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Merry Christmas

It has been awhile since I posted.

The other day someone told me I was an idealist. I think they meant as a put down. I took it as a compliment. After all, many schools of philosophy and their philosophers are dreamers.

Somehow, having dreams of a more just and humane world is not realistic. It reminded me of what Christmas might mean to someone who is a dreamer and lines from Imagine by John Lennon:

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Several year ago, I read an essay by Parker Palmer that reminds me the miracle of Christmas. It reminded me how, as a child growing up in Northern Alberta, Christmas was a time of wonder I could not explain and try not to as an adult.

Parker posted on Facebook about an experience in Nogales Mexico at a refuge for asylum seekers. Asylum is another word for seeking refuge. He pointed out Jesus was likely a person of colour born into the Jewish faith. For me, his birth is an ecumenical event.

I wrote the following poem several years ago and am drawn back to it each year. I hope it captures Christmas in a way that reaches out and touches each of what we have in common: our humanness and we are a journey seeking refuge at various times

Carpenter guiding,

Expectant mother riding,

Backs straight; heads held high–

Donkey serving as regal carriage.

Seeking refuge in the night–

Giving birth in a stable,

Swathed and cradled in a manger,

Beasts welcoming the child.

Showering gifts upon us–

Returning each year,

Lighting each way–

Only asking, “Can you open your hearts?”

Source of strength,

Our turn to humbly receive gifts,

Restocking spirits,

Rejuvenating souls.

For several years, Kathy and I enjoyed Canadian singer and actor Tom Jackson.

He does a lovely rendition of Huron Carole, which I share below. Again, this points to an ecumenical nature of Christmas, Christ’s Mass, echoing Parker’s (re)membering “the story, the music, the candlelight, the scent of pine, the silent night, the warm presence of family and friends.”

For me, it is also food and opening a present on Christmas Eve. The food included traditional French-Canadian tourtière (meat pie), which Kathy and I continue to share with our children and grandchildren.

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.

42 responses »

  1. I live two hours east of Nogales by car, right on the border. Although I haven’t been to the shelter in Nogales, I worked for many years with a project we had right across the border from my house. Now I go to one sometimes in Agua Prieta, another half hour east of me.
    The situation is dire, and the crazy Arizona governor has been stacking railroad cars along the border. Finally the feds intervened and he hast to remove them. He doesn’t just block human beings, he was doing this in a major migration point for jaguars which are quite endangered.
    I love living on the borderlands, but sometimes it is so very painful.

    Reply
    • I read about the stacking of railroad boxes. What find interesting is how, when we do these things supposedly for some dire safety reasons, we cut off natural migratory passages for wildlife. We do irreparable damage to both our human and natural relations. In Northern Canada, we built pipelines that cut off migration for caribou.

      I can only imagine how painful it is for someone to live on the borderlands.

      Take care and have a wonderful Christmas Emilie.

      Reply
  2. Nice to read one of your posts again, Ivon! I liked that Tom Jackson song, too! Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  3. Merry Christmas to you too Ivon.

    Pat

    Reply
  4. Merry Christmas Ivon and Happy & Healthy New Year!🔔🎉🎅🎁🎄

    Reply
  5. Lovely to see you posting, Ivon.
    Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring happiness and joy.

    Reply
  6. May you continue to have those great memories of Christmas past. Christmas is definitely a time of wonder. Here’s hoping you have a Christmas filled with peace and happiness while creating new memories.

    Reply
  7. Merry Christmas, Ivon! Good to see you back! 🎄✨

    Reply
  8. Great post and a lovely video! Beautiful wolfies 😉🐺 too! I wish you a very happy Christmas 🎄 😊 and Happy Birthday to the King…🫡🙏🥳

    Reply
  9. What a beautiful song! Merry Christmas to you, Ivon!

    Reply
  10. Nice to see you back on WordPress. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Reply
  11. Merry Christmas Ivon, and a wonderful 2023 👍

    Reply
  12. Merry Christmas, Ivon. Welcome back.

    Reply
  13. I’m a dreamer, myself; at my age, I’m still dreaming, which I believe good for mind.

    Reply
  14. Thank you Ivon, good to see your words again.

    To bring hope, yes, a few lines from Beannacht – Blessing – by J. O’Donohue

    … May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
    may the clarity of light be yours,
    may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
    may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
    And so may a slow
    wind work these words
    of love around you,
    an invisible cloak
    to mind your life.

    With love, Ashen

    Reply
  15. Wonderful to see you back, Ivon. You have been missed. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas. You wrote a lovely poem that says it all.

    Reply
  16. Thanks for this, Ivan. The greater meaning of Christmas goes beyond any one group of people. I hope your Christmas was lovely. And I love the Huron Carol too!

    Reply
    • You are welcome and thank you Cynthia. I find it interesting that we celebrate many of our “holidays” at the same time of the year e.g., Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. and again in the spring with Easter and Passover. At the same time, Ramadan intersects with those holidays. This year it will be in the spring.

      The Huron Carol is a beautiful song and Tom Jackson has a lovely version

      Reply

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