Gudrun Mouw Posts

Remembering

 


We remember, and the memories float
like clouds that shape themselves
then dissolve into something else.

We remember, and the past comes to life
as if there is no difference.

We remember how the years pile up
like children’s blocks we try so hard
to keep from crashing down.

We remember and at our best embrace
sweet gratitude.

 
Gudrun Mouw (c)
May 9, 2017

A Poem

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

1.

 

  1. Tuli Fog

 

“Life is Difficult”

M. Scott Peck

 

“That’s swamp fog,” he says, “it collects

in watery crevices

between local hills, especially, after

this wet…wet winter.” I nod, thinking, mysterious,

beautiful and wispy,

 

thinking of someone who said,

I will drain the swamp; instead,

he empowered swamp monsters

to pollute our air,

streams, rivers….

 

2. The Need to Learn

 

Yesterday, I heard the sound

before the sound.

 

I remember Opa, ignoring papers

to Auschwitz, Poland,* was forged

in to a hidden man,

 

a silent man,

shrunken

inside his clothes.

 

I need to learn each day as if new,

so everything humane becomes audible.

 

3. Today’s Mammal

 

“Look,” he says, “back there! The bobcat!” I remember

crying out as the gopher ate my last butterfly plant,

and bobcat came to grab that offender. Now, we wave,

“Hi, friend, good to see you! It’s been a while!”

 

He looks at us over his right shoulder; his tail tilts

left. He almost stops, steps forward at his former speed,

not fast, not slow, but casually, self assured.

We have nothing on our offering plate, today, and he knows it.

 

 

 

*From Ashes Into Light,  explores dealing with fascism

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem

Swami Sivananda recommended that courage is a good quality to meditate on during the month of March. For me, this has turned out to be difficult to implement.

First of all, there is the task of examining fears regarding the state of the world, regarding the experience of pain, regarding the aging process, regarding traveling loved ones, and so on. However, when fear becomes chronic, I also know that anxiety and other disorders are not far behind. And so it comes down to recognizing the power of choice.

Embracing choice means choosing to acknowledge fear, no doubt, but also transforming the contraction of fear into an expanded awareness where courage can thrive. Now, the month almost over, another storm is expected. Wind rises. Grey clouds stretch out in long lines with hints of light penetrating, and the friend to courage becomes hope.

Gudrun

The Spiritual Journey

1.
I’m on a mission uphill,
downhill, back and forth,
I refuse to fall into myself,

to sink. Cold
may contract
all it wants.

Breath lifts and lifts,
I raise my face to sun
like a prayer.

2.
In that space between rain
after rain, after rain,
I stand on wet grass,

close my eyes, hear happy birds,
see the play of red and gold
behind lids, radiance.

3.
When anger crosses the street
and makes a sharp left,
I am relieved.

I check the slider and two doors;
one was not locked.

I sit by a west window and enjoy
bright afternoon light
almost warm.

………..
Gudrun Mouw (c)
March 1, 2017

A Poem

The 2017 documentary called The Island President, is a portrayal of President Mohamed Nasheed as he works to save the people of Maldives from a rising sea. He is a democratically elected President who had been a political prisoner 12 times, suffered solitary confinement and torture by the dictator who had been in power for 30 years.

The Maldives islands are visibly disappearing. At the climate change summit of Copenhagen in 2009, President Nasheed pointed out that carbon emissions should be a concern to everyone, since Manhattan is at the same sea level as the Maldives.

He tells those major powers who are reluctant to come to any climate change agreement, bluntly, “You are not really listening, not paying attention to the right thing.” His persistence is key.

He continues to address climate deniers, “Yes, there are also people who don’t believe the world is round. Sea levels are rising whether you choose to admit it or not….We had to get democracy, because I didn’t want my children to be in solitary confinement. Now, I don’t want us to be climate change refugees.” As a result of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, we achieved the world’s first climate change agreement.

Around here, the west coast climate also seems to be shifting, dramatically, from years of drought to relentless rain, flooding, mud slides, tornadoes and other surprises. I notice a spell in the downpour and calm myself with a walk through the forest. My hope is that enough people do not get stuck in panic and paralysis but stay activated in whatever way they can for the greater good.

 

Gudrun

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