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You Reading This, Be Ready

Recently, I attended a presentation and the person commented, “The only now we have is this one right here.” I began to use this with students. In the busyness of life, what do I want to remember? If I am present, right here, now, I can see the extraordinary aspects of the world I live in the now. I bring my mind into the room and it joins the shell, my body. William Stafford shared this Zen-like view of the world in this poem.

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

 Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

27 responses »

  1. Thanks Ivon 🙂

  2. Yes..the importance of the present or the ‘now’ cannot be overemphasized enought- most of us either dwell in the past or are too preoccupied to think about the future- as a result the present gets lost somewhere..easier said than done …

  3. Reblogged this on Waiting for the Karma Truck and commented:
    Once again Ivon (Teacher As Transformer @ startles my thoughts and makes me pause…

  4. This is beautiful ~ it’s what I like to remind others as well ~ we only have today so enjoy The Presents of Presence. P.S. Mimi sent me! 🙂

  5. Wow, Ivon, my favourite line in this is, ‘Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?’ Thank you for another moving piece.

  6. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to be mindful of the here and now. I’m often guilty of looking for what’s coming next and missing what’s in front of me.

  7. Pingback: 5:16 am. And Inspired. – Lead.Learn.Live.

  8. If more people lived in the moment there would be fewer “keeping up with the Jones'” and competing mentality. I have found that yoga really helps me do this and I actually try to just listen to my foot sounds when I run. This is more difficult then it seems, I get most of my best insights while I exercise.

  9. Very nice Ivon. Stafford is one of my favorite. Bill

  10. The magic of now is what we can achieve now.

  11. Many decades ago in the New Zealand Navy was a large office called the ‘Central Regulating Office’ (the CRO). It was staffed by ogres, fiends, and monsters of the worst possible kind (senior NCOs responsible for enforcing regulations) and the sign they should have had over the IN door could well have read “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”.


    —wait, dammit I haven’t finished yet—

    The sign on the way out simply did read “DO IT NOW” … and that was the one thing that should be tattooed across the back of the hand of every person wishing to get ahead in life.

    You do well, but do the tykes actually listen?

  12. I wish you a happy first day of spring
    stefan maxima

  13. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This is great, Ivon. You’ll know how much it means to me because of my post before the current one – a short video poem ‘These ruinations of people’.

    Yep, I get it, absolutely. Really good to pass it on to your students too. No-one ever said as much to me in teens.


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