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Limen

Some days, I sit and watch, listen, and sense the wonders of the world around me. Within these wonders, things and people invite me to remember things embedded within nature and in my life. The extraordinary emerges from the ordinary. Often, I overlook what and who is important in my life, who give and gave me unconditional support.

Natasha Trethewey shared this wonderful poem about the unobserved industry that goes on around me. It is not just busy industry. I focus on a particular calling in life. I find my voice in the work. For humans, there is a multiplicity in the work and the way it shapes life. Similar to the woodpecker, it seems I look for the gifts I overlook. There is more embedded in life than just hanging laundry and other obvious tasks I undertake. When I attend and am present, the barely perceptible–the liminal– is visible, heard, and fully sensed.

All day I’ve listened to the industry

of a single woodpecker, worrying the catalpa tree

just outside my window. Hard at his task,

his body is a hinge, a door knocker

to the cluttered house of memory in which

I can almost see my mother’s face.

She is here, beyond the tree,

its slender pods and heart-shaped leaves,

hanging wet sheets on the line–each one

a thin white screen between between us. So insistent

is this woodpecker, I’m sure he must be

looking for something else–not simply

the beetles and grubs inside, but some other gift

the tree might hold. All day he’s been at work,

tireless, making the green hearts flutter.

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. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    It did it again, when I read your poetry it forces me to slow down and absorb every word. Wow. Cool!

    Reply
  2. It a very soothing, and descriptive poem. It is really relaxing and well written…thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. I love this. The ability to see beyond the actual ‘happening’ in nature to a deeper understanding of life helps not only to guide us, but also brings peace and calm within.

    Reply

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