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Harrowing

Parker Palmer wrote this poem with double-meaning in the title. I can live life as a process which ravages, furrows, and scars m face. Living in the past does this. Life is harrowing that way. Or, I leave the travails of yesterday as humis or humility as a foundation for a new crop. I can turn soil, make it richer, and create a greener world.

The poem reminded me of Gadamer‘s concept of fused horizons which is emerging as a central concept in my journey. We can build on the past by using it, good and bad, as a way of making the future a better place. Today’s view; this moment is the place we find our way from.

The plow has savaged this sweet field

Misshapen clods of earth kicked up

Rocks and twisted roots exposed to view

Last year’s growth demolished by the blade.

I have plowed my life this way

Turned over a whole history

Looking for the roots of what went wrong

Until my face is ravaged, furrowed, scarred.

Enough. This job is done.

Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be.

Seedbed for the growing that’s to come.

I plowed to unearth last year’s reasons—

The farmer plows to plant a greening season.

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.

12 responses »

  1. we shared a wavelength today

    Reply
  2. P.P. always a favorite. He summarizes his meetings in haiku… Can we?

    Reply
    • I learn something new each day. I have read Parker’s writing for years and have participated in retreats through the Center for Courage and Renewal. I have not had a chance to meet him, but this does not surprise me that he finishes meetings with haiku. That is such a great idea.

      Reply
  3. “I plowed to unearth last year’s reasons..” Powerful..

    Reply
  4. Great choice.>KB

    Reply
  5. Just simply excellent, we are never really all that far from our roots, whether they be in the ground or above! Love this, thank you!

    Reply

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