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Bridge

The Canadian educator Ted Aoki wrote about a “bridge that is not a bridge.” We use bridge as a verb, moving us ahead to make the world a better, more just and democratic place. In this sense, bridge becomes a metaphor. There is no actual structure and experience to guide us through challenges we face.

John Lewis wrote a book called Across that Bridge: A Vision of Change and the Future of America. Again, I propose his bridge is not a physical structure either. But, physical bridge provides insight into myriad emotions at play as transformational change happens. In these moments, we put faith and trust in others and things we cannot see, only hope for. We reach out to hold each others hands, understanding the shared meaning of (com)passion. In these moments we share (com-) the joy and suffering (passion) of one another.

Today, as I prepared to post, I came across this poem and accompanying picture. For many, this bridge is not daunting. For me, fear is front and centre as I cross. When we crossed this bridge, I reminded myself to take it one step at a time. Transformational change counts on us taking it one step at a time, as we share journeys with one another. We will each experience loss and gain in different ways. At the end of it, what we share is being human and becoming more human with each ensuing step.

Standing on the edge,

Abyss yawning,

Taking a first step.

Forming compassion,

Crafting wisdom,

Forgiving one another.

Transforming world,

Each carrying one’s weight.

Reaching out to others.

Taking the next first step,

Trusting one’s self,

And, others in the human journey.

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.

13 responses »

  1. I like the idea of going ahead one step at a time. That is great advice for all of life but especially in today’s world when I’m taking steps carefully. I’m trying my best to avoid the fear that seems to be so prevalent with my friends. I take that next step with courage and hope.

    Reply
    • I agree Bev. What I find is many people feel overwhelmed by the various existential crises we are experiencing and I understand the fear. Alan Watts wrote about faith as being able to take the next step without knowing what was next. I paraphrase, but we let go.
      Beliefs mean we have to build a life supporting those beliefs and it is much harder to let go.

      Reply
  2. I remember Ted…and his theories as well he was a wonderful human Ivon ~ sending you joy ~ Hedy ☺️💫

    Reply
    • He was there when I did my undergrad, but I did not have the privilege. I have his book, which was put together by Bill Pinar and Rita Irwin, based on articles and presentations. They traverse a career with great insight into being a marginalized person to an educator of great impact. Bill Pinar sent me in Ted’s direction as I wrote my dissertation. Thank you Hedy and right back at you. Take care and stay safe

      Reply
  3. The protagonist of my first novel feels most at home on bridges, reflecting the purpose, underlying her quest, of bridging divides. It’s been the theme of my life, too.

    Reply
  4. YUP–RATHER NARROW, I’D SAY! BUT AT LEAST IT HAS A (SHAKY-?) RAILING! WELL DONE, IVON SIR!

    Reply
  5. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    I REMEMBER MY PANIC ATTACKS—DRIVING OVER THE BEAR MOUNTAIN BRIDGE, OVER THE HUDSON RIVER!

    Reply

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