RSS Feed

Travelling at Home

Wendell Berry is one of my favourite writers. He writes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. There is an honesty and sparseness in his writing that speaks to me deeply. He bares his soul in ways that poets should. Even in the country we know by heart it is hard to go the same way twice. It is more likely impossible, but I would give Mr. Berry the benefit of the doubt and believe that is likely what he meant as he suggests we attempt to make intent with what happens by accident.

I chose the forming of the person, more specifically the teacher, as a central theme in my dissertation. Actually, the theme chose me. It was unintentional and strictly by accident. As I read and write, I find myself drawn to the topic and new thinking emerging where any word can be the bud of new direction.

Judith Butler suggests becoming is the vehicle forming each particular identity and subjectivity against a cultural backdrop which is always changing itself. Even when we name something, it is traversing the land. We can never plan our becoming even in a country we think we know by heart.

Even in a country you know by heart
it’s hard to go the same way twice.
The life of the going changes.
The chances change and make it a new way.
Any tree or stone or bird
can be the bud of a new direction. The
natural correction is to make intent
of accident. To get back before dark
is the art of going.


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.

12 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed the post and the insight into your chosen path even if it was accidental so to speak. 🙂 The poem resonates deeply and having traveled the country from coast to coast many times over the years I can say it has changed drastically especially the I 80 corridor with the addition of Walmart stores along it’s exits. No more are the mom and pop stores and gas stations I used to plan my trips by… Great post Ivon 🙂 Happy 4th to you and yours!

  2. This is truly enjoyable, valuable and insight. I must compliment you. Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Thank you for waking up on the fourth, this drew me in, I had to read and reread, formulate, postulate and then wonder.

    Unintentional, but make intent out of accident.
    I visualize a flowing river as the path of life, every bend brings the unknown , brings something new, no matter where the mind remains.

    Each cup of water we draw is different, each situation is never quite the same.
    Identity can be our anchor also

  4. The sentiment that “any word can be the bud of new direction” spoke to me. We just need to be aware of the words that cross our path to see those valuable buds.

  5. Thanks. Pleased to have found your thoughtful blog. Lots to investigate. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (plugged in now).

  6. The ancient Greek word for Nature means becoming.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: