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Behind the Thunder

Mark Nepo is well-known for spiritual prose, but he writes very good poetry.

In this wonderful poem, he reminds me I am looking in the wrong place for the teacher. The teaching is in what is in the environment at a given time and in a given context. Am I willing and able to open up to what is taught? Do I sit in silence and listen to the world as it speaks in me?

I must not be swept away by the environment and my emotions. When I am mindful and present, I am aware of both gifts and dangers. I watch for what is behind the thunder internally and externally.

I keep looking for one more teacher,
only to find that fish learn from water
and birds learn from sky.

If you want to learn about the sea,
it helps to be at sea.
If you want to learn about compassion,
it helps to be in love.
If you want to learn about healing,
it helps to know of suffering.

The strong live in the storm
without worshiping the storm.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

16 responses »

  1. I love your posts; very profound and inspiring.

    Reply
  2. Beautiful, as always♥
    Love Mark Nepo’s words of hope and heart, too. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your light and do take care.

    Reply
  3. It’s an excellent piece Ivon and well deconstructed.

    Reply
  4. The strong live in the storm
    without worshiping the storm.

    This is the essence of the spiritual journey, is it not. To be immersed in the drama of daily life without grasping,,without worrying whilst in the midst of struggle.

    The strong endure the harshness, then the gentle, vivid side appears.

    Reply
  5. So well said.

    Reply
  6. Life is commonly known as the relative. We cannot know god if we don’t know evil. We cannot know light if there is no darkness. The same thing can be looked as the bless for one but curse for another. It is like the storm like your post mentioned.

    However, life is something more than relative. We can be at the centre of the storm to watch good and bad, love and fear etc. The enlightenment comes when we can watch them.

    Keep posting your great thoughts

    Jade the Mystic

    Reply
  7. In a spiritual sense, this is a necessary reminder to stop and absorb the great gifts around us all. But in a practical sense, this is so desperately lacking in American schools these days. Field trips are few and far between, because there isn’t enough time for them in the race to cover all of the standards. But this is what children need. They need experience. They need to get dirty. They need to see, touch, taste, and hear the world if they are ever to have an understanding of it…if they are ever to make it better.

    Reply
    • It is lacking in Canadian schools. When I visited your site, I landed on the post about the 10 things your dad suggested for teachers. Getting on the floor with students at any age is important. We get to their level and become learners at their levels.

      Reply

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