creativity · life · poetry · spirituality · writing

Blowing Off The Dust

Flagrant this disregard,
this blatant indifference

I have come before you
broken and desperate

and been received with
loving compassion, openness.

“It was not I who abandoned you” –
the words still echo in my heart.

In shame, I hang head, vow
to prepare my spiritual bowl

to resurrect a prayerful practice
to know once again the light,

the life that fulfills when
self is offered up as instrument.

(Ragtag community has offered the word “flagrant” as prompt today.  I have been carrying around scraps of ideas for Reena’s Exploration challenge – featured image.  This poem emerged.  I do not consider myself affiliated with a specific religious body, but I do consider myself a woman of deep spiritual faith.)

aging · culture · poetry · writing

Unexpected

Expectations safely stowed
pursed alongside judgment,
I am bent on finding an outlet
for already disgruntled disposition.

Encounter inexperience
fumbling responsibility –
an overwhelmed innocent
lacking in accountability

I offer a suggestion,
to roll up my sleeves
and before I know it
compassion’s employed

This was not my intention –
I am ill-equipped for such
a commitment, surely
I am of no practical use.

Yet, here I am, engaged
expectations tossed
in favour of service –
please don’t judge.

 

 

 

 

aging · creativity · culture · Family · life · poetry · relationships · women's issues

Good Woman

Cater,
Good Woman; keep your pantry full –
there are mouths to feed, and
whims to answer,
smile on.

Smile on,
Good Woman, feed the children young
and old, their needs cry out
for nourishment;
be strong.

Be strong,
Good Woman, tending your oven,
concocting recipes,
born to serve, raised
to please.

To please
Good Woman, be sure your own pot
is overflowing, lest
fatigue sets in,
and then

And then,
Good Woman, who caters to you –
the children are gone and
husband retired –
what now?

(This is a Crown Cinquain written for Dark Side of the Moon’s challenge.)

culture · life · poetry

Protocols for Leadership

Be compassionate when leading,
encourage community,
promote vision,
invite discussion

remember that pleasing
is not always possible
and that balance
calls for give and take

that needs are real
and genuine emotion
in times of personal grief
can be a catalyst for others

beware hidden agendas
when conducting business;
help young people find
their own secret gardens

never try to be all things
for all people, instead
lend an ear, a shoulder,
a hug – be a facilitator

all is doable, when ego
is willing to sidestep accolades
in favour of a shared responsiblity
and service to the whole.

education · health · life · nonfiction · spirituality

An Enlightened Life

“What would you like to learn about?”

“Tell us about your life,”  one woman called out.

“Well, yes, that,”  the tiny woman responded, “but there’s nothing to learn there.  What do you want to learn?”

After several protests, our teacher promised that she would fill us in on her ninety plus years at the end of the weekend.

I had anticipated this workshop for months, without really knowing what to expect.  Dora Kunz, co-founder of Therapeutic Touch, had published several books about her work, but I found them difficult to read, and hadn’t gained much from them.  Unlike her partner, Delores Krieger, Dora did not have a nursing background and so remained somewhat of an enigma to those of us who pursued understanding of this simple, but powerful technique.  I had taken several workshops with Delores, each of them long and gruelling, packed with information and experiences, Delores being a tireless lecturer.  Krieger’s workshops were always accompanied by an outline of curriculum expectations, and formally conducted.  Participants would have to ask for breaks, as Krieger’s passion for the subject matter precluded any need for a break in her presentation. It was immediately apparent that Dora Kunz’s approach was in stark contrast to that of her colleague.

My initial reaction to Kunz’s opening question was disappointment.  I had signed up for a workshop on meditation, did she not know that?   Was this woman too old and senile to be able to put a program together?

“Well we signed up for a workshop on meditation.”  Someone else must have been thinking the same as me.

“Yes, but what about meditation would you like to learn?”  I had to admit, the lady was charming.  She must have been all of 4’10”, with waves of white hair caressing her gentle face.  A warm smile, and twinkling eyes embraced her audience, and an obvious sense of humour set us at ease.  “At my age, I don’t plan for these things, you know.  I find it’s better to just go with the flow.”

So that’s what we did.  For three mesmerizing days, we listening hungrily to the words of this tiny guru, whose vast bank of experience and pragmatic approach to teaching guided us to the deeper understanding we sought.  For me, her greatest lesson was yet to come.

At the end of the weekend, as promised, Dora told us about her life.

“I was only five years old,”  she began, “when my parents, recognizing there was something different about me, built me a meditation room.”  As a young child, Dora had an awareness of energy and other realities that most parents would brush off as an active imagination.  Dora’s parents decided to nurture these gifts in their only child.  When Dora was eleven, she was invited to study with a man at an institute continents away, where the spoken language was different from her own.  Her parents told her to meditate on it, which she did, and decided to accept his offer.  “I looked like an eight-year-old boy,” Dora laughed, “when I arrived at this institution full of adults.”  Dora stayed and studied with this man for several years and then moved to another foreign country to further her studies.  Her work eventually led her to the United States, where I would have the privilege of meeting her.

When asked how she knew which offers to accept, Dora responded:  “No was not an option for me.  I trusted that this work was my calling, and so I always looked for a way to say yes when opportunity knocked.”  It was not always easy, she went on to explain.  At one point in her life, she was asked to speak about her spiritual beliefs to a group of convicts.  She was just a young woman, and felt incredibly vulnerable and intimidated by the gathering of murderers and hard-core criminals she encountered, but she said that was all soon forgotten when the men found something comforting in her words.

Dora continued her work, and I would encounter her again at another workshop, still teaching, just two weeks before she passed away.  She was 95.

Dora Kunz remains for me an icon of someone who has led a complete life.  She lived her life inspired by a passion for learning and helping others.   She was dedicated to a life of service.

(Image from nancybragin.com)