What is Life?
I don’t know the title of this Gregory Orr poem is so I used the opening line. This is a great question which brings up many other questions. What are the roles that we are each cast in? It is not so much the answers that are important, but the new questions and the searching, the questing that makes life what it is.
“What is life?”
When you first
Hear that question
It echoes in your skull
As if someone shouted
In an empty cave.
The same answer each time:
The resurrection of the body
Of the beloved, which is
Every poem different, but
Telling the same story.
And we’ve been gathering
Them in a book
Since writing began
And before that as songs
Or poems people memorized
And recited aloud
When someone asked: “What is life?”
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.
A large question with many answers. Always a pleasure to read your poetry and thoughts.
Thank you John.
Enjoyed this Ivon… Thanks for posting it
You are welcome Tina.
What a great and deeply analyzed question. Who are we, where did we come from, how did this all happen, who or what started this all, will it end some day as each of us do when life leaves us? One question so many questions. Great poem. Thanks
You are welcome Bill. The poem reminded me of my favourite Parker Palmer quote: “Who is the self that teaches?” It is always a question and never an answer.
So true. I find myself sometimes answering a question with another question.
I find that is a good way to live.