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The Way it Is

I chose this poem by William Stafford after comments I shared with David at The Dad Poet about poets we enjoyed. Those are not short lists. David reminded me of William Stafford who writes in both a simple and complex way as well. He tells us with simplicity that there is a thread that connects us all and to all things.

More importantly, perhaps, it connects us to our self. We cannot describe it. We know it is there and by holding on life unfolds the way it should without us knowing exactly what that means. The connections to others provide safety and love that we know there are people, places, and spaces to turn towards during the more difficult moments.

There’s a thread that you follow. It goes among

things that change. But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about this thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you can stop unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.


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.

20 responses »

  1. I love this so much. Never ever let go of the thread. Thank you for sharing this one Ivon.

  2. This poem does speak volumes. This really explains life in the simplest form as you say but very profound.

  3. So beautifully reassuring. Thank you for sharing it today.

  4. I taught for forty years and hopefully I started a lot of threads. Some ended making beautiful tapestry and some ended up as rags. Such is life.

    • I think that is the objective in teaching. We let students follow their threads by showing them it is OK to follow our threads. The result is, as you say, a beautiful tapestry. Thank you for stopping and comment Barry. I loved your play on words today. I look forward to many trips over your way.

  5. I think it’s true.I wandered through many places until I found what I was seeking… symbols.I had been sidetracked into mathematics but those are signs not symbols.But how did I know what I was looking for.It#s like getting married.You know the right person when you ,meet them.. and it took me years and reading Susanne Langer to discover symbols..

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  7. Love this Ivon. Thank you.

  8. Our lives unfold, just like strings, I like that simile


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