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Author Archives: ivonprefontaine

Be The Tree #poem

via Be The Tree #poem

I tried to reblog this wonderful poem by Didi, but, for the second time in the past week, I was unable to do so. Instead, I will press it as my sharing for today.

This wonderful poem reminded me of Matthew’s verse (6:28) about lilies of the field growing for the sake of being and making the world a better place without doing so consciously.

The line that stood out for me was life is “not a competetion, a judgement, or a race.” At times. my life and who I am calls me to just be and not plan, worry, and overthink what that means. It means to live meditatively and be in the present moment, mindful and attentive to the world.

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Kathy took this picture while driving through Glacier National Park. The trees add depth, contrast, and boundaries. Taken-for-granted are the trees, which are the boundary between the road and valley in the forefront.

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Gallery Hop – I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 Mural Series

via Gallery Hop – I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 Mural Series

This post is a bit longer than ones I usually press, but it brought back memories of teaching.

I taught Language Arts and, as a result, poetry. I was drawn to Langston Hughes who was critical in the Harlem Renaissance, although he was not originally from New York. He was from Joplin, Missouri, found his way to Harlem, and added a wonderful voice through poetry to the Renaissance.

One of the murals in the post is of Richard Pryor who would have begun his career in the latter stages of Langston Hughes’ life. I did not think of it that way until today as I looked at the post and realized there was an overlap in their careers.

Like Hughes, Pryor was not born in New York, but moved there from Illinois. I watched Pryor on the Ed Sullivan Show in the late 1960’s, enjoying his humour and social critique.

I leave you with a Langston Hughes poem: Dreams. I shared this one with my students each year, reminding them to have dreams and chase those dreams.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

 

The Journey Within

via The Journey Within

Along with two quotes from Rumi and Kahil Gibran, Karen offers four practices to move towards the journey within.

Healing, which shares etymology with whole, healthy, and holistic, needs patience to achieve. There are no quick fixes.

I find an axiom that serves me well is to think of my meditative practices as practice. It is in those moments that the struggle sometimes becomes clearer, making my life wholer. Other times, I fall short.

I told hockey players to take risks in practice and the same can be said for meditation and other practices to make myself whole and healthy. Another practice is walking, which I treat like a form of meditation. I try to remember I am part of nature, not outside it. This helps make me feel more whole.

Let yourself go!

Jasper Trail

A Simpler Life

Kathy and I are doing some house cleaning and it is interesting what we find.

Kathy looked through some papers we had stored and found poetry I wrote in 1969, in Grade 10. There are things that are consistent in life and one of them is seeking moments of solitude and silence, which I wrote about in this poem. I took liberties and edited the poem, orginally called The Simple Life.

It is good to be alone at times,

Sheltered by comforting trees,

The wind singing a song,

Here, I experience freedom and peace,

For the moment, worries set aside.

Minnows dart at the water’s edge,

Dancing between light and shadows,

Seemingly, without a care,

There, they experience home’s safety;

Its primal call.

Here, this is me,

I experience a simpler life;

An unseen hand beckons me,

I wave to this simpler life,

Enjoying it each time I return.

I took this picture in Waterton Lake National Park several years ago. I came around a corner and there was a doe and two fawn. I could have touched the one fawn it was so close, but it was separated from its mother. I stood as still as possible, moving slowly to get the camera ready. The mother whistled to the one fawn and waited until the young one found its way over to her, back to the safety of where it belonged.

this…is who we are

via this…is who we are

I read this post the other day on the blog Lead Our lives. It resonated with me.

When I see myself as somehow separate and distinct from the universe that envelops me, I mistake my place in the universe as that of an outsider, a visitor, and spectator.

When I think of myself in that way, I allow myself to believe and shape a universe I can somehow master. This is unrealistic and sets me up for failure.

Alan Watts and Parker Palmer write about faith and fidelity as opposed to belief. When I have faith and trust in what is to come, I set aside the idea that life is plannable. Yes, I need plans, but they are in flux, open to improvisation in each ensuing moment. When I form a rigid set of beliefs, I end up in a binary and polarizing place, where only my answers are right and certain. When I am follow with faith and fidelity, I seek answers in the diversity and flux of the universe.

In the post, there is a reference to Father Richard Rohr who used the quote from Rabbi Rami Shapiro in one of his daily meditations, which I also receive. Whatever I call God, it is intriguing how much diversity and beauty in that name.

Mount Robson is a place I drive by frequently on trips to and from British Columbia. It is magnificent and is a symbol of uncertainty. As often as I drive by it, I cannot know it completely. It stands as a deep mystery. Having said this, I have faith each time I drive in this direction it will be there. Its majesty is grounded in both mystery and certainty that come together.

Robson

Wednesday – native prayer

via Wednesday – native prayer

Dymoon shared a beautiful indigenous prayer attributed to Chief Dan George (born Geswanouth Slahoot) who was an actor, author, and activist. He did not become an actor until he was 60 and worked as a longshoreman, logger, and musician, as well as being chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia.

The prayer reminds me that nature is a place to be. We are not separate from it, but live in nature’s midst. Nature’s gifts, including silence, are a rich bounty we cannot live without.Gulls at Neurotsis Inlet

I took this picture several years ago walking along the North Saskatchewan River, which runs through Edmonton. Nature is always with me.

Poem: Walt Whitman, Miracles

There is a Thich Nhat Hanh quality in this Walt Whitman poem. We find the extraordinary in the ordinary, what we often overlook and take-for-granted in our daily lives. When we open our senses more fully, we take in the world we live in in more intimate and sensous ways.

A Pondering Mind

“As for me, I know nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under the trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love,
Or sleep in bed at night with any one I love,
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon…
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown,
Or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring…
What stranger miracles are there?”
– Walt Whitman

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