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Companion

Etymologically, companion is breaking and sharing bread (panis, pa, and pain) with one another as we come together (com). It is associated with being on a journey, meeting others on the path, and stopping to eat with one another.

Companion lends itself towards metaphor, taking us beyond the literal. Faith and cultural traditions have stories related to helping one another, showing compassion and companionship to others. The word compassion means to share the joys and sorrows fo one’s life with others. When we do this, we do so because we can relate to what someone else is experiencing e.g. the loss of loved one.

On this quest we call life, we can questioning what it means to live this life. How do I share it? I am reading Parker Palmer‘s On the Brink of Everything. Parker repeats this need to understand and share in, sometimes, unexpected ways. It is not a calculated process, which humans often can fall into. After all, to be human is to fall short. It is to do the proper thing and bring out the better angels in ourselves and others.

I tend to think a lot, but this is a time where I am thinking even more. What forms of leadership do we want moving forward? How do we bring some harmony to a world often divided? How do we engage in meaningful dialogue to listen with open hearts to others who have much different experiences?

Arise,

This morning.

Tentatively step into the unknowable,

Discerning one’s voice afresh,

Discovering one’s purpose anew.

Asking,

What nourishes, waters, and heals one’s soul?

Who walks with us?

Who joins us?

Who shares the journey?

Who breaks bread with us?

How do we find refuge in one another?

As we pause and share the path,

Never quite able to step into the other’s steps.

Take care,

In one’s questing,

Speak mindfully, heartfully, graciously

Hear mindfully, heartfully, graciously

Your self and others encountered.

I took this picture in Waterton Lakes National Park. When I hike, nature reminds me to sense how much is closer at hand than I realize. What don’t I see? What don’t I hear? The coronovirus gives me time to reflect and question my priorities. What do I value? Am I true to my values? There are things and people who remain invisible and unheard, yet may be closer at hand than I realize. How do I become a companion and share in their journey without imposing?

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.

20 responses »

  1. A very beautiful and peaceful view, so sunny too. Nature is independant.
    Amitiés, bonne semaine 🙂

    Reply
  2. A thoughtful and reflective post, Ivon. The poem resonated, too. Thank you for inviting us to live the questions. So very important as we all sit together in this liminal space.

    Reply
  3. we posted similar photos of forests … one in Waterton Lakes National Park and one at the Viennese Forest in Europe … isn’t that wonderful?

    Reply
    • There are so many wonderful mountain scapes around the world. One of the beauties of Waterton is that it is not too overrun with people. Banff, which is just to the north, is so close to Calgary it gets way more people.

      Reply
  4. I have to smile as I think of you pondering all those questions. We indeed have been set down right now with time to discover what is really important in our lives.

    Reply
  5. You always make me think; i would say that the meaning of life is what we give it–but that idea seems to be missing something, too. Great post.

    Reply
  6. Excellent questions to ponder.

    Reply
  7. No small questions you’re asking! Well considered in this time of flux and possibilities.

    Reply
  8. Lovely reflection, poem and image Ivon. Lots to ponder in this times of change. Thanks.

    Reply

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