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.
Gudrun Mouw Posts
I 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:
From 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.
I have been reflecting on the idea of life as a journey vs. life is not a journey. One cannot deny the movement of life, like a current, or an energy that does not stay fixed. At the same time, to be caught up only in movement deprives one of the rejuvenation that stillness provides. Even as thoughts move through the mind, the human being is also capable of enjoying space between thoughts, even expanding such space so that an open mind might be more creative and free.
“At the still point,
there the dance is.”
T. S. Eliot
September cold, a quiet morning, air moves
through the window alongside the residue
of meaningful conversation.
I am, as you are, not ready to enter
that waiting room
of life or death.
We love more than we know.
We understand the small, the large,
the beautiful, the broken hearted.
A bird calls out; another answers.
Machines start and stop. Someone
arrives and, somewhere, someone departs.
September 2, 2016 (C) Gudrun Mouw
In the article, “My name is Abran Lopez,” I was impressed by the author’s comment, “I don’t think we survived on excess. I think we survived on diversity.” I was once again reminded of the powerful gift of diversity–how freeing and creative it is, for example, not to get locked down on a narrow perception of how something should be.
I was shocked by the article, “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code,” by Sheldon Wolfchild. I had not realized that the Doctrine of Discovery, based on the fifteenth century papal bull, “Inter caetera,” which called for the subjugation and conversion of non-Christian nations, has not yet been officially revoked.
On a lighter note, I enjoyed “Kale Yeah!” This “Salmon and Kale Stir Fry” recipe by Meagan Baldy sounds really good. Can’t wait for the completion of our kitchen post-wind-sheer repairs to try this out.
(C) Gudrun Mouw, a.k.a. Krishnaprema Jyothi August 13, 2016
Today, Only Today I wait, but July is quiet. A woodpecker taps until suspension creates a ringing sound that something may soon arrive. The slider cracks open to remind me, though yesterday held my head in a vice, I will not anticipate tomorrow. July 14, 2016 (C) Gudrun Mouw
June 4 and and Beyond….
The journey south continues through San Francisco, and more memories return–when I brought my daughter and her friend, David Ray, (who became one of my best Poet-in-the-Schools students) to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in the early 1980’s for a nostalgic feast of music, dancing, jokes and giggles. I am reminded that David, sadly, passed away at an early age. I feel a deep loss, my own and my daughter’s.
This morning, my driving companion and I search out a San Francisco Trader Joe’s to buy something for our later lunch. The parking lot looks packed, so I hop out to find a bathroom. I go down the escalator. A guard stands watch at the bottom.
People come and go. The San Franciscans move quickly, look self-assured, crisp, with contained, intelligent looks. When I see my friend, she is clothed differently than the others I’ve been watching, and I realize, as we go through the store, that we are both, quite obviously, not big-city residents. We dress more casually. We move more slowly. It takes a while for us to search for what we want; then, we have a leisurely conversation with our check-out person (after I check to see that there is, surprisingly, no one waiting behind us). He looks mildly astonished as he picks up our goods one by one. His smile seems to say, these two are definitely from somewhere else.
We drive on towards Highway 280 which brings back my younger days–where my daughter was born and where I worked as a columnist. I share stories about our home near Stanford University. We discuss the possibility of a side-trip to investigate further but decide not on this trip and find a park where we enjoy a brief lunch break.
Our conversation changes driving through the drier counties. As landscapes appear closer to what is familiar for both of us, our driving discourse becomes more personal; perhaps, because we are aware that very soon we won’t see each other again for at least a month. We make frequent stops, then, dive into conversation once more.
For the rest of the journey, I experience intense currents brewing inside, and I continue to vibrate with an energy that goes beyond the residue of continuous vehicular movement. Perhaps, there is more to investigate, more to understand. At one stop, I watch my friend share a portion of her cooler’s food to someone who was checking a store front’s garbage can. I appreciate her quick and kind response.
Since returning home, I have come to see how fortunate I was to participate in a celebration of something that’s often truncated by our modern digital advancements. We are frequently circumscribed by a world of incomplete sentences, of unique abbreviations and spellings, of emojis. This can be both cute and convenient; however, such modern communication can sometimes become substitutes for comprehensive, nurturing talk that helps to embrace diversity, grow our compassion and add to our knowledge of essential matters. I have come to understand how nourishing it is to give each other the time and space to fully express what we mean.
I have a deeper appreciation for how deeply illuminating our face-to-face human connection can be when it is not delineated by the limitations of our devices. I am deeply thankful for the insight and strength given to me for this recent undertaking.