Gudrun Mouw Posts

I was intrigued by the article, The Historic Road That Never Was in the fall News from Native California magazine. It initially piqued my interest, because of where I live. There is a monument along a mission dirt trail nearby claiming to be a portion of the old mission days, “Historic Road of the El Camino Real.”

Mission time accounts say there was no marked “Camino Real” road (Spanish for ‘royal road’) on any early, historical map that connected the currently popularized, commercialized and much visited 21 California missions. There was only a trail that connected a few points.

There were numerous cultural, deflecting, romanticizing and, thereby, capitalizing reasons for the El Camino Real myth to arise, according to several of the early writers. This article was an eye opener for me, and I was very moved by a comment made by Marcus Lopez, “Let’s celebrate Indigenous peoples by telling the truth….”

 

October 31, 1017
Gudrun Mouw (c)

Personal Updates

After Fires from Three Directions

 

Past red-orange retardant,
wind diminished, intuition says:
return to Santa Barbara County
do not be overwhelmed
by unacknowledged fear.

I enter our home filled with a surfeit
of noise and hear…a man’s voice,
the drop of lumber, whirr of automatic tools,
the closing and opening of doors,
his music.

Heat continues, and no rain comes down
in that ancient October way. Who will refuse to see
earth’s change, or the need to investigate
how we lead our lives? May we listen well
and learn from nature’s plea.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
October 9, 2017

A Poem

More than a few times over the years, yoga students have asked me: How do I bring compassion to myself? I’ve not heard this lately, however. Is it because the answer to the question seems too far out of reach?

Yet, bringing compassion to our own process may be more important than ever; it’s not about being overly optimistic but about realizing the effort is essential. When isn’t it relevant to protect the heart from shrinking into disappointment, frustration, anger, or worse?

There is a time to stand up, of course, to be firm against wrongdoing, and there’s also a time to be still, to seek advice from our own intuition or from respected others. When I observe how how our local deer slip from human dangers of the valley into mountain lion forest territory with a total and alert simplicity, I begin to understand the broad scope of what compassion requires of us.

Compassion comes naturally out of a commitment to something beyond our questioning concerns–by learning to listen and to be fully present. Compassion, in it’s essence, is the action of experiencing a neutral connection to all that exists within and without.

Compassion is not cynical or fearful. Compassion sometimes feels raw, because it also connects us to unknown results and consequences. The personal investigation of when to stretch, when to release, when to stop and when to embrace life beyond the constraints of ego is, surely, a worthwhile practice.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
Sept. 15, 2017

The Spiritual Journey

The Meditation Group

 

Eight of us sit, a small group in the heat.
We practice cooling breaths, sip ice water
before silence begins, before a rotating fan reaches
skin. That vast field of the mind stretches at warp speed
through oak after oak, and overheated birds begin
to sing, joining a chant to protect the planet
and bring the forest back to life.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Poem Journal Entry The Spiritual Journey

Late Summer Fear

 

Was the subject not clear enough?
How a seething fascism erupts
from the confines of
contracted hearts.

It can happen anywhere, and it does;
it does, as clouds of hate imprison
us all and beat down
the righteous ones.

Let us not be silent; let words
encourage, inspire, heal
and embrace an expanding place
of love and kindness, wisdom
and peace.

 

 


Gudrun Mouw is the author of From Ashes Into Light, which tells about three characters who face oppression, hate and fascism. It’s won multiple awards, the most recent From Ashes Into Light was a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for debut fiction. Available online, and wherever books are sold.

A Poem

A ceiling of morning fog contracts around us. Now that the intense heat wave has passed, a cooler brain may function once again. Happily, it’s hoodie wearing time.

Reading “The Search Engine,” a story in Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians, I am fascinated by two powerfully drawn and unique characters who demonstrate the anguish, the calling, the questioning and the imagination of poetry. The world of poetry has many pitfalls, and Alexie highlights the ups and downs in his startling, harsh, fearless and heart wrenching story telling. I am brought to serious reflection about my own journeys in the arena of poetry writing, and I can only hope I have the courage to continue the endeavor and answer the call when it arises.

Journal Entry