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when the animals

Gary Lawless suggests that the world, as a living being, and its inhabitants speak to us, asking for help. Do we listen?

I told the boys, as they grew up, that listening and hearing are different. We hear, but, without listening, what we hear disappears immediately. In the busyness and rush of daily living, it is hard and sometimes impossible to be mindful and attentive.

When we sense the world, other humans, animals, and plants come alive for us and give the world continuously new meaning.

In yesterday’s post, Every Movement, I wrote about creating never being completed. It becomes an infinite event that  continuously occurs and calls for us to be wakeful even in our dreams. Creation sings in a delicate, beautiful language that we share with the world and its inhabitants.

When we recognize Creation as a continuous event, our hearts open up and we become one with the rest of Creation, able to help.

When the animals come to us

     asking for our help,

     will we know what they are saying?

When the plants speak to us

     in their delicate, beautiful language,

     will we be able to answer them?

When the planet herself

     sings to us in our dreams,

     will we be able to wake ourselves, and act?


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. I hope so before it becomes too late to help at all.

  2. For sure creation and Creation are endless events. By their definition, for sure. It’s one thing to practice listening on our own; it’s quite another to attune critical masses of humanity to the call. Yet unless we collectively awaken to the need to implement many changes, our species may well be doomed. Sooner or later, and let’s hope it’s as ‘later’ as it can be, for this place is amazing. Aloha, Ivon.

  3. It is tragic that the over-culture of our wealthy northern hemisphere nations is all about distraction. If we all stopped and listened, what a force for improvement we might be – frightening of course for the big-player wealth creators who have made themselves immune from public scrutiny.

  4. Gorgeous poem, I suppose the answer to your question is: the answer is blowing in the wind.

    • Thank you Genie. I love the Bob Dylan quote. The answer likely in the wind. We have to stop and listen.

      • Indeed, it is the difference between surviving as a species or becoming extinct, time has run out to keep ignoring the living earth in live in the cerebral, egoic part of the brain.

        Interesting, I met Wendell Barry and his wife (I see you have quite a few posts about him) on a walk, they were up here in Canada out walking in the wilderness and they said hello and started chatting with me, I was really taken with their genuine reverence for nature.

      • That would be have such a wonderful experience to speak to them. His poetry and essays have a deep quality of reverence for nature. I took a course several years ago about eco-ethics based on Arne Naess’ concept of deep ecology. Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, and Mary Oliver are the three contemporary poets quoted in the text we used.

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