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Faith

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

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.

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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

    Reply
  3. Catherine Johnson

    Love that last line. Best wishes!

    Reply

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