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A Note

Well, I made it to the finish line this week and had a good day today. I ran out of steam after lunch, but afternoons have been kind this week. We are writing Fractured Fairy Tales and students get into this activity. I find opportunities to work 1-on-1 with students who need a little extra help. It is a great unit plan and can be modified for different ages.

Wislawa Szymborska wrote this poem. It fits with recent reflections about the extraordinary nature of ordinary life. My father-in-law, Bill, used to ask, “Who has more fun than people? More people do, of course!” I recalled his quirky, wise sayings as I read this poem. It is simple things, often overlooked, that give life its fullest meaning.

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes;

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.



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.

14 responses »

  1. Danke für alles.
    Wir haben eine neue pps umgewandellt zu WMV im Blog.
    Orichideen. Klick auf das Bild!.
    GR. Wolfgang

  2. Very refreshing thoughts…makes us pause for a moment and enjoy the bounties of the mystery called LIFE…thanks a lot for posting..

  3. “Not knowing” – together – what a happy bunch 🙂 we are. Lovely.

  4. Love it Ivon, ang glad it was a good day for you, a good week.

  5. This is a wonderful poem.

  6. This is the perfect poem for a too-early Monday morning, when the world and its responsibilities feels almost crushing. I have enjoyed pausing and taking the deep breath of fresh air that your blog is, and wanted to leave a note to that you knew I’d been here, and appreciate all that you share with us. Thank you. I hope the week is good to you.


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