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Now I Become Myself

We had a very good day. We are beginning to say good-bye. It has taken many years for me to reach this place. As May Sarton suggested, I ran madly many times seeming to think that busyness was the order of the day. Or I wore the faces of other people. I think these faces were often mine, but that they masked the real me. It was hard to let the guard down and be my self at times. It is easier and easier and I can stand still right here in this moment and now in this moment. Ah, what a feeling.

Now I become myself. It’s taken

Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken,

Worn other people’s faces,

Run madly, as if Time were there,

Terribly old, crying a warning,

“Hurry, you will be dead before—”

(What? Before you reach the morning?

Or the end of the poem is clear?

Or love safe in the walled city?)

Now to stand still, to be here,

Feel my own weight and density!

The black shadow on the paper

Is my hand; the shadow of a word

As thought shapes the shaper

Falls heavy on the page, is heard.

All fuses now, falls into place

From wish to action, word to silence,

My work, my love, my time, my face

Gathered into one intense

Gesture of growing like a plant.

As slowly as the ripening fruit

Fertile, detached, and always spent,

Falls but does not exhaust the root,

So all the poem is, can give,

Grows in me to become the song,

Made so and rooted by love.

Now there is time and Time is young.

O, in this single hour I live

All of myself and do not move.

I, the pursued, who madly ran,

Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

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.

27 responses »

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Just beautiful.

    When we leave a job of many years, it seems like the end of a lifetime.

  2. LOve this poem and your introductory words… some other words came into my mind as I savoured these, not sure when they come from : Here, where I stand.’

  3. A new adventure awaits…

  4. I feel such delight for you … a new chapter, an ever-deepening awareness

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Very, very well written, Ivon. I can really feel your mood, at this time. Excellent.

    (& good luck 🙂 )

  6. It must be hard to let all those years of teaching to become only a memory. Not a current state. But you are someone new now and its as wonderful.

    • I think it can be. Social media has changed this for me. I am in touch with former students and families that way. I tend to see this through a Buddhist lens: we are part of where we were and it is part of us even when we are not there.

  7. I hope that you will move into a new and gently unfolding future.

  8. I Nominate you for a Special Bouquet of Awards – 3 Nominations

    please accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award

  9. This is one of my favourites – it resonates within, as I learn to lay down my masks and become me. I feel the freedom in these breaths you breathe!

  10. Ivon, thank you for your sincere and articulate thoughts. The results for us are pensive beauty. Congratulations, and I wish you all the best my friend. Namaste. ~Paul

  11. I definitely think that we wear all types of masks at work in order to fit in and not draw attention. It’s part of life. I look forward to seeing what is next for you.



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