We don’t think of those inanimate objects, such as the sea, asking us questions. They do in indirect ways and when we sit a listen. It takes quiet patience to hear the questions and answers, if they are forthcoming
Elizabeth Smither wrote about how the sea asks those indirect questions. It does so by changing colour, watching the tide and wave actions, and how the pebbles move. When I am mindful and sensitive to the world outside my self and beyond my self, I understand it in relationship to me. It does not exist without me and I do not exist without it.
Through mindfulness, the world teaches me and I learn from it. What changes in the continuous flow of time that I miss, regardless of how attentive I am?
The sea asks “How is your life now?”
It does so obliquely, changing colour.
It is never the same on any two visits.
It is never the same in any particular
Only in generalities: tide and such matters
Wave height and suction, pebbles that rattle.
It doesn’t presume to wear a white coat
But it questions you like a psychologist
As you walk beside it on its long couch.
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.
Wonderful poem and thoughts. I know it to be true that sea asks questions when we quiet and listen with patience. And so do many other living beings in nature.
Nature has so many questions to ask if only we quiet ourselves to listen.
and somehow this
teaches me your wisdom 🙂
Thank you for the lovely poem.
Absolutely. It’s hubristic to imagine human language is all we can learn from or relate to. I find speaking to animals and nature greatly rewarding. Aloha, Ivon.
I agree. Indigenous people and those who live on the land for long periods hear the intuitive language as they come to value silence.
Beautiful! Completely associate with it, and maybe that’s why the waves seem to pull me back so often even here, in the city. The last two lines are going to stay in my mind. Thank you for this. Regards.
Nature has a way of putting us at ease and finding what challenges each of us.
So true! I am trying to bring the couch to every bit of nature..from the infinite sea to the tiny potted plant, and it seems to be working – I feel calmer and peaceful instantly. It’s magic.
It would be neat to be able to have a couch on the edge of nature or right in its midst.
It’s more relaxing and a whole lot deeper than a trip to the “couch.” What an inciteful piece. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
You are welcome Marsha. Thank you for your lovely comments.