself, and sometimes feeling a closer connection to the Divine. Give them a try!

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Gudrun Mouw should be back to posting her blog sometime in the next two weeks. Stay Tuned. To purchase From Ashes Into Light, go to an online seller, your bookstore to order, or you can call the distributor directly (800-888-4741) to order a copy in paperback or hardcover.

Erika Lunder, publisher

Raincloud Press

 

Uncategorized

we-are-three-9780961891602I am again reading Rumi, We Are Three: Translations by Coleman Barks. Inside the back cover, I find a gift.

I had written a poem there, dated 4.21.1991, and there was also a revision on the facing page, dated 5.28.2002. I smile thinking of that saying, “A Poem is Never Finished, Only Abandoned.” Since I don’t much like the word abandoned, I reconsider.

This poem will not be abandoned, because I find myself working on another revision as my memory of that long ago day becomes vivid:

The Santa Barbara Bird Refuge

A goose stands on one leg at water’s edge;
it’s long neck stretches over a glassy sheen,
and a squat duck on one leg,
pecks under its wings.

Similarities and differences jostle
to make an imprint on my perception.
Feathers ruffle in the wind.

A silver cloud floats across the sky
like a large, slow barge.
The carnival of my mind
shuts down.

And the longing for which I yearn,
bursts into into light
like a golden swan rising up.

A Poem Journal Entry

cropped_meadow_skyYears ago, I had a website with a page I called the Yoga Weather Report. The idea came from experiences I had with my teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda Yogiraj. He would return to Santa Barbara from various national and international destinations and talk about the condition of our prevailing psychological climate. He would say things like, “the weather is stormy” at a time when our local California weather was quite sunny and warm. His students learned to look deeper into what was going on.

Some nights ago, I had difficulty sleeping. This was quite unusual. I woke up a number of times; then, I had a hard time going back to sleep. For several days, I had been watching news about the presidential debate. I had also seen replays and commentary on the Internet where someone posted that there could be a new “medical” condition called, “Election Anxiety Syndrome.”

Initially, I did not put my experience in this category; however, after talking to friends and family members, I came to think there may well be a pervading sense that “the weather is unsettling.” We’d also been having intense wind conditions, which didn’t help. Palm fronds fell all over our courtyard. A sharp acorn, during yoga class, hit my car and cracked the window. There’d also been international reports from other countries anxious about the possibility that we might elect someone who is temperamental and psychologically unstable.

Yes, perhaps, there has been a good reason to feel uneasy. As a result, I am using the practice of conscious breathing and other yogic principles to calm the mind. I slept well last night, and I feel a renewed confidence in the intelligence of our electorate.
October, 2016
(C) Gudrun Mouw

Personal Updates

Fall Equinox


I watch this California baked sky, 
pale and cloudless, as sun burns 
through that mid afternoon heat 
collapsing into cold nights.

No matter what is said, 
unsaid, done, or undone, 
judgement will be judged, 
and cycles continue.

Let fall be fall, I propose, 
another summer gone.
Winter will yet arrive, 
though my days be numbered.


A Poem

livingnowmedalI am so honored to share that my recently published novel From Ashes Into Light won the Living Now Awards Silver Medal for Inspirational Fiction! The Living Now Awards “celebrate the innovation and creativity of newly published books that enhance the quality of our lives.” I am so thankful for their award, and I am impressed by their commitment to Body, Mind and Spirit books.

From Ashes Into Light was published in February (2016) and comes out in paperback this November. Visit these links to learn more:

Publisher’s page for From Ashes Into Light

Living Now Awards Page

Direct order page

Online order page

 

Description

rainbowcover44490From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

 

From Ashes Into Light