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Tag Archives: Jeanne Lohmann

Rivertalk

Wendell Berry wrote that “there is a great restfulness in the sounds small rivers make.” When we mindfully stand and listen and perhaps close our eyes, we hear the restful sounds more clearly. We discover being rooted to a particular place, at least for the moment.

Those small rivers invite us to jump in and paddle as a child might. What the child adds to those sounds and waves are sounds of pleasure. There is no enjoyment while standing on shore, unless we close our eyes and listen closely. Besides the child, we might hear nature speak to us as it hums gently and touches us unexpectedly.

Jeanne Lohmann counsels us to be less serious and not to look for problems to fix as we move through life. The river serves as a wonderful metaphor and life calls to us to be present in each moment and to be fully present.

is whatever comes along,
practice always here while we

keep on shore, all the time
saying we want to get wet.

But the river has ways
of sound and light, ripples

and waves that tell us:
don’t be so serious, rumble in

where nothing is finished or broken
and nothing asks to be fixed.

 

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Shaking the Tree

I wrote and scrambled a bit today. I was unsure of where I was with the dissertation process yesterday and then it seemed, as I set the books down and wrote, things fell into place more easily. I read material on complexity theory and its related sciences. The classroom, the school, and all their relationships are complex beyond even the simplest complex system the science can describe. Social systems are so complex we cannot to take them to scale. Basically, it boils down to what happens in one school, perhaps a classroom, is unique to that place and that time.

In the midst of all this complexity, I skimmed Facebook and found a poet, Jeanne Lohmann, I had not read before. She writes about the deep interconnectedness we share with each other, the world, the universe, and what exists beyond. And, everything depends on everything. When we shake that tree, something else, many other things, respond. In the holy things, we find wholeness.

Vine and branch we’re connected in this world

of sound and echo, figure and shadow, the leaves

contingent, roots pushing against earth. An apple

belongs to itself, to stem and tree, to air

that claims it, then ground. Connections

balance, each motion changes another. Precarious,

 hanging together, we don’t know what our lives

support, and we touch in the least shift of breathing.

Each holy thing is borrowed. Everything depends.

 

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