by Caroline Reddy
The sacred waters of Kyoto drip a bit of Dharma into my crown as I bow to my katana and sensei, allowing kata to sharpen my mind, and shape me into a peaceful warrior. My beloved Zen teachers, long gone wanted me to move on for I was low in ki even though I practice reiki. I called upon Manjushri to help me wield wisdom and find the way once again. A dojo in Japan found me through a lucid dream and reminded me of the Diamond Sutra, Shinto shrines deep bows— the sound of the hanh as I breathed from my soul: pouring pure water to cleanse my body, and connect earth to sky, and sky to earth. I rise blurry eyed at dawn and perform basic steps: Tai Sabaki and review my shukudai, layering a new move wondering if I could find my balance in this world when my heart, the altar has been empty for some time. I whisk matcha tea at dusk and wipe my katana with choji oil before bed, a meditative practice in this world where making contact has become so limited. In each fleeting moment I perform a new kata and imagine the plum blossoms that are blooming across the universe as the harsh winter settles into the scent of a new spring moon.
Caroline Reddy is a versatile writer whose works include accepted and published poems in Sar*Line, Braided Way Magazine, Soul Lit, ActiveMuse.org; along with several pieces in Breadcrumb Magazine. In the fall of 2021, her poem A Sacred Dance was nominated for Best of The Net prize by Active Muse. Caroline has also written a book review for a volume of poetry by award-winning poet Claudine Nash. A native of Shiraz, Iran, she is working on Star Being, a collection of poems that chronicles a Starseed’s journey on earth.