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What I’ve Learned From the Dark

When we walk in the world, we take in its beauty in some fashion. We may not notice it in the immediate moment, but taken away from us home, family, and the world are more alive. We find the hidden beauty in the stripping of skin. This beauty is beyond the skin deep of superficial which we often soak in only to find that beauty has its flaws when looked at more closely.

Julia Fehrenbacher reminds us it in disruption, as the sky pours and the sun extinguished, we find our way to deepest beauty. We find beauty and wealth in overlooked nooks and crannies noticed when the light is dimmed and absent, even briefly. The candle of the holy invites us to look more closely recognizing the overlooked uplifting the ordinary, taken-for-granted in our lives.

It seems we must be stripped

of the skin

of all we think beautiful

before we open to the kind of beauty

that can’t go away

it seems sky must pour

and howl like it will never stop

before we notice the smile

of our own forever sun. It seems

we must hunt with starving

hungry eyes before we know

this belly is and has always been

full. It seems this wall

deep in the center must be hammered down

before we let soft, breathing hands

curl in around us.  Each drop

of dark carries

with it a candle of holy

light – with each miracle breath

we are invited to turn toward

the nearest whispering spark

and, like momma bird sheltering her baby – like a pebble

in stream’s safe lap



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 amazing poem! Loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful, thank you for sharing it.

  3. Immensely in love with this poem. I am not sure of the appealing factor here…………..its not about the outer skin of this poem …..guess, it is the deeper beauty which is really wonderful. Absolutely beautiful!

    • That is what I like so much about poetry. It is not easy to explain what attracts us individually. It is in the silent spaces that meaning opens up. Thank you for a beautiful comment.

  4. That’s a really inspiring poem!♥ It is odd that we have suffer to some degree to appreciate and see more clearly the good in our lives, but it seems to be just the way it is. But if it makes us notice those things we otherwise wouldn’t, it can’t be a bad thing. 🙂


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