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What Can I Do?

I posted What Can I Do on December 12, 2012 as a response to the Sandy Hook school shootings.

Several weeks ago, Kathy asked if I Google myself. I replied I had, but there was not a lot. I told her I thought there was maybe a page related to Teacher as Transformer, my Twitter account, Facebook, presentations I made, etc.

Kathy Googled me and found a link to Amazon. It was a book review for a poetry anthology published by Silver Birch Press.

I have poems in the anthology. The review included Barbara Mojica‘s comments: One of my favorites is “What Can I Do” by Ivon Prefontaine. Here are a few lines: Change begins in me./I am a catalyst/I look inside:/Call forth a gentle spirit-/Give it voice.

As I explore mindfulness in daily life, I thought this was an example of two related phenomena. First, as a writer and teacher, I do not know how my words and actions might transcend time and place. Second, as a result, there is a demand on me to be mindful of how I speak and act.

Here is the text of the poem and below is a video with a reading and more context to the poem.

On a sombre day–

Grief and sorrow the order,

Message heard:

Change begins in me.

I am a catalyst

Look inside:

Summon forth a gentle spirit–

Let it speak.

In light, love happens–

Resonates,

Reaches out its hand

Beckon others to join.

Rings on clear pond,

Ripples of love touch,

Love cascades forth,

Good people meet.

Good touches good,

Prayer meets prayer,

Love conquers hate

Join together.

Good people summoned–

Their tears catalyze,

Grieve and heal as one.

* My Words for 2017

It will be a time of change. Life is unfolding along an unexpected and uneasy path, with so much outside of our control. When moving into the unknown, it is helpful to sit and pause and listen to o…

Source: * My Words for 2017

Be ready to be fierce.

Be ready to be kind.

Those words sound paradoxical, but to be kind one has to be fierce in our kindness to others. We must want to be kind in the way others have set an example for us.

It is like being radical, which takes us back to our roots. In French, roots is racine and it connected to being radical. If our roots are strong and give us strength to act and speak out against the wrongs others do to the world and people, we can stand and shelter those who need it.

Mindful Attitude

As I move into the New Year, this poem resonated. Being more mindful, allows me to be aware of the needed balance between passion and compassion. Life has a way of revealing a path when I am patient and open to multiple possibilities.

A mindful attitude–

Seek to choose well

Blend fiery passion

With compassion’s loving kindness.

Let life’s fruit mature;

Ripen deeply

Nurture life’s fully.

A spiritual banquet nourishes

Deepest meanings revealed

I Respond to life’s bounty.

Assume responsibility

For one’s self

For each other.

Welcome the world

Understand–

With childlike wonder

Become one;

Become whole

Transform the self.

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