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The Opening of Eyes

I arrive at the end of another week. It was a quiet week in many ways. Next week includes parent-teacher interviews and will be more hectic. When I reflected, I thought of the Marcel Proust quote: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I need the quiet and the solitude which allows me to achieve one glimpse at a time.

I found my way to this David Whyte poem which proposed a similar message. The poet echoed Proust in the second stanza. As I open my eyes, my heart and mind open in astonishment as the wonder of silence finds a new world that was always there, a paradox.

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.


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.

21 responses »

  1. Such a great poem and powerful quote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Thanks for sharing!

  2. I especially liked the last 5 lines. They made me smile and brought up pleasant memories.

  3. Wonderful and I find this to be powerful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it! Hugs, Barbara

  4. Thanks for sharing this, this poetry exposes such clarity of vision.

  5. With a tear rolling down my cheek – the gift of beauty, the power of being astonished by the power of a thought.

  6. Once again you amaze me. Don’t stop!

  7. I loved everything, but will remember Proust: “having new eyes”.
    Same objective experience leading to completely new horizons.

  8. love this one! thanks for posting

  9. jalal michael sabbagh.

    Both Marcel Proust ‘s Quote and David Whyte ‘s poem are so profound to discover new horizons we need to look beyond the surface .Great post.Thank you for liking my post ( Sharing….) Sincerely jalal

  10. Ivon – just to let you know that I have nominated you for the prestigious HUG Award. Details at Congratulations!

  11. Hi I have awarded you The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. For rules see my today’s blog post. You really deserve this award! 🙂


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