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Accepting This

When Kathy and I decided I would teach one more year, I wanted to make it the best year possible. I tired last year, was in physical pain, and it was difficult to be there for students as I wanted. I examined my life as Socrates suggested. I realized I focused on things I had little or no control over which is unlike me. I knew I wanted this year to be different and I worked hard the first 1/2 of the year in that respect. I remind myself I can only do what I am capable of doing. I stopped planning and organizing that which is not plannable or organizable and take a breath now and then. I choose to accept my life as it unfolds and as I author it in this moment. I owe this to the students and their families who support them and me.

Mark Nepo reminded me today of this as I read this beautiful poem.

Yes, it is true. I confess,
I have thought great thoughts,
and sung great songs—all of it
rehearsal for the majesty
of being held.

The dream is awakened
when thinking I love you
and life begins
when saying I love you
and joy moves like blood
when embracing others with love.

My efforts now turn
from trying to outrun suffering
to accepting love wherever
I can find it.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

Ultimately,
we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,
we are asked to experience
meaning in the life that moves
through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

20 responses »

  1. This is gorgeous, Ivon! Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Every word of this poem spoke long learned truths, beautifully! Appreciate the share, tonight, so very much!

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:
    I love this post, and especially the poem that Ivon included with it, and most especially the part that says so wisely and eloquently:

    We cannot eliminate hunger,
    but we can feed each other.
    We cannot eliminate loneliness,
    but we can hold each other.
    We cannot eliminate pain,
    but we can live a life
    of compassion.

    Reply
  4. Reblogging to both blogs and thank you so so much, such truth and reality here!!!

    Reply
  5. Wonderful post Ivon. Thanks for sharing this beautiful, and thought provoking poem.

    Reply
  6. Yes, those words – we cannot eliminate hunger .. and so on, were magic – the reminder I need so often. Thank you Ivon for giving us this, It goes in my To Keep file

    Reply
  7. What a perfect way to underscore the words that you repeat to yourself (and that arguably some of us do as well). Thank you Ivon – in this post, you held many – even if the initial reaction was yours alone.

    Reply
  8. Perfectly beautiful and a lesson.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Yeah…I know what’s the feeling like…

    Reply

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