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Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Bridge

As I write or is the verb dissertate, two early themes emerge: bridges and the ecological nature of classroom. In learning, there is an ongoing bridging from place to place, from time to time, from subject to subject, and from you me and back again.

A bridge we forget is one that takes inside our self. Learning is constant transforming. We are always changing yet we are rarely aware of change. It is like a fish in water, it just happens.

It is important to be mindful and present in learning. What are the changes? What does this bridge between you and me change in each of us? We never become one and it is in the in-between spaces on those bridges that we find the newness of our self when we linger.

Octavio Paz’s poem reminds me of bridges that fill learning spaces, an ecology of learning. There is a rainbow in, over, and between learning as I learn who I am, the world I live in, and the beings I share that world with.

Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.

Entering it
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.

From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
a rainbow.
I’ll sleep beneath its arches.

Iteboshi – #2


When I think of Japanese poetry, I think of haiku and tankas. This is a great longer version of which brings the visuals of world into sharp focus.

Originally posted on kanzen sakura:

We stood in the garden
That January night so long ago.
It was snowing and like children,
We had to be outside.
The koi slept in the depths of their pond.
The stones in the kare-sansui
Slept under the falling snow,
Peaceful beneath the gathering white.
You looked up at the sky and pointed.
When it clears, the winter stars will be iteboshi –
Frozen stars – and smiled at me.
Snow fell on us – our clothes, skin, hair.
You lifted a piece of my hair
And looked at the flakes of snow.
Kissing the snow you murmured, Iteboshi.
Even now my heart beats rapidly
At the love in your voice, so long ago
Yet still remembered.
Tonight I look up at the winter stars
And murmur, iteboshi, into the wind.
Will you be out in the snow?

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Just Pondering Part 613


I enjoyed reading this post and coming back to it today after I stayed with me after I first came across it. I am tea drinker and I get good mileage out of my tea bags. We all have our own way of doing things i.e. drinking tea and that is part of what makes life so interesting. We can see what others do that is the same i.e. drink tea and how they are, at the same time, different i.e. the tea tree and lemon grass tea. It is what makes the universe.

Originally posted on Renard Moreau Presents:

I was relaxing in bed when my mind was suddenly flooded with this memory:

Way back in my childhood days, I saw a lime tree decorated with used tea bags; it caught my attention, because I found it to be very odd.

At home, when we were finished with a tea bag, we threw it in the trash can.

That lime tree was my former neighbour’s lime tree, so I had the opportunity to get a good look at it.

Then one day, the elderly woman (my neighbour) said, “I am in the mood for some Lipton; she took one of the tea bags from off of the tree and proceeded to the kitchen.

It dawned on me that she was using her tea bags more than once; she had discovered a method to economise; when she used them the first time, she hung them on the…

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The Courage to Be New

Robert Frost wrote this interesting poem. It is unclear what the underlying topic was, but it was possibly written after one of the World Wars.It seems with the passing of Pete Seeger thinking about violence and its meaning, if there is any, is appropriate. There isn’t reason, but it seems human nature to overlook the violence beginning in daily life.

The courage to be new is real in many settings. It is hard to change practices and become someone new, although what human being is about, always transforming. We become caught in a vice of busyness that doesn’t let us see past routines or see into them for that matter. Children likely see past much better and then, as they grow up, they are stymied. The courage to stop violence begins with the person, the self. When I look in, I find spaces where light shines in and helps me walk the path with a little more courage.

I hear the world reciting
The mistakes of ancient men,
The brutality and fighting
They will never have again.

Heartbroken and disabled
In body and in mind
They renew talk of the fabled
Federation of Mankind.

But they’re blessed with the acumen
To suspect the human trait
Was not the basest human
That made them militate.

They will tell you more as soon as
You tell them what to do
With their ever breaking newness
And their courage to be new.



This is a beautiful haiku which suggests an enlightened self emerges from darkness. Part of my meditation is the reading of a short passage by Osho each morning along with prayers. Osho reminds me that hate cannot prosper where there is love. This message was echoed by Father Richard Rohr’s contemplative passage this morning.

Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:

virginal flower
risen from muddy waters
Buddha emergent

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RIP Pete Seeger


I love his music and his sentiments. He was an amazing person and talent whose music enriches each day for the world.

Originally posted on MisBehaved Woman:

Oh…this just breaks my heart. I didn’t always agree with his politics but his music never failed to move me. ~Reb

“Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.”

TruthOut- Pete Seeger, the iconoclastic American singer, songwriter and social activist who did battle with injustice in America armed with a banjo, a guitar and the transformative power of song, has died. He was 94.

Seeger died Monday at New York Presbyterian Hospital, his grandson Kitama Cahill-Jackson told the Associated Press.

A veteran of the labor, peace and civil rights movements, Seeger remained relevant as an activist into his 90s. He was equally musician and revolutionary, playing a major role in the folk music revival that began in the late 1950s while helping to craft the soundtrack of 1960s protests through such songs as “We Shall Overcome,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

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Yesterday, I walked downtown and bought some books at Aunties Bookstore. It offers a combination of new and used. I wandered and found an eclectic riprap of books. There were poetry, philosophy, and spirituality books mixed in.

Gary Snyder wrote a poem using that word: riprap. I felt a little that way as I wrote today as I tried to fit new words in among the old words. The old words are somewhat concrete and the new ones found it challenging to fit into the spaces. Actually, some of the new words were old and were previously used by others who went before. Even those words were not always easily fitted into the seams I tried squeezing them into. But, I tried not to force too hard out of concern I might break the space wide open and let something else come flooding in.

We probably live that way at times. We fit the new among the old. It causes some perplexity this complexity.

Lay down these words

Before your mind like rocks.

placed solid, by hands

In choice of place, set

Before the body of the mind

in space and time:

Solidarity of bark, leaf, or wall

riprap of things:

Cobble of milky way,

straying planets,

These poems, people,

lost ponies with

Dragging saddles

and rocky sure-foot trails.

The worlds like an endless


Game of Go.

ants and pebbles

In the thin loam, each rock a word

a creek-washed stone

Granite: ingrained

with torment of fire and weight

Crystal and sediment linked hot

all change, in thoughts,

As well as things.


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