Posts Tagged ‘Seasons’

Via Negativa….

February 2, 2012

I have been reading Matthew Fox’s “Original Blessing” and the poem of that name  came from that  reading.  It’s a world and wealth of divergent Philosophy of Theology in this book;  it  intrigues me.  I have been studying the chaos and comfort of Shintoism for the past few years, but being (mostly) Western in culture and thought, this  book of Matthew Fox doesn’t grate upon other philosophies.  It includes them in an enormous and pungent stew of theologies.  Perhaps the issue is to find those things in there that feed and nurture a seeker, as some of us are called.

I haven’t finished this book, but am surprised to find myself reading it every day, in the morning, and surprised  how much it feeds my poetical attempts.  Fox has themes, or spirals of placement here: Via Positiva, Via Negativa, and I think the third one is Via Creativa….I haven’t read that far along yet.

Yesterday I was talking to my 99 year old Aunt Jean, a beloved and very philosophical relative, quick in mind if tiring in body right now.  And only after getting off the phone (she had some class to go to…) did I think of what the Via Negativa could be and probably was:  Aunt Jean was talking about the ‘calendar knowing her age, and forcing her to attend to her years’.  LOL!  Well, the calendar is the same for all of us, and especially in the Winter. She said that all of January she was low in energy, just not able to do much (this from a woman who does much, probably too much!) and I thought this Via Negativa was a perfect process to follow in the beginning of the year, say January to February.

Via Negativa, if I understand it,  (and I don’t deeply) is an acceptance of the Dark, of Silence, of Unknowing, of Stillness, of Unknowing the voice of God, of just Waiting.  Well, it seems that this season, this Winter, is the perfect time to make our peace with the Via Negativa.  Perhaps to gather our energies, to sit and stare out the window at nothing, to draw nearer a low fire, to feel empty and to feel the void around us.  To await the next cycle…or spiral…of Via Creativa, that of Spring and all that means…all that blooming, tender energy.  So a small poem came out of this ‘silent’  path, this new concept of Via Negativa.  It fit the gray outside and and gave some sense to this time.

Lady Nyo


Via Negativa


Winter is the perfect channel

To carry Via Negativa,

No static

Just Silence, Stillness

And the embracing Dark.


On this path,

We sit in contemplation,

relish the early dusks,

No answers,

No struggle,

We empty ourselves of movement.


This time is filled by little outside;

A flash of darting cardinal

Like a stream of blood

racing past our eyes,

The sound of a falling limb

makes us search the skies,

The moaning of the wind

bustling around limbs,

soothes us,

 the rattle of skeleton- bones

Of  attic haunts

does not disturb us.


These are part of this path,

this dark quietude of a particular season.


And yes, Death,

As Winter brings

To those who succumb to frigid winds,

And those lost from shelter.


We spiral into the Darkness,

Where we barely need breath,


Conserve our energy,

And stare outside at such

A severe palette.


Stilling ourselves,

stilling our hearts and thoughts,

We draw closer to low fires,

Scratch our dried skin

Like a monk in a hair shirt,

And, with time and patience–

spiral back into the light of Spring.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012


The Passage of Time, The Desired Fruits of Contemplation.

August 23, 2009

Some of you know what I mean.

We can only hope  we grow in compassion and our humanity.  There are no guarantees, but we try. We already know we don’t have all the answers.  Just some as guideposts for life as we walk.

We hope we  are still open to learning,  because the options are many out there.  And so is the concrete of ego.

Hildegarde of Bingen has been on my mind of late.   Her calling to us to remain “juicy” as the Earth, in it’s profound greening, calls us to the creative and spiritual.  But there are seasons, and to hold to this is something we can forget through the passage of time.

We must hold to that verduncy, to that greening of the Spirit and Spiritual.

To rejoin the better parts of humanity.  To be open again.

Hildegard is deeply ecological in her spirituality.  The basic thrust of our time is the movement from an egological to an ecological consciousness.  Perhaps ecological injustice reigns because we lack an ecological spirituality.

We are out of balance.  We can not be proportionate until we honor that wilderness of Earth, that juicyness, that indominable greeness, that verduncy of the land and the natural persons within ourselves.

We can not be in balance until we honor the indominable push towards justice, towards a healthy humanity, towards an equality of sexes in the most fundamental of ways.

Nakedness without the role playing.  And this applies to all things D/s.

The psychic price we pay for being out of sorts, out of balance with  nature is unmeasurable.   A lost of identity, a loneliness, an incomplete understanding what life can be.

I pray for, Hold in the Light, a man I know who is considering his options right now.  I hope he benefits from an attention to  spiritual thoughts.  I hope for a greening of his soul.  I wish him Peace.

Today, Gary Russell of ERWA asked for a poem:  “A New Song of Songs” for the ERWA pages.   I don’t know  if this would be offensive to post here because of it’s ‘nature’ but I will chance it.

It is especially poignant to me that he has asked for this poem, today.

There just isn’t a question of coincidences to me anymore.  Perhaps I am opening to the broader universe.

Lady Nyo


In the Song of Songs,
a woman’s breasts are compared
to the young twin roes which feed amongst
the lilies.

Her ass is not defined, but I think of my own,
two sloping sides, bottoming out
in rounded halves, a peach if you will,
with the fuzzy softness that sits
sweetly in the hand.

Did you pity me, in all my milk-white
virginity, at least back there….
when you bound my arms behind
and with your glass- hard cock
pierced the fundament?

I screamed that day,
a hunting hawk who missed her first strike,
but my keening, though pleading at the end
of its tones,
was more piteous and haunting than any bird of prey.

You lifted my bound arms, ripping
muscles at the shoulders, and the pain
above and below,
equaled out along my spine.

You were the Bird of Prey,
And I, just a sparrow.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

“The Thaw”

March 22, 2009


Spring comes drumming through
Breaking up ice in the creek,
Destroying a beaver dam
And with the unexpected noise
The un-damming of my heart,
A softening of my bones,
A juiciness of loins
A waving of budding branches
In a new born wind-
Tender arms enfolding
A will o’ wisp lover.

Spring comes drumming through,
Cracking open where winter nailed me shut.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

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