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Tag Archives: Octavio Paz

Friendship

Octavio Paz wrote this short poem which despite its length I read it in several ways. The poem raises more questions than it answers. Perhaps, he wrote about sleep, a lover, or night itself? Whatever it is, this friendship embraces without being named.

Maybe in sleep this friendship arrives only to be brushed aside as we awake in the morning. Or, is it the waiting for this friendship that makes it more worthwhile? When we are mindful and attentive in living, it pokes through and rewards us with momentary glimpses that are so rewarding.

It is the awaited hour
Over the table falls
Interminably
The lamp’s spread hair
Night turns the window to immensity
There is no one here
Presence without name surrounds me

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Wind, Water, Stone

We continuously act on the world and it acts on us. There is a constant interacting shaping us and the world. Sabbath represents a space when we take time, a few moments, an entire day, and try meet the world more fully. We step beyond the busyness and entering a welcoming spaciousness that holds us.

Octavio Paz provided a beautiful metaphor that brings the continuous interacting to life. Humans, similar to water, wind, stone, hollow spaces, disperse their gifts, and provide shelter for each other. We act in ways offering uplifting opportunities to others . As we step into Sabbath’s spaciousness, we encounter the sculptures, the holding spaces, and the transforming that is always happening around us and in us. We take time and sing, whisper, and find stillness in those spaces.

The water hollowed the stone,
the wind dispersed the water,
the stone stopped the wind.
Water and wind and stone.

The wind sculpted the stone,
the stone is a cup of water,
The water runs off and is wind.
Stone and wind and water.

The wind sings in its turnings,
the water murmurs as it goes,
the motionless stone is quiet.
Wind and water and stone.

One is the other and is neither:
among their empty names
they pass and disappear,
water and stone and wind.

The Bridge

As I write or is the verb dissertate, two early themes emerge: bridges and the ecological nature of classroom. In learning, there is an ongoing bridging from place to place, from time to time, from subject to subject, and from you me and back again.

A bridge we forget is one that takes inside our self. Learning is constant transforming. We are always changing yet we are rarely aware of change. It is like a fish in water, it just happens.

It is important to be mindful and present in learning. What are the changes? What does this bridge between you and me change in each of us? We never become one and it is in the in-between spaces on those bridges that we find the newness of our self when we linger.

Octavio Paz’s poem reminds me of bridges that fill learning spaces, an ecology of learning. There is a rainbow in, over, and between learning as I learn who I am, the world I live in, and the beings I share that world with.

Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.

Entering it
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.

From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
a rainbow.
I’ll sleep beneath its arches.

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