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Tag Archives: conversational journey

Travel Theme: Inviting

Travel Theme: Inviting.

Some of the reading I have done for my dissertation has focused on the idea that teaching is an invitation into learning. I recall cold Alberta days when I would take out books and read. I never left the warm confines of the house, yet I traveled the world.

Teaching and learning are invitational. The John Muir quote in Ese’s post is easily reworded. It is not just the mountains calling. It is the world and the universe. Subjects come alive and speak to us when they hold meaning.

Teaching cannot guarantee learning. What it can do is provide spaces where learning happens as students find the subjects speaking to them. We, in turn, respond and a life-long conversations are struck up. Living and learning entangle and are inseparable.

Wordless Wednesday: And You?

Wordless Wednesday: And You?.

Rumi‘s poetry becomes meaningful quotes very easily. It seems in the quotes nothing is lost and much is gained. Perhaps, it is because the quotes often become questions opening up spaces in living that we had not anticipated.

Poetry is an internal journey. It asks questions in ways that even when  speaking of the external world we turn inwards and seek the answers. It is in the pauses, much like when we pause in living, that something reveals itself.

Amidst the busyness of life we chase missing what is seeking us. When we pause, what is seeking us finds us and speaks to us. We open ourselves and let go in those pauses. It is in the pauses that we can be fully present to the world and our self.

Live in Wonder

Live in Wonder.

The world is a place of wonder. It is poetry in its most indefinable ways and that is why we need pauses between the words. It is in those pauses that the wonder soaks in and we can live in wonder. If the world had no spaces and only noise, we would be overwhelmed. The spaces are an inviting into the most precious relationships we can possibly have with the world, those we share the world, and all matter that matters.

When we pause and listen in the stillness and quiet, we are present to all that is holy and real. The world is made whole in those moments.

The Wine and the Cup -Rumi

The Wine and the Cup -Rumi.

Rumi‘s poetry resonates through the centuries. This short verse reminded me that life is the way we are open up to it. What we receive depends on the number and quality of windows allowing light to enter life.

Gadamer referred to the questions we ask, which open up life, as eloquent . We enter questions as though they are living without presupposed answers ready for exploring.

The moonlight shines into our questions and the size of the cup is of our making. The quality of life is the quality of the windows in our life. Do we age like good wine as we mature? Are we mindful to the character of our living?

Ask a Tree

Ask a Tree.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about a large tree on the grounds at Plum Village a Zen monastery in France.  When people are feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. he suggests they hug the tree for a few moments. It provides people with an opportunity to connect as they pause.

The druids lived in nature often living in trees. Nature was a cathedral and should still be today. As I drove home yesterday, I saw the changing colour in leaves and branches hanging over our street. Nature and trees have stories to tell. We only need to ask, pause of a moment, and listen attentively.

Tree of poems (1)

Tree of poems (1).

This post includes the poem written in three languages, English, Roma, and Italian, along with a graphic. The graphic is fuzzy as it should be. Living is like writing a poem. The space between the words mean something and create a fuzziness that perhaps speaks more clearly than the words spoken.

Similar to writing, living is always a process of editing. The stories we tell and the person we are (our whoness and isness) is not fully describable. Memories are incomplete and fuzzy even the moment we step out of this moment. Moreover, can we even know what we missed and did not understand? Living and reading poetry are always happening in the Now. They always take on new meaning as we listen and act again.

Living is an ongoing conversation in the world and with its phenomena. We live in community where our humanness is what provides the common feature between us and Others we are in relationship with. The world presses in on us and is included in the conversation as it helps us make sense of the journey we are on.

Mysteries, Yes

Mary Oliver writes many poems about life’s mysteries, life’s questions, and the sacred spaces we enter in listening. During Sabbath time, I use her poetry to focus on stillness and allow questions to emerge. They poke their heads forward and are always joined by other questions. The answers are less relevant than the wondering that flows from each question. The mysteries are truly too marvelous to be understood.

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity,
while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

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