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Author Archives: ivonprefontaine

What is Life?

I don’t know the title of this Gregory Orr poem is so I used the opening line. This is a great question which brings up many other questions. What are the roles that we are each cast in? It is not so much the answers that are important, but the new questions and the searching, the questing that makes life what it is.

“What is life?”

When you first

Hear that question

It echoes in your skull

As if someone shouted

In an empty cave.

The same answer each time:

The resurrection of the body

Of the beloved, which is

The world.

Every poem different, but

Telling the same story.

And we’ve been gathering

Them in a book

Since writing began

And before that as songs

Or poems people memorized

And recited aloud

When someone asked: “What is life?”

KOBE, JAPAN IMAGES: FLOW

ivonprefontaine:

This post has some incredible pictures introduced by a thoughtful quote from Rilke.

Originally posted on TOKIDOKI:

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

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15apr14. Kobe, Japan. (Gonomiya)

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: JACKIE ROBINSON DAY

ivonprefontaine:

When I taught, I suggested students look at Jackie Robinson’s life, his Canadian connection, and the his contributions to making the world a better place. The other day I read an article about Henry Aaron who was another great ambassador. The students were always surprised about how different life was 50-60 years ago and how much distance we still have to go in seeing the humanness dwelling in everyone.

Originally posted on euzicasa:

Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated throughout Major League Baseball (MLB) in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play professional baseball in the MLB. On April 15, 1947, Robinson played his first professional game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. To commemorate Robinson’s achievements, activities are planned each year at all MLB stadiums on April 15th. Home teams coordinate activities for the tribute, which may include pre-game award presentations, special guests throwing the first pitch, prizes for fans, and appearances by other legendary baseball stars. More… Discuss

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Meditation on a Grapefruit

Craig Arnold wrote this poem that reminds us being awake is not just an early morning event. When we engage in ordinary, daily tasks we have opportunties to see them as extraordinary and sacred. Thich Nhat Hanh counsels this gives life fuller meaning. It is encountering the little things in each waking moment that bring deeper, richer living.

To wake when all is possible

before the agitations of the day

have gripped you

To come to the kitchen

and peel a little basketball

for breakfast

To tear the husk

like cotton padding        a cloud of oil

misting out of its pinprick pores

clean and sharp as pepper

To ease

each pale pink section out of its case

so carefully       without breaking

a single pearly cell

To slide each piece

into a cold blue china bowl

the juice pooling       until the whole

fruit is divided from its skin

and only then to eat

so sweet

a discipline

precisely pointless       a devout

involvement of the hands and senses

a pause     a little emptiness

 each year harder to live within

each year harder to live without

A child is like a tree.

ivonprefontaine:

This is one of those poems I would have loved to have had hanging beside my work area in the classroom where I could read it each day. Teachers and parents create settings where seeds are planted by children. The quality of the soil and the nurturing that is provided are important factors in the growth that occurs.

Originally posted on GC Himani's collection of quotes, notes & video's made by great people who have been sharing their enlightenment through their words and actions.:

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A child is like a tree. 
Parents can help them grow 
by preparing the soil 
and nurturing them with love.
The trees go on growing 
without anybody teaching them
how to grow.
The animals, the birds,
the whole existence,
needs no programming.
According to me,
the function of the parents
is not how to help the children grow –
they will grow without you.
Your function is to support, to nourish,
to help what is already growing.
Don’t give directions and don’t give ideals.
Don’t tell them what is right
and what is wrong:
let them find it by their own experience.
Only one thing you can do,
and that is share your own life.
Tell them that you have been conditioned
by your parents,
that you have lived within certain limits,
according to certain ideals,
and because of these limits and ideals
you have missed life completely,
and you…

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Paddling the River Back to Ask Why

Faith

Today, was the last full weekend of classes for me. I have one more class to go and I need to finish the preliminary document for my dissertation proposal which is this weekend’s job. There is a faith that comes with this latter effort. When I began, it seemed daunting, but with over 100 pages for the first three sections in place it is more manageable looking.

Along with finishing classes, I will go home and the bulk of my work will be done there. There are challenges in that, as at Gonzaga, I had a particular discipline which was not the case at home before I retired from the classroom. Working full-time and all the other things that life brings, did not always provide time to work at the necessary routine in a disciplined way. Having said this, the shadow of newly found discipline casts a shadow which gives life to it.

Czeslaw Milosz suggested a shadow is what gives something strength to live and I am thinking of discipline and routine that way today as I ready myself for my Sabbath.

The word Faith means when someone sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone’s foot is hurt
By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt our feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the trees;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:
What has no shadow has no strength to live.

Love, intimacy and desire

ivonprefontaine:

We each need love in our lives. Even when we are not physically together, love flows across the time and space as waves and particles. You feel the sensations as immediately and with a powerful sense of being part of something not easily explained and put into words.

Originally posted on Otrazhenie:

Intimacy

What is intimacy?

The feeling of being in a close personal and affectionate association and belonging together… of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other…

Cuddle
From itisonlyacuddle

Recent research shows there are different areas of intimacy.

Intimacy 2Intimacy

Intellectual intimacy

On this level, you can converse with your partner about current events, share ideas and thoughts, even debate political and religious topics. Both of you are able to add to the conversation through exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Senior Couple at home. Part of a series
Intellectual intimacy

Recreational intimacy

This is about recreational activities that the two of you enjoy participating in, whether  individually, or together.

RecreationalRecreational Intimacy

Social intimacy

It’s totally okay for you to have your own friends, and he have his, as long as the two of you have some “common” friends. Couple friendships can be an added bonus to a relationship by being a sounding board, providing feedback and…

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Mindful

Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets and this is likely my favourite poem that she wrote.

Whenever, I get stuck this is a poem I turn to and get unstuck. I had bogged down in my writing and it simply was not moving. This morning, as l listened, ideas flowed into my conscious view. Most of what I was looking for was waiting to be seen.

Interestingly, I did not rush and write things down. I took time, finished sitting, and by the time I wrote things down more appeared. I often look for things in places they are not and they appear as part of what is waiting to be seen.

Poetry’s beauty is it does not always speak directly to what I am looking for, but approaches me in different ways and I encounter it afresh in those moments.

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

Understanding Poetry

ivonprefontaine:

This is a fun way to begin the day. Do we really understand poetry? Or, do we encounter it in some particular way that changes with each new encounter?

Originally posted on Bound 4 Escape:

understandingpoetry-blogvia

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