Category: Journal Entry

I sometimes forget that transformation is a creative process which often moves in surprising directions. How we interpret life’s circumstances can either overwhelm or enhance the flow of creativity.

To honor the truth and to transform suffering into life affirming behavior, is a natural, creative path. Nevertheless, the process of moving from suffering to transformation can seem mysterious, even impossible at times.

Today, winter light pulled me outside, reluctantly at first. Following the outline of long forest shadows to the garden fence, I found myself inside an oblong of December sunlight, more precious because its warmth is subtle. Repeated circumambulation became a walking meditation, beyond the pain of suffering faces, the pain of loss. Light became a vehicle for transformation.

That night I dreamed I was learning how to play the violin, meaning I thought, a creative need was calling out to me. I got up to meditate. Afterwards, I turned on the Tranquility Music Channel and practiced Hatha Yoga asanas, beginning with a traditional sequence but soon continuing with positions that occurred intuitively and spontaneously.

Insight at last; I thanked powers beyond my comprehension for assistance I had not even known to ask for on this anniversary of my mother’s death seventeen years ago.

 

December 7, 2017

Gudrun Mouw aka Krishnaprema Jyothi (c)

Journal Entry Personal Updates

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

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

April 21, 2017

I have been editing a nonfiction manuscript that I wrote before the death of my mother. I just recently took it up again after more than a decade. I began with some optimism and ease, expecting quick completion. (I was eager to move on to new ideas for another project.)

However, as I found myself in the midst of unresolved emotions, my efforts slowed down. Difficulties seemed to arise out of nowhere as judgments threatened. I wished I had never begun. I had to remind myself as a student and teacher of yoga, this situation, most likely, was the perfect opportunity for growth.

Deciding not to reside in emotional turmoil, I rededicated myself to be the neutral witness. I set aside my desire to rework the last chapter, returned to the beginning and am happy, for now on page 16, to pursue ongoing resolution.

April 23, 2017

I have been contemplating the concept that objectivity is not neutral as an extension of my recent return to neutral attention. Still, there is more. I have also been remembering things.

After reading poetry (on a university radio station) with a friend and fellow poet, my friend said to me: “Unfortunately, no one will know what a great writer you are until after you are dead.” This happened in the 1980’s. I also remember a barely concealed sneer by the radio interviewer regarding “women poets writing about their cats.”

Why did he ask us to come on his show? Had he not “read” our proposed selections ahead of time? Having written on the death of our family cat as a metaphor for something else, unfortunately, I allowed this experience to have a dampening effect on my writing life.

Now I write, because it is the song I have to offer. And every once in a while, I am reminded how women have not come as far as we sometimes like to think we have.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Journal Entry The Process of Writing

Today is another anomaly, different from the general, coastal patterns of wet, windy winters and scorching, dry summers. The hills and meadows have greened. There is still rainwater in various containers, but it has been sunny for a few days with unusually cold mornings. Supposedly, it was 28 degrees earlier and by noon, 79 degrees, with 80 degrees anticipated.

This last Monday, I was startled awake, in the dark except for my cell phone which seemed to be going crazy. I jumped up too quickly and triggered an old injury. We were given tornado warning.

Last year, there was no warning, and we got hit. We are still looking at the impact. This year, we escaped the tornado landing by 2 miles.

Even more troubling, is that the national conscience seems to be having a panic attack. I am adapting in various ways and for more than one reason. For example, upon special request, I’ve scheduled next month’s meditation group to do some healing work. Hopefully, this will help. I need to find my teacher’s chant on the subject and refresh my Sanskrit pronunciation.

Today, I would still like to work on the current manuscript. Those first few drafts, done so many years ago, set me up for a personal yoga journey around parental skepticism and initial disapproval. With both parents gone, do I have enough distance? Or is it yet too painful? So far, the work has been emotionally challenging. Also, I’ve been merciless in my deletions.
Gudrun Mouw (c)

Journal Entry

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