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Still Point

Max Reif describes the rush of life and the calling of nature somehow overriding that rush. The poem reminded me of biblical passage from Matthew 6:28 describing lilies as just being.

What is my hurry? What roots me in this place and time? I overlook the depth of those questions. I enjoy reading Wendell Berry‘s essays about farming. He reminds me that farming is a love of place and time. The small farm is home for people and nature. There is no separation.

My mother said farmers do not need Daily Savings Time. Depending on the time of the year, they understand their work based on the time and space they are in at that moment. When I think of the world as unpatterned, I sense its majestic wholeness and not compartments, rendering them virtual.

Leaving home
for work
each day

I hear the trees
say “What’s your hurry?”

Rooted, they
don’t understand

how in my world
we have to rush
to keep in step.

I haven’t even time
to stop and tell them
how on weekends, too,
schedules wait
like nets.

It’s only on a sick day
when I have to venture out
to pick up medicine

that I understand the trees,
there in all their fullness
in a world unpatterned

full of moments,
full of spaces,
every space
a choice.

This day
has not
been turned yet
on the lathe

this day
lies open, light
and shadow. Breath
fills the body easily.
I step

into a world
waiting like
a quiet lover.


About ivonprefontaine

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.

16 responses »

  1. Two things: I wrote a poem today (not the one published) about my friend who just died, comparing her to a tree at the poem’s end. I’m always amazed at the synchronicities I find here (and everywhere). Second, another dear friend lives in Boston, as much a city gal as I am country. Every single week, she says toward the end of it, “Got any plans for the weekend?” I have known her for some 15 years, and still she asks, knowing my variations on the reply, “What? You know we never plan anything!” In the flow is the way to live, if one is able, I think. Love Berry. Love a day ‘turning on a lathe.’ Aloha, Ivon.

    • We took a ferry trip down Waterton Lake and part way down it crosses the US border. We had taken our passports so we could hike the US side in Glacier National Park. As we got off the ferry, I asked the tour guide about the paths we could take. He asked what my preference was and I replied that I just wanted to wander and find something exciting. He thought that was a great way to approach it. Kathy reminded me we would have to catch the last ferry that evening, but we still took our time and just wandered.

  2. You find the most fabulous poets! 🙂 ❤

  3. Very nice piece of work, I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for your efforts.

  4. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world and commented:
    This is an excellent little poem with a great little story behind it.

  5. The more freedom we give ourselves to wander without time constraints, the more we discover and enjoy in the world around us.. Timeclocks were definitely not made for farmers. We had a neighbor who said he never set his clocks for DST as his cows couldn’t tell time.

    • They can’t. If we listen, they tell us when they are hungry and bothered. My brother kept a burro on his farm. He said it let him know when the coyotes were around.

  6. Like Mary Oliver, Wendell reminds us that nature is our gift to learn from, ground and see the still point amongst the busyness we create. Just beautiful Ivon.


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