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Shaking the Tree

I wrote and scrambled a bit today. I was unsure of where I was with the dissertation process yesterday and then it seemed, as I set the books down and wrote, things fell into place more easily. I read material on complexity theory and its related sciences. The classroom, the school, and all their relationships are complex beyond even the simplest complex system the science can describe. Social systems are so complex we cannot to take them to scale. Basically, it boils down to what happens in one school, perhaps a classroom, is unique to that place and that time.

In the midst of all this complexity, I skimmed Facebook and found a poet, Jeanne Lohmann, I had not read before. She writes about the deep interconnectedness we share with each other, the world, the universe, and what exists beyond. And, everything depends on everything. When we shake that tree, something else, many other things, respond. In the holy things, we find wholeness.

Vine and branch we’re connected in this world

of sound and echo, figure and shadow, the leaves

contingent, roots pushing against earth. An apple

belongs to itself, to stem and tree, to air

that claims it, then ground. Connections

balance, each motion changes another. Precarious,

 hanging together, we don’t know what our lives

support, and we touch in the least shift of breathing.

Each holy thing is borrowed. Everything depends.

 

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. Lovely poem, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth Adams

    Just this, Ivon, a perfect poem unto itself, beautiful:

    When we shake that tree, many other things in what exists beyond

    respond.

    We don’t know what our lives support.

    We touch in the least shift of breathing.

    Each holy thing is borrowed.

    Everything depends.

    Wish I’ written it. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Adams

    More true, slight change/addition in the beginning:

    When we shake that tree, something—

    the many other things in what exists beyond

    responds.

    We don’t know what our lives support.

    We touch in the least shift of breathing.

    Each holy thing is borrowed.

    Everything depends.

    -Ivon Prefontaine

    And my thanks is for your beautiful words, and for allowing them to speak to me in their own voices as I heard them– for allowing me to borrow their holiness in an arid period in which my own words are buried by life’s depletions, and in that find a wholeness misplaced and longed for.

    From: Elizabeth Adams [mailto:esa.namaste@pmwgallery.com] Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:08 PM To: ‘Teacher as Transformer’ Subject: RE: [New post] Shaking the Tree

    Just this, Ivon, a perfect poem unto itself, beautiful:

    When we shake that tree, many other things in what exists beyond

    respond.

    We don’t know what our lives support.

    We touch in the least shift of breathing.

    Each holy thing is borrowed.

    Everything depends.

    Wish I’ written it. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I know what you mean about writing and scrambling – but it came through fine :)

    Funny how you say everything depends on everything, as you could almost say depends on nothing, as in it stands alone; or even, nothing depends on everything.

    Good poem share. Cheers, Ivon :)

    Reply

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