‘Shinto Temple’, a tanka.

Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.

Over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, today’s prompt is Pilgrimage.  This tanka is my take on this.

A Shinto Temple

Spirit shattered, heartbroken

Worthy of mending?

Priest’s belly laughs and incense

Helped me knit back the pieces.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

For many decades I felt battered by the religious fundamentalism of my birth family. I was never good enough for them to be a Christian.  So I stopped trying to  come up to their expectation.  Later I would realize that they are not Christians at all, but bullies that isolate and try to dominate in the name of their Christ.  I feel that, for their personal issues, they distorted this Christ and Christianity.  But it was too late. At the lowest point of my life I discovered Shintoism and found  acceptance.  I didn’t have to jump through hoops. Actually, it was more than acceptance.  Fundamentally, I found a wonder at Creation that had no walls and took in diversity and difference.  I didn’t have to paint bathing suits on my nudes as my sister in law suggested.  Lord Jizo and that Joker of a Buddha Fudo became real and gave guidance in my life.  Compassion with Jizo and sense with Fudo.  These two expanded my heart and mind.  I am very grateful for their presence in my life.  But I don’t think that Christ or Christianity is ‘owned’ by these others….just distorted.

Lady Nyo

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8 Responses to “‘Shinto Temple’, a tanka.”

  1. kim881 Says:

    ‘Priest’s belly laughs and incense
    Helped me knit back the pieces’
    says a lot about religion, Jane. I think a happy, friendly priest must be a good one – and I am not religious – just a little spiritual ;).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Yep and I agree, Kim. I have flown from religion early. My experience with the divisive fundamentalism of members of my family did me in. An embracing priest is rare I have found…but the ignorance of other ‘Christian, jew, muslim’ religions goes on and on. Shinto appealed for so many reasons…but it’s not an easy path. Being a little spiritual is fine. After all, our religious/spiritual beliefs are ours and not to be bantered about. I think the greatest issue is being thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian Says:

    Amen sistah.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thank you, Bro. Kindred minds and spirits.


  5. Mother Willow Says:

    Ah! I hear you. I have travelled far from my birth religion and found myself. I love your tanka poem, and that watercolor is gorgeous, such a powerful dose of blue royal.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Helene! I wanted to use that for my fourth book: Pitcher of Moon: all poetry…but it didn’t ‘translate; well to the page or camera or whatever. It’s startling. LOL! Religion. I can’t think of another thing that has created so much angst in people than religion. We all must find our way, and it might not be on the usual beaten path. Thank you, Helene for reading and your lovely comment. I have a little surprise to post later this am.


  7. Mother Willow Says:

    Surprise…I love surprises!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ladynyo Says:

    well, the surprise was my answer and call post…but unfortunately it was passed over, though I posted it today…by a poem “Original Blessing” for dverse. Open link and there aren’t too many of them in the universe. What I was doing with “Call and Answer” post was weaving my own tanka in the themes of Ono no Komachi’s poems. Whether they add anything or not, I don’t know…but they were great fun to do. Thank you, Helene.


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