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I Will Keep Broken Things

Alice Walker wrote what appears to be a long poem, but it is a musing we undertake daily, sometimes without knowing. What are we discarding? It could be, as she recites, we look at material belongings in our house. It could be, as she concludes, the spiritual and hidden phenomena make us who we are.

We are damaged goods, but it is our imperfections that make us perfectly who we are. We look at things in our houses, which to others seem damaged, and we recall stories behind and under the surface. The stories underneath, never fully tellable, reveal themselves in their incompleteness. Each story is sharable to some extent, but it is always our story. Like a tree, the story is revealed in the inner circles and, then, incompletely. In the end, the imperfections that make us perfectly who we are we keep because they enhance our beauty from within.

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The big clay
Pot
With raised
Iguanas
Chasing
Their
Tails;
Two
Of their
Wise

Heads
Sheared
Off;

I will keep
Broken
things:
The old
Slave
Market
Basket
Brought
To my
Door

By Mississippi
A jagged
Hole
Gouged
In its sturdy
Dark
Oak
Side.

I will keep
Broken
things:
The memory
Of
Those
Long
Delicious
Night
Swims
With
You;

I will keep
Broken
things:
In my house
There
Remains
An

Honored
Shelf
On which
I will
Keep
Broken
Things.

Their beauty
Is
They
Need
Not
Ever
Be
‘fixed.’

I will keep
Your
Wild
Free
Laughter
Though
It is now
Missing
Its
Reassuring
And
Graceful
Hinge.

I will keep
Broken
Things:

Thank you
So much!

I will keep
Broken
Things.

I will keep
You:

Pilgrim
Of
Sorrow.

I will keep
Myself.

Beside the temple pond

ivonprefontaine:

I love haiku. There is a presence in the words because they are so carefully chosen and mix so well with the silence in spaces between.

Originally posted on AshiAkira's Blog:

Beside the temple pond

Is the statue of Buddha

Silent as he was

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The summer day

ivonprefontaine:

I rarely re-blog twice in one day, but I cannot help myself. This could easily be my favourite poem. It fits right up there with a quote by Parker Palmer I carry close to my heart: “Who is the self that teaches [and lives this life].” The last line of the poem asks the same question: “What is it [I] plan to with with [my] one wild and precious life?” Take care on the day’s quest.

Originally posted on Dr Bill Wooten:

“Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean the one who is
eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth
instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her
enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms
and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your…

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Can one really teach what one does not know?

ivonprefontaine:

I feel humbled in comparison. The idea of walking in another’s shoes comes to life in this story. It is more than a story. It is what Levinas called substitution for the Other, the ultimate taking responsibility and empathy.

Originally posted on sachemspeaks:

Local teacher living homeless for month talks to WFTV

Can one really teach what one does not know?

If you have really been reading my postings about my people you know the answer.

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/local-teacher-living-homeless-month-talks-wftv/nggKf/

Did this moving story give you any ideas?

Leave it to a teacher to put a little sanity into a politically corrupt state.

Before you read this, think about a law stating that any government official or one thinking of becoming a government official spend a minimum of 3 days in this teachers shoes!

“What’s it like? It is horrible,” Rebman said.

It’s been just 11 days since the Orange County teacher started his homelessness project.

“Here we are 11 days in and I have less than $2 in my pocket. I really don’t know how my days are going to go. I thought it wouldn’t be this difficult as it’s been,” Redman said.

“People demean…

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Love After Love

Derek Walcott wrote this wonderful poem about celebrating life. He suggested we greet ourselves offering hospitality as we realize that we let other things take the place of getting to know the person who was us.

The poem describes a wonderful (wonder filled) companionship in the second stanza. Companionship is sharing meals as we sojourn. Journey is the daily, perhaps moment-to-moment work we do while sojourning. Jacques Derrida drew on an Algerian-French-Jewish background in writing about greeting the stranger, but I don’t know if he meant ourselves.

I considered this today as I prepared a presentation. The world speaks to us and we speak to it, but are we listening as the conversation unfolds? It is in listening to our self that we make sense of the world and it in turn makes sense of us.

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Write On The Walls!

ivonprefontaine:

Walls are spaces where we can live, as well. Usually, they are treated as boundaries between places, that separate us. Here, we see that the walls become spaces where life is reflected and spoken.

Originally posted on Sirena Tales:

imageAs you may know, we have scrawled favorite quotes all over the walls of our bathroom.  The “Walls of Inspiration,” as they are affectionately known.

It started a couple of decades ago when I was home full time with my young children and came across an article in a house decorating magazine about having a few quotations written meticulously in calligraphy on walls painted in beautiful ribbons of color.  Such beauty and inspiration–I loved the idea.

But we had neither the money to hire someone nor the skill to achieve “the look” ourselves.  Every time I saw our bathroom’s dreary, worn wallpaper after viewing that lovely magazine image and realizing how many wondrous quotes I had with which to surround us, my soul drooped.

image

My answer?  Tear down the paper and write quotes in the kids’ abundance of magic markers.   Yes!  Write on the walls (these walls, anyway).  Gotta…

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Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

ivonprefontaine:

One aspect of Dr. King’s writing that is often overlooked was his concern for the pace of scientific and technological advances. It takes caring and compassionate people, and I think most scientists are just that, to guide the world in humane ways. This does not mean living outside our relationships with the world, but to live in them, encountering them in vulnerable and unexpected ways.

Originally posted on A Small Act Of Kindness Can Bring Smile On Million Faces:

image

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