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Originally posted on Bright, shiny objects!:
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Charles Bukowski and Leonard Cohen quotes in one post. That is enjoyable and incredible.
“I was a man who thrived on solitude… I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.”
– Charles Bukowski, Factotum
“If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.”
– Leonard Cohen
“The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have.”
– Søren Kierkegaard
As I get ready for a Sabbath break this week, I am also shifting my focus a bit. I found this post the other day and was not sure what it meant at the time. Today, it is suggesting more focus on dissertation writing and less on blogging.
I will visit blogs and post less in the next month . I want to deliver a clean, preliminary writing of the first three chapters by January 20. I am re-organizing more than writing fresh.
Thoreau‘s quote speaks to me. The world is a canvas and I am exploring them both. My topic is the phenomenology of teaching and how becoming a particular teacher is a continuing process. Phenomenology is wondering about phenomena we encounter, including ourselves and other humans, and how we experience encounters.
Parker Palmer suggests truth, from the word troth, reveals itself through living in the world, relating to its sentient and non-sentient beings.
When I was still teaching, students would throw around their favourite slang, usually in proper ways. Gnarly was a favourite word of one of the young men I taught for five years.
A young woman used beast. The first time I heard her say that I was unsure what she meant, but it described her play as the Michael Jordan of her basketball league.
Mike photographed a tree and entitled the post Gnarly. It is cool which is what the young man meant when he used gnarly. It is cool there is wisdom in that tree as it does its work. It is also cool to find wisdom in the everyday world of words.
Images do have power that words cannot always bring about. What would it be like to feel such a small, frail, gaunt hand in mine?
As a wordsmith, I’ve always envied the simple and compelling power of pictures. This one, of a gaunt, starved African child’s hand, speaks volumes to Westerners about the blessings we take for granted. No matter how poor you are, compared to other nations, you are rich, simply because you live in the First World. We ought to be grateful for the blessings GOD has bestowed on us.
The picture at Kenne’s post drew me in with questions about old habits. What are the person’s old habits? Is he someone’s old habit?
We wear habits in a way. There is a corporal nature to them including ways we conduct ourselves, think about ourselves and the world. This corporeal nature, habitus, is connected to the word habitat. We inhabit habits and they inhabit us.
When we look in the mirror and see ourselves, perhaps we see the habits in a taken-for-granted way. They just are part of us. Or, do we have someone who is our mirror? Someone who helps us see who we are in clearer way with their honesty and candor?
In Buddhism, others can serve as mirrors. Sometimes, it is in their silence we find ourselves become clearer. Certainly, there is still a graininess to the image and a smokey filter but mirrors help dissipate the graininess and smokiness. The external ordering becomes a patient, compassionate internal ordering.
The link is a wonderful reminder about the role mindfulness plays in life.
Mindfulness shelters the heart in the now. What a wonderful way of understanding this word and practice. When I live in the now, I ask nothing more than being here and being present. The next moment comes just as the river’s current flows. They just do.
When we measure happiness based on material wealth, we miss the importance it plays in living a grateful life.
Today, Kathy and I discussed how the ordinary is in the extraordinary. It is there. When we pause, it reveals itself. Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about being present and mindful when drinking tea is an act of gratitude. We are grateful for the work that created the tea, the cup, the pot, the energy, etc.
Emmanuel Levinas proposed ethics as an event preceding and succeeding this particular time and place. In this sense, space knows no temporal and spatial boundaries. I am grateful for what preceded this moment in drinking tea, what succeeds this moment, and the gift sent from many places by others who are taking responsibility for my tea drinking without knowing me.