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Drops of Color/ Definition of a Woman

Ketanji Brown Jackson
The 116th Associate Justice of the Untied States Supreme Court
Definition of a Woman

Let us begin with a fresh slate.
Our ‘ribs’ are uniquely our own.
Our physical attributes simply
do not define our brand
of how we are ‘made-up.’

I am fashioned and created 
from a Source who designs

all life in goodness, harmony, and
loving-kindness.

Women have a place
beyond the roles ‘She’ has been ascribed.
The masculine nature, its divine essence,
does not have a right to 
lay claim or set boundaries on the feminine nature.

A woman grows and becomes herself
like a tree planted beside restful waters.

Yet, even restful waters are stirred
when storms arrive.

The tree learns to thrive in difficult
moments and this, too, defines a woman.

A woman is strong and resilient
—if she chooses jeans, T-shirt and
high-top sneakers…so be it.

If later she places pearls around her neck,
drapes herself in a dashing dress which accompany
four inch heels…so be it.

A woman’s love is fierce
—if she has children, help the soul who
attempts to remove them from her nest

—if the woman does not have children,
trust, her feminine nature will pass

through any storm to reach out to a 
child in need, in want, in wonder.

A woman’s inclination invests in birth.
She is a life-giver,
and she has the God-given capacity
to choose what is right for her own body.

A woman carries both
feminine and masculine qualities
within herself
—just like her many loving brethren.

A woman loves to be comforted and
she loves to comfort.

When a man holds a door for her
—the gesture received in gladness.

It is not that she cannot open 
her own entryway
—it is the warmth of the expression.
A woman knows and understands
—she appreciates.

She, too, washes the stains of tears
that fall from men broken by pain
—men who fall into her arms
for solace at loss, illness,
senseless sufferings.

A woman is so many wondrous
expressions
—she is not a label expected to follow
guidelines on being
—she is a creative expression
of a smattering of colors
expressing themselves on a matte
—a work of art eliciting
a manifestation of endless meanings.

A woman cannot be defined.
Words cannot explain
the holy wanderer she is.
She walks awakening this world
with her ‘Yes’ to life.

She lives.  She moves.
Her being cannot be contained
—her lips worth kissing,

and her actions leave the Universe
BREATHLESS.

Define woman…she is the half
of a whole.

She who IS
cannot be anything else
but who she has been designed to be.
Cage her—she will still sing.
Bury her— she will rise.
Love her—she will give birth
again and again.

A woman is Creation
—pregnant with life
in its fullness.

Book of Hours/ 2:00 p.m.

 BOOK OF HOURS/ 2:00p.m.

 Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I—I took the one less
traveled by, and that has made
all the difference.

 ~~~ Robert Frost

2:00p.m. Hour

This hour, Spring Beginning.
Only a week ago…the 1:00p.m. hour, I was knee deep in snow.
How then, at this 2:00p.m. hour, have the trees begun to
bud?  In my deepest yearning to stay awake in these hours,
have I, like Rip Van Winkle, slept only to awaken to
a sudden newness?  Has the clock ticked so feverously
that I lost seconds, traveled in time, through time
bringing me back to familiar places seeing
things new?  The bark of the tree stronger, fuller…
its shadow, when the sun shines, covers more of the earth’s
floor.  I walked this same path again and again
until I was pulled in another direction. I
did not say to myself, “Wait, I don’t know this way!”
Instead, I moved freely, I stepped lightly…I saw
the blossoms overhead.  Was this a new path for them, too?
I think so.  Leaves crunched beneath my feet.  I
heard the rush of the river.  The hawk soared
overhead.  It mattered not where I was.  It mattered—
I was.  I blessed the ground…Mother Earth,
blessing me.   So filled with gratitude…all these hours.
Have I said thank you even once?  How do I offer
a bouquet of flowers to a Universe immersing
me in a garden so lush, plentiful, and dazzling?
There is not a place you say I cannot go.
Instead, you invite me down paths unexplored,
and I am beholden to wander.
Please, allow the hours to never end.
I thank you.

Pray with me this hour…
3:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay… invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

Rooftop

Rooftop
Up on a rooftop
—witnessed by few.

Even if no one bore
contact with such splendor

—beauty cannot help
‘flutter’ in harmony
with creation.

Book of Hours/ 1:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 1:00p.m.

 For there is
always light,
if only we’re
brave enough
to see it
if only we’re
brave enough
to be it.

