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Trough by Judy Brown

I spent the past few days examining where I am in my life’s calling as a teacher. I was in a trough for a while and it is nice to start climbing out and see the horizon over the edge of the waves. Personal vision formed around and by named values is essential to fulfillment. I am grateful I had people listen and wait for me to speak. The trough is a quiet place and I was able to gather my thoughts, reflect, and regain some passion through their patience and kindness.

There is a trough in waves,

a low spot

where horizon disappears

and only sky

and water are your company.

And there we lose our way

unless

we rest, knowing the wave will bring us

to its crest again.

There we may drown

if we let fear

hold us within its grip and shake us

side to side,

and leave us flailing, torn, disoriented.

But if we rest there

in the trough,

in silence,

being with the low part of the wave,

keeping

our energy and

noticing the shape of things,

the flow,

then time alone

will bring us to another place

where we can see

horizon, see the land again,

regain our sense

of where

we are,

and where we need to swim.

Several months ago, I posted an entry called the Mindful Teacher. I suggested there was a need for added fuel for the fire that is my vocation and gives me voice through teaching and learning. Since then, I matured and realize the silence is the oxygen that also helps to breathe life into the fire. It serves as the wisdom, compassion, and prudence offsetting my passion. Without the space, the silence, I become a flickering flame burning out before my time.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

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