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Category Archives: teacher as transformer

Leonard Cohen

We did not get a chance to see Leonard Cohen live, but I have listened to him for a long time. I bought Songs of Leonard Cohen a couple of years after it was released.

One of the songs on the album was Sisters of Mercy, which Cohen wrote here in Edmonton. As he told the story, he sat in his hotel room, looking out the window, and below he saw nuns walking to and from their convent. He determined they belonged to the Sisters of Mercy and wrote this song.

Leonard Cohen also wrote Hallelujah. My favourite version is by kd lang, another Canadian artist. We have many songs from various stages of her career.

Kathy and I have attended concerts by kd lang (another great Canadian artist) and her version is spell-binding. She has a pure voice and sings with so much power I have goose bumps.

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A Poet is …..

via A Poet is …..

There is no shortage of quotes in this post by Penumbra Haiku, so I will not go through them.

Although she did not describe writing poetry in this quote, I add one from Mary Oliver: “I want to think of dangerous and noble things/I want to be light and frolicsome/I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.”

When I write poetry, I want to be light, frolicsome, and play with language as my dangerous and noble thoughts take form and flight. In those moments, I appreciate living in the midst of wilderness that has no words, but is expressed somehow.

I took this video of the Spokane Falls two years ago, during a period of record high water flow. It reminds me that, even in the middle of a city, I am in the midst of my own wilderness seeking to be expressed.

All One

via All One

Bela posted a lovely poem with a series of beautiful photos related to memories and re-membering. When we re-member, we make things whole with all members in place without surrendering mystery we cannot fully understand. Like a community, each member is related to one another.

The picture of the gnarled trees drew me. The trees remind me moving through time is not a fixed and linear path. Instead, beauty reveals itself in the detours and crags, re-membered as I reflect on where I have soujourned, joyous and painful. I am marked by joy and pain I experience.

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I took this picture in Jasper National Park several years ago. The roots in random ways have emerged from the stones, offering a path up the hill amongst the trees they are connected to.

Relative Sanity, Walls and Thomas Merton

via Relative Sanity, Walls and Thomas Merton

Bruce shared insights into how community is formed. He did this through the words of Thomas Merton.

I loved the first two words of the title of this post: relative sanity. Parker Palmer reminds me to be in relationship with others and the world I live in is always relative, but not relative where amoral is the norm.

It is relative based as it binds through common humanity we share with each other. We are related to and relate to each other. Cornel West suggests we are  brothers and sisters  in a genealogical line going back to times we do not remember, yet provides  memory.

Thomas Merton suggests when we fall in love, we are vulnerable and risk being hurt. Living in community comes with vulnerability and risk, as well.

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I took this picture several years ago and the waterfalls remind me of how the river has a memory of where it came from and. at the same time, it carves a new path forward. In carving its new path, it does so in concert with the rest of the world it flows through.

Yes Mary. Everything Does. And Too Soon. Way Too Soon. (RIP)

via Yes Mary. Everything Does. And Too Soon. Way Too Soon. (RIP)

David shared Mary Oliver’s poem Summer in this post.

This poem poses many questions from its opening line to the closing. Who creates life and nature? How will I live my one wild and wonderful life? These questions are about the essence and mystery of life and living.

At the end of his post, David shared from another Mary Oliver poem, When Death Comes: “When it’s over, I want to say all my life/ I was a bride married to amazement.” If I only live a small portion of my life in amazement, I can fulfill what calls me to live most fully.

One of the amazing things about Mary Oliver’s poetry is, although she is physically removed, her voice remains alive and vibrant in the words she so eloquently shared with us.

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I took this picture in Jasper National Park several years ago. The flow of the river as it narrows becomes wilder and reminds me of the wildness I seek in life.

 

The World Goes On

via The World Goes On

With his post, Eddie provided me with an opportunity to share and reflect on a Mary Oliver‘s poem Wild Geese.

The poem is about belonging to the larger family we each live within. It is also about being who we are and not fretting about what that might mean. Certainly, it is essential to living to reflect on who we are and who we are becoming, but we sometimes we let this become greater than the life we are living.

I think to experience the world and living most fully I need to be present and mindful of what I am experiencing and letting go in each moment. This is challenging, as the human mind scurries here and there, but, when I let go and am present, the riches are enriching and add to the becoming in ways I cannot predict and caculate in advance.

Moon Rise

I took this picture at Radium Hot Springs during an evening walk while on retreat there. I was surrounded by all the beauty nature has to offer in these moments.

New Beginnings

via New Beginnings

Wildflower Women posted a lovely quote from Mary Oliver ushering in 2019.

We celebrate moments as if they are unique to a particular time. To be present and live in the world fully, perhaps each moment is a New Year flowing endlessly in the form of a river.

As I embrace the present moment, I kiss possibilities of what will be in the following moment without knowing this in advance.

Whitehead contended the present moment is holy ground where the past and future are always meeting and becoming whole. Holy, whole, and healing are linked etymologically.

Kathy took this photo as we travelled to BC just over a year ago.

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