 ~~~ Amanda Gorman

1:00p.m. Hour

This hour transported me to a snow-covered hill.
How the hours, like the seasons, pressing forward,
change the face of the landscape…transforming
the Sojourner, chilled to the bone.  Yet, a warmth
within allows me to reside in this space.
The clouds overhead give way for patches of blue
sky…the sunlight meets the crisp air
and, for a time, I am frozen in this hour.
The skeletal trees show off their display
of branches.  Do they miss being ‘robed’ in vibrant
green leaves?  What is it I miss, if anything, this hour?
Each snowflake, its own design…no two alike!  A simple
realization, but is it really? 
Everything that exists, uniquely and wonderfully made.
It is beginning to snow.
I hold my hand out, a knitted mitten covers my fingers.
A glorious design lands in my palm.  Oh, that I could
stay in this place collecting such wonder.  Just what is
my prayer in this wintery season?  I think it beneath the
snow where so much unknown is taking place.  Perhaps,
it is happening in me, too, this hour.  The simple joy in
waiting and the humility to embrace this naked now.
How life shines.

Pray with me in this hour…
2:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—

Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

Implement

Implement
We are intrinsically
and wonderfully made.

We are gifted with
‘means’ to protect
ourselves.

It is learning how to
implement those built in 
guards so that we
‘also’ do not inflict
pain on others.

Book of Hours/ Noon

BOOK OF HOURS/ Noon

 “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am
following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But, I do believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I do.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by
the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and
you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

 ~~~Thomas Merton—Thoughts in Solitude

Noon Hour

 Twelve grains of sand have swiftly filled the hour
glass.  Halfway through this day, this hour…Noon.
My feet stand on the shore.  The tide is out.
I walk for what seems hours, but mere seconds have
ticked away.  I hear the formation of a wave
forming.  It is followed by another.  The water
begins to fill in my every step removing the
act that I am here.  You invite my Soul to stay.
You carry all those hid-den steps into the sea…
A million grains of sand between the smooth
surface of the ocean’s covers.  Maybe the twelve
grains filling the hourglass are a culmination
of endless hours seeking You.  The surf rises,
a wave, out of nowhere, splashes me.
It is You, it is Spirit soaking me, reminding me that it
is You seeking me.  Again, I want to ask “Why,” but
You have opened the eyes of my heart at the zenith
of the sun’s glorious bliss.  You always pursue me…
the endless Lover seeking Union with your Beloved.
I swim to shore and playfully build a castle—
A dwelling place to rest in You a while.
I do not see at all where this is heading.
Does it matter?  I think not.
I hear the movement of the next grain of sand
slipping through its miniscule space.
The hourglass, giving this moment to the sea’s
majestic breath, to its ebb and flow.
My prayer, alive on this shore,
You—the ocean’s spray.

Pray with me in this hour…
1:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

Drops of Color/ For No Reason

Drops of Color
For No Reason

A stuffed animal
left behind
‘in a child’s dirty boot.’

A maternity ward
‘has collapsed.’
I look out the window
…I want to hear the cries
of life just beginning.

Instead, I hear the sound of rubble
—person sifting through stones.

From a safe harbor
on the other side of the sea,
I keep watch
—safely
‘in my bed’
—the sandy shore.

The arms of a woman
clutching a blanket
—her child no more

—her husband turns running
the other way
letting-go of her hand.

Tears, like a dam bursting,
—soak his boots
as he makes his way

into a war

holding a gun
he knows not how to use.

Does he really have
to learn THIS way?

‘What is the war of this war?’

He was just warming
the milk in his child’s bottle
—it’s empty.

Are these words of mine bullets?
or are they wounds?
Imaginary shrapnel rips
open my chest wall!

I feel the pain searing my heart
pumping with the freedom to breathe,

and somewhere
NOT so far away

bombs litter the sky—

‘for no reason.’

Written under the wise tutelage of June  S. Gould, Ph.D.

Book of Hours/ 11:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 11:00a.m.

 “You are the sky
everything
else—it’s just the
weather.”

