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One’s Story

I wrote this poem while I was at the retreat I mentioned in Companions. The retreat was long, tiring, and rewarding. Even though events of this nature can be stimulating, I also find I run up against blocks due to how tiring they can be. I mean tiring in a good way. We spend time in solitude, which is not something that is easy. When we were together, deep listening, another overlooked quality, was essential.

I wanted to share my experiecnce at the retreat here and questions that emerged. To write the poem, I let ideas percolate for a couple days. The word courage and heart are related. Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart. The heart is the holding place for our truth and we often have to have the heart and courage to tell our story. Humans are the only beings capable of telling their story, flawed and essential to their being and becoming.

One’s courage;

Revealing one’s story,

So telling to tell,

Always emerging.

Narrating and sharing,

Telling one’s story;

Sharing to be heard,

Listening differently,

Listening deeply.

Words anew,

Illuminating, enlightening

Sharing sacred space;

Recognizing and loving.

A colleague took this picture of me at the retreat. We spent a considerable amount of time on our own and in nature. It brings out the best in me.


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.

18 responses »

  1. Heart-felt, received with my heart. Thank you.

  2. The author Maya Angelou said that “courage is the best of virtues.” That with courage are we able to stand for the truth.
    A reflective poem and the picture is spiritually clean 🙂

  3. I was going to comment that the words ‘retreat’ & ‘tiring’ seems like they don’t belong together. But after reading the poem I can see the relationship😊. A nice write😊.


  4. Telling the story of someone else seems much easier than telling your own story.

    • You are right Bev. When I interviewed teachers for my dissertation, they struggled to talk about themselves. They had wonderful stories about other teachers and students. I think this is not unique to teachers.

      • Not sure why, but people like to talk to me. I write many articles about the people in our area and their particular talents. Usually, I ask for 15-20 minutes for some questions. After two-three hours, they are still telling me their story. Must be the grandma in me!

  5. I also know being outside is the best for me…more and more…I’m so grateful to live close to the woods ~ have a creative day Ivon ~ smiles Hedy ☺️☀️

  6. It takes great courage to be vulnerable enough to share your story. You have to arrive at that place where your identity isn’t dependent on what others think or say about you. And, it takes much time in solitude in sacred spaces like nature as well as walking with others who are traveling the same path. Very thought provoking and spiritually evocative post.

  7. Pingback: Gentle Rain | Teacher as Transformer

  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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