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Today, was the last full weekend of classes for me. I have one more class to go and I need to finish the preliminary document for my dissertation proposal which is this weekend’s job. There is a faith that comes with this latter effort. When I began, it seemed daunting, but with over 100 pages for the first three sections in place it is more manageable looking.

Along with finishing classes, I will go home and the bulk of my work will be done there. There are challenges in that, as at Gonzaga, I had a particular discipline which was not the case at home before I retired from the classroom. Working full-time and all the other things that life brings, did not always provide time to work at the necessary routine in a disciplined way. Having said this, the shadow of newly found discipline casts a shadow which gives life to it.

Czeslaw Milosz suggested a shadow is what gives something strength to live and I am thinking of discipline and routine that way today as I ready myself for my Sabbath.

The word Faith means when someone sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone’s foot is hurt
By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt our feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the trees;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:
What has no shadow has no strength to live.

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.

8 responses »

  1. What an interesting poem. I had never before considered my shadow as an important part of me, but Czeslaw is absolutely correct that it reveals our substance. What kind of shadow am I leaving is a necessary question then that must be answered if I am to please our Father.

    The poem also emphasizes to me that while God grants us many blessings He also expects us to deal with the rocky parts of life because it is the rocks that will strength us; therefore, his final line seems both a summary and a warning to consider what is being said and look within to determine what kind of shadow we have. As always, thanks again for inspirational posts.

    I know you will be glad to be home, as will your family.

    • That is a wonderful set of insights Marie. Thank you for them. The shadows also offer spaces to rest and gather ourselves as we get ready to deal with the rockiness of life.

      • Thank you. Did I hear from you regarding the blessings that come from being in His presence in silence? I can’t remember where that piece of wisdom came from. What you have just said reminded me of it, “spaces to rest and gather ourselves. Spending time alone with Him in awe and reverence. Certainly a challenging call to obediencel

      • I write a bit about the need for silence and various forms of Sabbath so it is possible. You are welcome Marie.

  2. Best to you as you wrap up what you need to do.

  3. Catherine Johnson

    Love that last line. Best wishes!


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