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Little Gidding V

As I rested today, I missed the opportunity to be out there exploring. T. S. Eliot eloquently spoke of this. I seek for and find when I explore the cyclical journey we call life. When I open my eyes, my heart, and my mind like a small child I find the apple-tree of my dreams. When I quiet my thoughts I can hear in the stillness between the waves. The gap between the stimulus and response grows in that way.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

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.

17 responses »

  1. “And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, remembered gate”

    Absolute brilliance. Thank you or th reminder, my friend.

  2. I love the thing not looked for, but half-heard between the waves of the sea. Very Taoistic! (to me…) Your poetry is like rich tapestry, like the kind in Versailles.

  3. Great poem of Eliot’s. I picked up a CD of Eliot reading some of his works at the library the other day. His voice is ultra-serious (clinical, almost). It’s as if he’s putting an exclamation point after each word. I love his poetry, but I think I prefer to read it on my own or hear some good dramatic actor read it. Frost, on the other hand, is a joy to listen to.

  4. He is one of my favorites – and the meter and words place me rocking gently in a rowboat ‘between two waves of the sea”. Thank you – and I hope you are beginning to feel better

  5. Reblogged this on Reason & Existenz and commented:
    Wonderful to see my favorite T. S. Eliot up at Isn’t education and being an educator all about this?
    “…the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time…”
    I am recalled as well to a wonderful little piece by Ortega y Gasset called “Meditations on Hunting.” While I am no hunter in the sense of going after game, I grok the greater point in Eliot & Ortega that we are these beings who through our diversions explore & hunt for the meaningful.

  6. Yes, those first lines are profoundly true. The older I get the more that is my experience. Just a wonderful poem and a brilliant poetic heart and mind.

  7. Bonsoir Yvon! Wonderful poem… fire and rose are the same…
    – – –
    Comme tu as un nom et prénom français, j’ai du mal à m’adresser à toi en anglais, même si je maîtrise la langue de Shakespeare… 🙂 Oui, la vie est un voyage, avec des stop-over(sic!) now and then… 🙂
    Un weekend serein et amitiés toulousaines hivernales…

  8. Truly the words of my spiritual journey, Ivon. Always ending up at the beginning.


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