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A Ritual to Read to Each Other

People quite often have views of the world and people that are fixed. We become observers and outsiders separate from the life we live in a sense.

William Stafford‘s poem offers another approach. We read our lives as stories to each other and share in the living. This is important in leading, which we are all able to do. In a sense, reading life is leading, learning, and teaching in the world we co-inhabit.

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

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.

16 responses »

  1. Just to let my readers know. I’m having a hard time with a health issue and now I can post nothing on my blog nor can I get any help from WordPress with whatever the problem is. So please pray for me that these issues will be resolved soon. Blessings to all, Natalie :)

    Reply
  2. What a special poem, It has such a fine message, yet even that is not as important as the emotional tugs at the heart it presents. Thanks so much for this sharing. Warm Wishes, Tasha

    Reply
  3. I’ve nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. You have always been an inspiration to me and I hope you will accept!:) http://lifealight.com/2014/03/25/kintal-thank-you-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    Reply
  4. Thanks for sharing this poem Ivon. very helpful in terms of listening to one another.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Gratitude beyond… | Share the Love

  6. As one breath we breath as one heart in rhythm we beat. A lovely poem.

    Reply

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