 ~~~ PEMA CHODRON

11:00a.m. Hour

 A prism of colors highlights this hour.
A culmination of effervescent hues…each one
uniquely its own color and, yet it blends itself into
fullness.  Reaching from one end of the sky to
the other, there is NO fixed point.  An endless
point absorbs the quantum field, this space.
This created wonder gifts us this hour
marking and moving towards the halfway point
of this cumulative prayer.
If there be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, if I have NOT
witnessed the pot of gold ever present in
each hour, then, I should remain on
my knees until I SEE.
Truly, in this hour, I am sliding along the arc of this light. I splash into a pool of
wonder coming up to slide down the other
side—the other side which truly is
 the same side.
I blend into the colors of this world.
A beam from each color ignites my center.
Here you are.  In my mind’s eye,
Spirit, you cast a rainbow,
A Promise.
I linger here for now.

Pray with me in this hour.
Noon time will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

Bars

Bars
The bars
do not hold
anything back.

The bars allow the
bush to spread
and open its buds
beyond anything that
could contain
its beauty.

Book of Hours/ 10:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 10:00a.m.

 This we know,
the earth does not belong to us,
we belong to the earth.
This we know,
All things are connected.

 ~~~Chief Seattle

10:00a.m. Hour

 The leaves are curling open,
soft green drapes drawn.
I hear the wind breathe ‘into’ them,
the branches cackle.
Awe.  To be touched again
by the new buds unfolding,
covering the nakedness by which the tree has been
adorned.  Wait!  Adorned in nakedness,
the exposed Soul of the tree, like this Soul,
stands beneath these towering pillars of
delicate bark.  How is one adorned when no
longer covered?  Perhaps, in this hour, standing
with nothing but an open self.
Perhaps, unbridled by cover, I hear, I hear
the chirping bird singing from the highest
peak of the tree.  I hear the symphony of insects,
each species singing its own pitch…and a harmony.
Yes, a harmony, balanced as if on a string, and another
string, and another…as if the Universe a harp, and
each delicate strand drawn and plucked
pulsating into this Cosmos a song of Union.
Earth, Gaia, she holds us…her being a womb
keeping watch over her garden.  In wonder,
she anoints and blesses the day, not only the
hour, but every second exhilarated by the Breath of Life.
Life transforming itself over and over—
Never the same, yet always lasting.
In this hour, I listen.  I hear the
heartbeat of a world pulsing within
everything…yes, even in me.

Pray with me in this hour.
11:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay—invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

We’ll Ride

We’ll Ride

I may be small
—a tad
wobbly,
but give me time…

let me fall
and get back up

watch me run
—don’t stand in the path.

Rub a gentle brush
across my hide
—fill my trough with 
wild oats.

Wait…only a bit longer
—then get on.
Together we’ll ride.

Book of Hours/ 9:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 9:00a.m.

 The Root of the Root of Yourself

Don’t go away, come near.
Don’t be faithless, be faithful.
Find the antidote in the venom.
Come to the Root of the Root of
Your Self.

 Molded of clay, yet kneaded
from the substance of certainty,
a guard at the treasury of Holy Light—
Come, return to the Root of the Root of
Your Self.

Once you get hold of selflessness,
you’ll be dragged from your ego
and freed from many traps.

 ~~~RUMI

9:00 a.m. Hour

 Do not let go…I want to close my eyes for just a little while.
Promise you will not let go.  A memory lingers as I recall the moment you first
took my hand.  I did not know the meaning of ‘steps’ yet,
my wobbly legs, knees calloused from crawling, attempt to
rise.  I fall, but you come to my side.  Your hand, it reaches
down…you descend to meet me.  We ascend together.  I am
walking…you say nothing, you do not have to.  You are smiling,
that is more that words can reveal.
You have held on until I was ready to let-go.
You were smiling as I broke out into a run.
How all the years in these hours bring me back to those
drifting moments of your nearness.  You’re gone, yet
you have not let-go.  Sometimes your hand
caresses my face when I sleep.  I wake looking
left, right, below, above!  Was it, was I dreaming?
Let me sleep in this hour, for just a while.
I know you’ll come…you have never let-go.
And, I hold on to every lasting hour.

Pray with me in this hour.
10:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worry if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.