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Lie Down

Nancy Paddock wrote this wonderful poem about letting go and just being in the world and not separate from it. I loved her imagery created in getting me down to ground level where we can live differently.

When I am at ground level, I am in the world and not outside and over it. I spend time in sabbatical wandering uncharted territory. This theme is emerging in my dissertation where I compare teaching to a hermeneutic exploration of the classroom, it participants, and living topics like a rich, textured landscape we navigate relationally. At ground level, teachers encounter, interpret, and understand a particular world that is their teaching and no one else’s teaching.

Parker Palmer has a quote about teachers using technique until the real teacher shows up. It takes time and patience; togetherness and solitude to bring this about. As I write and read, I think about what that meant and means to me as a particular teacher who is still coming to be in new ways particular to me.

Lie down with your belly to the ground,
like an old dog in the sun. Smell
the greenness of the cloverleaf, feel the damp
earth through your clothes, let an ant
wander the uncharted territory
of your skin. Lie down
with your belly to the ground. Melt into
the earth’s contours like a harmless snake.
All else is mere bravado.
Let your mind resolve itself
in a tangle of grass.
Lie down with your belly
to the ground, flat out, on ground level.
Prostrate yourself before the soil
you will someday enter.
Stop doing.
Stop judging, fearing, trying.
This is not dying, but the way to live
in a world of change and gravity.
Let go. Let your burdens drop.
Let your grief-charge bleed off
into the ground.
Lie down with your belly to the ground
and then rise up
with the earth still in you.

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.

27 responses »

  1. Oh wow! I never thought of doing that before but I agree how freeing that would be! Beautiful post!

  2. Such wonderful imagery. The flow feels like a natural rhythm. Hugs, Barbara

  3. I understand why you like it so much…very nicely written and a poem which easily one can relate to…thanks for sharing and have a Happy Easter!

  4. Fantastic…timely…and so very on point.

  5. I love this poem and the sensations that he captures. So real …. and yes, earthy!

  6. Love it, so vivid and beautiful ~
    “Lie down with your belly to the ground
    and then rise up
    with the earth still in you.”

  7. Reblogged this on Geo Sans and commented:
    a poetic confidant … #NaPoWriMo

  8. Pingback: My Poetic Confidants / My April Reblogs | Geo Sans

  9. Very inspiring! I love the thinking behind that, the concept of getting our mind on ground level, pulling away from our fantasies perhaps, of what we think this life is about. We should get to that kind of thinking often! :)

  10. Fantastic- cannot explain how useful such affirmations are in today’s world of complexity and social disorders.


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