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The Thread

Denise Levertov wrote this lovely poem that reminds me that there is something invisible that keeps us on track. I cannot see it, but I feel the thread and, when I listen quietly, I hear the call. The thread is part of who I am and is not some thing that catches me, but is some thing I become aware of over time.

I explore the world as I hold that invisible thread, hear it, and feel it. It is my pathway into the world that reminds me legacies are not created, but recalled by others.

I cannot plan this path. I walk it, sometimes alone and at other times fully in the company of others. Even when I am alone, am I? Are there those who I cannot see that walk with me with their hands gently placed on my shoulders guiding my journey.

Something is very gently,
invisibly, silently,
pulling at me—a thread
or net of threads
finer than cobweb and as
elastic. I haven’t tried
the strength of it. No barbed hook
pierced and tore me. Was it
not long ago this thread
began to draw me? Or
way back? Was I
born with its knot about my
neck, a bridle? Not fear
but a stirring
of wonder makes me
catch my breath when I feel
the tug of it when I thought
it had loosened itself and gone.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

15 responses »

  1. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this already wonderful poem. Beautiful imagery – and made me contemplate whether or not I always feel the thread. In the blur of life, it seems quite easy to get disconnected at times. But when we look for it, it’s always there.

  2. Thank you for reminding me of this thread.

  3. “Are there those who we cannot see that walk with us” – should make us think. Just what is it that drives one this or that direction? Great thought provoking post!

  4. Beautiful poem, it is good to remind ourselves often of this connectedness. I am sure you have shared this one before, but it is my favourite on this theme. I just read the biography that Stafford’s son, Kim, wrote and enjoyed it so much. Have a peaceful Sunday Ivon.

    The Way It Is

    There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
    things that change. But it doesn’t change.
    People wonder about what you are pursuing.
    You have to explain about the thread.
    But it is hard for others to see.
    While you hold it you can’t get lost.
    Tragedies happen; people get hurt
    or die; and you suffer and get old.
    Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
    You don’t ever let go of the thread.

    William Stafford

  5. very beautiful and full of hope!

  6. I think that more and more of us are discovering or remembering this “thread” and appreciating its value in allowing us to explore our paths fully while never truly getting “lost in the woods.” When I review some of the “slippery slopes” I’ve walked and some of the “deep sinkholes” I’ve almost fallen into along the way — I can clearly say that my thread has been a lifeline at times, keeping me within the bounds of myself, guiding me invisibly toward my true Home. Blessings, Alia

  7. There is something invisible that guides us. There seems to be a hidden purpose.


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