RSS Feed


I head to a retreat tonight and I hope that it replenishes my creative spirit. These are the lyrics to a song by Claudia Schmidt. The poem has a nature theme, but the idea of replenishing one’s self is strong, natural, and metaphoric in this case.

We go on, we go on,

Canoe under the hot sun,

The upturned paddles guide liquid to our

dry mouths.

Water within us, water surrounds us,

A great mystery our becoming dry at all.

Replenish, replenish, all must be replenished.

The water within and without.

All that fills, all that surrounds us:

The great whistling pines,

The tenacious beaver,

The ancient loon,

The rush of the young eagle’s wings as it

dips low over our canoe.


The eyes bathed in this delicate solitude,

The trembling eternity,

Called back in mid-sweep only to be

assessed by green parched eyes


Each shriveled heart

Which has its moments only at events set

aside for its song,

But cannot fly for the connection

Between the rock and the human body,

The heron’s wing and the hope in our souls,

We go on,

We go on.

Our paddles dance with the lake water to

the music in our throats.

We will grow dry again

Perhaps leap into the water

A small and symbolic celebration of a great

and endless task

Which gracefully undertaken,

Might allow us to go on, and on, and on.

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.

15 responses »

  1. Beautiful! May you have a wonderful time!

  2. What a wonderful way to characterize your time away…I hope you renew and replenish and enjoy.

  3. I just love the sheer expression of inter-being and interconnectedness in the poem. Beautiful! Thanks Ivon

  4. Beautifully Characterized.

  5. Heading off to a retreat to replenish creative thoughts sounds fantastic! Love the post! 🙂

  6. To go on is a cycle of renewal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: