Monday, November 28, 2016

A Tough Anniversary

This past Thanksgiving week was a tough anniversary for me as it was the 10th anniversary of both of my parents' deaths. They died 7-1/2 days apart in November, 2006, bracketing Thanksgiving that year. I was a bit surprised at the fact that it was harder this year than it has been for some years, possibly because it was the 10th anniversary. On the one hand, it felt as if the time had gone quickly, but it hit me about how long we have been without our parents, as well as how much longer we have left in our lives without them. 

So, I've been feeling a bit wobbly. 

At the time I wrote some poems to help me deal with my emotions. These are the poems I wrote:

Death Came

Death came
and it took
it took again.

It came
as a friend
to those it
took, but
I have yet
to embrace it.

©2016 Kathryn Samuelson

A question for My Parents

It was January, 1954
when my grandpa died.
I had just turned three
a week, maybe two
when my grandpa died.
You were on your way
back to the Navy
when they reached you,
almost about to climb
the steps to the plane –
I think. How did they reach
you in time at a time
without cell phones or
the internet?

It was 1967
when my grandpa died.
I was sixteen, and I
remember my MorMor’s
grief as well as her
managing to live fully
without him.
I was just old enough to
start to really know him
when he died. Now he is
a disembodied voice
preaching a sermon on
an old recording.

It was 1973 when
my grandmother died.
I was at summer school
taking Art History and
some other things, was
told to stay there – not to
come to the funeral. All
these years later it still
feels not quite right
even though she was
difficult to be around,
hypochondriacal – “notice
my arthritis”, a cry I
suppose to “notice me,
notice me.”

It was 1977 when
my MorMor died,
having laid herself
neatly on the floor. We
think she might have
been dizzy (a stroke?)
and laid down.
Ninety three almost, and
still living quite well
on her own,
surprising me once
when I saw her on the
bench outside the
courthouse waiting
for the bus.

I can still see the film
with my MorMor
in the piece on the
Senior Center in my head,
see her working the
room, still the Preacher’s
Wife, just the way you
worked the room years
later after church or at the
senior place.

How did you manage all
those years without them?

©2016 Kathryn Samuelson

And, if you can stand one more, this was written 3-1/2 years later. As you can see from this poem, as many people know well, grief comes and goes. Sometimes faint, sometimes strong. I will spare you the other poem that I wrote at the time right after their deaths. It seems even too much form to post it here with the others.

Grief Again

Reading the
poem about
their deaths.
The grief came
rolling back,
sweeping away
any feeling of



©2016 Kathryn Samuelson

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Message from the Angels and Guides

I have decided that I will post messages from my angels and guides here from time to time for those of you who aren't connected with me on Facebook, where I will be doing the same. 

Today's message is: 

"This is truly a time of evolution and change. It is a time of things breaking apart so that the new may grow and prosper. It may seem hard at this time to see and feel this, however trust that this is so."

So, that said, connect with the One, with Mind to feel stability, connection and healing. 

From my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here), I suggest this for image for a meditation:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Radical Empathy

I listened to Krita Tippet's most recent show. She interviewed Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns. During the course of the conversation Isabel Wilkerson talked about the need to practice or have radical empathy to change the heart, to bring about true change. This is, to me, being open to seeing the other not as an other, but as someone to whom we are connected in the great scheme of things. I also see it as a tool for making shift and change. The link to the show is here.

It seems to me that this practice of radical empathy aligns with something Joanne Macy talked about in her video explaining a Tibetan Buddhist prophecy that she was told a number of years ago. You can see the piece here. Her teacher talked about Shambala Warriors rising. As he put it, the tools of the Shambala Warrior are compassion and insight. This feels quite a bit like radical empathy to me. 

Thomas Moore, in his book Writing in the Sand (here), talks about metanoia, which is a radical shift in perception. I think that practicing radical empathy can lead to that radical shift in perception that he thinks is possible to find by looking the teachings of Jesus in a different way. He argues that there is a soul in the gospels that exists, a soul which many people do not realize is there.

And, for a bit of self-promotion here, I believe strongly that working with my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here), can help bring about the shift in vision towards compassion, kindness, healing and light. 

The questions, I suppose, for many of us are do we want to be Shambala Warriors, and if we do, how are each of us called to do that? 

Many blessings on your journey in this time of shift.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Big Magic II

This is another poem that came to me basically fully formed, although I did "tinker" with it a bit. The name comes from the fact that it appeared in my mind just as I had laid down to go to sleep. I got out of bed, went into my study and wrote down what had come to me. I went back to bed, and thought something along the lines of, "so you're not done yet." I got back up and went into the study to write down the rest of the poem. So, here it is: 

Poetic Visitation Upon Going to Sleep

words writ upon
the skin
do not explanations 
make or 
sorrows erase

so I shall
not write 
them there, 
but rather
put them here
and there
to evaporate
as smoke 
rising in the air

words that rest
briefly upon
the tongue, shelter
in the brain, 
merely as if pausing, 
creating phrases
too elegant to be
from my mind

then I know I have been visited,
for amusements sake,
by a muse or 
possibly by a word
witch going laughingly
on her way 

© 2016 Kathryn L. Samuelson

Friday, November 11, 2016

Honeysuckle Berries

I felt after my most recent post that I wanted to post something in relation to my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. The following is a poem about another of the plants in the book, Honeysuckle Berries. I hope you enjoy this poem, but first, one of the meditation images from the book. 

I like this sentiment at this time, as I think that going into our deepest selves can help not only each of us doing that, but it can help the world because as we change ourselves, we change the world.

Honeysuckle Berries

Honeysuckle berries glow
in the light showing
the potentiality they hold
withinwaiting to burst into
full flower, yet taking the
time to be complete in the
present moment. Then, when
the season for it comes: 
the ripeness of fulfillment.

Breathe deeply into your
seed place, that of 
imminent being. Make the
light your nourishment.

©2016 Kathryn L. Samuelson

May you find the nourishment and solace that you need deep within yourself. May you find the heart and courage to move forward and to be the light that you are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Something for the Times

I am not going to post much politically based thoughts on this blog, but I feel called to speak out about living in hope and not from fear, anger and greed. 

My angels and guides gave me most of the text for my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. The first meditation that came through is this: 

I needed this reminder this morning. Slow down and breathe.

It's companion mediation in the book is this: 

I think we can, if we choose, see hope in the fact that the popular vote actually went a different direction than the Electoral College. We can then be the action in the world to bring compassion, kindness, and to stand up against racism, sexism, and xenophobia. We can stand with the Standing Rock Souix. 

So, as my angels and guides said, breathe, but act. I would add that action should come from compassion and kindness and not devolve into anger and violence.