Showing posts from February, 2018

The Heart of Living

Please take a minute (or two, or three) to simply stare at the point on the horizon in this picture where the trail disappears. Find a relaxation music channel & hit play. Breathe in and out, looking at that path- going, going into...somewhere. Hakim Sanai was a Persian poet. I learned of him as I was seeking quotes to connect with this image. He influenced another, more popular, spiritual mystic poet, Rumi . His words I quoted in Dear Teachers this week are almost 1000 years old: “When the path ignites the soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches ground, but not for long.” The Persian mystics were also dervishes. I recall the phrase, “whirling dervishes”. They danced in joyous exultation as part of their faith; their feet literally touched the ground but for moments. To me, this quote’s message is that if we’re engaged in life, we’re going to always be transitioning. Living is not stagnant. I may be in the foreground of that photo, but I am crawl

Spring and Ideas: Birth and Creation

Well, Week 24. I read this essay again this morning, with new eyes. Eyes after the Parkland shootings, which occurred 20 miles from where my sister and brother-in-law live. Where soccer teammates of my great-niece go to school. I’m going to post the entire essay from Dear Teachers here today for everyone, because I think it fits today. Please share it if you wish! I wanted this piece to be a confession about, and reminder against, giving up. I look at the drive of students like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg and am inspired. Reminded. Feeling validated in what I’ve been pushing hard the last 18 months: we’re stronger together. Being together helps keep those "half-shaped blobs" of solutions and change alive. We each have circles of influence. Let’s use them. Let’s not slack off. I’m talking to teachers right now- preaching to the choir a bit. Perhaps, simply be less silent? Share your reality with some people (young and old) you normally wouldn’t. Not in

We All Have Something to Give

I wrote this week’s essay in Dear Teachers more from the perspective of a teacher viewing their students than directed to the reader: the educator. That doesn’t mean that it’s not applicable. Educator styles and personalities can be as varied as those they teach. One could argue that they should be- diversity allows adaptability. One can’t, and shouldn’t, try to be all things to everyone. At the same time, everyone should be open to try new things. It’s a dance. If we look at the scene captured here in Marlene’s shot, there’s a ton going on. It’s a dynamic flow of birds, fish, cattails, grasses, sun, water, air and a host of tiny life-forms we can’t even see. Each species has its talents. All find themselves sharing the same space. We assume that none of the organisms in this picture care about the survival and development of the others. That’s something that only humans, and especially teachers, seem to be concerned about. We may be right or wrong on that, but all

Life's Sweetness When We Look

I slid 2 poems into Dear Teachers. Week 22 is the first. (Week 32 is the second, if you’re keeping track.) Overall, my writing style has become more poem-like as I’ve grown older. Shorter and more lean. However, I felt the need for lines here. Why? Marlene’s image is very linear. The vertical grass texture is amazing and I found myself relaxing with the rhythm of it. To me, it almost hums in quiet anticipation. While you can’t see its legs, you feel this deer is standing completely still and its legs are as straight up and down as its neck and ears are. Lines. Timelines. Lines start. Lines stop. This deer has stopped. Let’s stop. I said before that February’s thoughts would touch on before and after the Now of January. When we stop, we can experience both the moment and what’s hidden. What’s hidden can be what has happened in the past- what’s gotten us here until today. Which leads to the heart of this poem. It shares a subject with a piece that’s way at the