Posts Tagged ‘Via Negativa’

“Via Negativa”, a Winter poem

March 14, 2016

Winter Scene, 3

We were robbed this Winter. A short season, and we will pay for it.  Not enough cold weather to set the peach trees, and a bountiful harvest of insect pests to be expected. I depend upon Winter to recharge my batteries, but we have floated into an early summer with temps tomorrow in the mid 80’s.  Yikes!

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Via Negativa

 

Winter is the perfect channel

To carry Via Negativa,

No static

Just Silence, Stillness

And the Dark.

 

On this path,

We sit in contemplation,

No answers,

No struggle,

Empty as an eggshell.

 

The time  colored by little outside;

A flash of kamikaze cardinal

Like a stream of blood

racing past our eyes,

The sound of a falling limb

Eyes searching the skies,

The moaning of  wind

bustling around limbs,

And the rattle of skeleton- bones

Of attic haunts.

 

And  Death,

As Winter brings

To those succumbed  to frigid winds,

strayed from shelter.

 

We spiral into  Darkness,

Where we barely draw breath,

Conserve our energy,

And stare outside at

A blank palette.

 

Stilling ourselves,

We draw close to low fires,

Scratch our dried skin

Like monks in  hair shirts,

And with time and patience–

spiral back to the light of

a tender Spring.

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014…..Via Negativa was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, published by Amazon.com (Createspace), 2014

“Via Negativa”, from ‘Pitcher of Moon’

February 24, 2015

Winter Scene, 3

great room 4

Winter still drags on, and most of the country has been hit with deep snowstorms.  In the South, we have received almost nothing of snow, the most beautiful element of Winter.  Right now, as I write this, I look out my window with blurry eyes (it is early) and it is either rain or a very light snow falling. It is rain, the snow an illusion brought on by aging eyes.

Probably because Atlanta isn’t Boston with over 100 inches of snow this year, I look toward the solitude of being quieted in a snow fall.  The air is muffled, the greys and black of the trees stand out in sharp contrast to everything around them, the traffic halts, only the birds, cardinals and wrens and whatever attacks the bird feeders in the yards are going about their business of survival.  Inside, thanks to the labor of this fall, with a good stack of dried wood, the woodstove heats most of this old house, which is a miracle in of itself. My husband has redesigned and remodeled this 1880’s house with  a more open floor plan.  It’s not the quaint Victorians with their turrets and gingerbread, but a solid English farmhouse, built 3 miles south of downtown Atlanta, an oddity now and probably back then.  The original owners and builders were the Ragsdales, out from Lancaster, England in the 1860’s, owners of West End Horse and Mule, a carriage company. 

This poem is about the trials of Winter.  We have not experienced the continuous raw weather, the dangerous snows, the complete interruptions of power, nor the isolation where you can’t travel or even get out of your house. But this particular season changes much, gives a breather in the usual activities and within that particular space, can nudge forth a deeper creativity.  It certainly is a cessation in the usual activity of humankind and beast.

Lady Nyo

Via Negativa

Winter is the perfect channel

To carry Via Negativa,

No static

Just Silence, Stillness

And the Dark.

On this path,

We sit in contemplation,

No answers,

No struggle,

We are as empty as an eggshell.

This time is colored 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,

And the rattle of the skeleton-bones

Of attic haunts.

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 draw breath,

Conserve our energy,

And stare outside at such

A blank palette.

Stilling ourselves,

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, 2014

originally published in “Pitcher Of Moon”, Createspace, Amazon.com, 2014

“Via Negativa”, poem from ‘Pitcher of Moon’

March 5, 2014
PItcher of Moon, available from Createspace, Amazon.com

PItcher of Moon, available from Createspace, Amazon.com

http://goo.gl/RzFRj4

Thank you to Friend Julia Ewen for the lovely reception and poetry reading last night.  It was nice to meet other poets and hear work besides my own, though I read from my new book, “Pitcher of Moon”.  Having discussions on poetry, where they ‘came from’, how our work impacts our own lives and how we make connections with other lives, was a wonderful insight into this issue of poetry development.  Being amongst poets was a delight. Realizing the  issues we shared made for a real community based from our common efforts.  Though it was a small gathering, it was large in friendship.

And a positive realization that our work meant something in the world.

Lady Nyo

 

Spiral right back into Life

Spiral right back into Life

 

Via Negativa

 

Winter is the perfect channel

To carry Via Negativa,

No static

Just Silence, Stillness

And the Dark.

 

On this path,

We sit in contemplation,

No answers,

No struggle,

We are as empty as  an eggshell.

 

This time is colored by little outside;

A flash of darting cardinal

Like a stream of blood

racing past our eyes,

The sound of a falling limb

making us search the skies,

The moaning of the wind

bustling around limbs,

And the rattle of the skeleton- bones

Of attic haunts.

 

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 draw breath,

Conserve our energy,

And stare outside at such

A blank palette.

 

Stilling ourselves,

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

Copyprighted, 2014

Via Negativa from  “Pitcher of Moon”, Createspace, Amazon.com 2014 

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,

Cocoon,

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

 


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