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One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

As I read the opening lines to this poem, I realized I often hold on to thoughts as if they are real. They give me a false sense of certainty that the world and others are  controllable and manageable. I wed myself to my thoughts. They become lonely and serve as my reality.

What if I turned 180 degrees and understood what I believe is not right? In that sense, I become another person who, if he continues to turn, experiences the world differently and anew at each turn.

Frederico Moramarco challenges me to think in different terms and treat thoughts as phantoms that drift in and out of my mind. They are not real and really there as they float away like wisps of smoke on a breeze.

When I am mindful and attentive to the world and others, I take steps and my thoughts do not control me, my words, and actions. I become comfortable with the uncertainty and unpredictability always surrounding me.

Have you considered the possibility
that everything you believe is wrong,
not merely off a bit, but totally wrong,
nothing like things as they really are?
If you’ve done this, you know how durably fragile
those phantoms we hold in our heads are,
those wisps of thought that people die and kill for,
betray lovers for, give up lifelong friendships for.
If you’ve not done this, you probably don’t understand this poem,
or think it’s not even a poem, but a bit of opaque nonsense,
occupying too much of your day’s time,
so you probably should stop reading it here, now.
But if you’ve arrived at this line,
maybe, just maybe, you’re open to that possibility,
the possibility of being absolutely completely wrong,
about everything that matters.
How different the world seems then:
everyone who was your enemy is your friend,
everything you hated, you now love,
and everything you love slips through your fingers like sand.

About ivonprefontaine

I am a retired educator who recently completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. My dissertation topic and research was how teachers experience becoming who they are as 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.

19 responses »

  1. Statistics say on the average we deal,with 60,000 thoughts a day, or about one a second.

    Funny how we latch onto a few and let the other 59,990 go.

    Reply
  2. I become comfortable with the uncertainty and unpredictability always surrounding me… — A new level of our life journey. Thank you for sharing, Ivon!

    Reply
  3. So good and so right Ivon! 😉

    Reply
  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this, Ivon. Indeed, I have done this over and over again; though, not in the manner you would appreciate. All of my beliefs and precepts have been questioned and constantly have changed over the past couple of decades. I’m very open to this, and have come to enjoy it. The mind of man likes to hold on to its ‘constants’. And yet, to change one’s attitudes, philosophies, mindsets in general, can be so liberating.. Another great read. Well done to you.

    Reply
  5. I’ve often said that at eighteen, we know everything. At sixty if we are lucky, we realize we don’t know a damn thing. And by the time I leave this world, I expect to be an utter fool. Aloha, Ivon.

    Reply

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