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Daily Archives: August 14, 2014

O Captain! My Captain!

The character John Keating, played by Robin Williams, used this Walt Whitman poem to set the stage for much of the movie, Dead Poet’s Society.

I do not dispute the original writing of the poem might literally be about the captain’s death and today it pays homage to Robin Williams. The movie did deal with the difficult issue of suicide. Having said this, I think it is important to consider a figurative meaning about teaching which was Keating’s profession in the movie so ably brought to life by Robin Williams.

I critiqued the movie from a teacher’s perspective while completing my Master’s degree. I spoke about the passion teaching brought into my life. I extend this to anything we choose to do. When we lose the spirit and voice that a vocation offers each of us, it is figuratively and literally a death, as well.

I recall using Parker Palmer’s quote about vocation and voice coming from the Latin vocere. Voice gives us life. Robin William’s portrayal of John Keating spoke deeply to me about holding true to the purposes we are called to in life.

                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

What the Soul Needs Now

ivonprefontaine:

Rumi’s poetry shines through the centuries with continuing wisdom. When we take time and while over the things emerging and appearing in the quietness of each moment, we gain so much more. Nature offers so much for us to consider. It is a place of warming, of continuous change, dancing, and mystery. It is not a mystery to solve but a mystery to live.

Originally posted on idealisticrebel:

One Human Gesture

You have a source inside you, a cool spring that sometimes stops flowing, frozen

or clogged with silt. A voice says, ” Consider the situation more deeply, my friend.”

Such advice is not idle. It is immediate  companionship with a soul artist like David,

who works iron until it melts and he can shape it. Spirit is the art of making what’s

blocked start moving again. When your body dies, give it to the death angel,

Israfil. If your heart feels numb and metallic, walk out into the sun, or whatever

the mystery is that makes your inner spring well up. There was once a sage who felt

this flow moving inside him. As he walked the garden that

was being restored with

spring water, he gave names to aspects of the vital dance he was doing: the animal’s

hungry agility and the connoisseur’s intelligent choice.

Blessings…

View original 50 more words

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