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Guardians

via Guardians

I was going to post another of my poems and Balroop’s poem came through my reader. It fits with my recent thinking about the role of elders as guardians of what is to be passed on. Take a few minutes to read her wonderful poetry posted at her blog.

Hans-Georg Gadamer wrote “youth demands images for its imagination and for forming its memory.” I extended this, in my dissertation, to elders offering those images. Without the stories elders provide, youth are left without any sense of where humans have been and the accumulated wisdom. As well, this demand is a question for our youth to offer them something tangible.

Balroop captures this sentiment in the following stanza from Guardians:

Ask the village elders
Their valor shines in their faces
They earned your freedom
They exemplify human values.

Like mountains act as guardians in nature, elders act as guardians through stories shared with youth to pass on wisdom, not information.

I took this picture of Mount Kerkeslin standing guard over the Icefields Parkway between Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park.

Driftwood’s Wisdom

Kathy took this picture as we walked along Waterton Lake. She thought it might inspire. That evening, I scribbled ideas into my journal about wisdom and its sources. I enjoyed listening to stories told by our parents, grandparents, and other elders I come in contact with. Now, the shoe is on the other foot and I am the elder.

Washed up flotsam,

Polished to glassy sheen

Revealed beauty.

If I apply this natural process, to humans, we gradually polish ourselves and soften the rough edges. At least, we can hope.

Polishing waves hone

Glimmering wisdom emerges

Softening rough edges.

Wisdom

Wisdom.

Rumi‘s poetry is profound. It resonates down through the centuries carrying deep messages that still offer insight and wisdom.

When we need wisdom, we only have to stop, wait for silence, and allow silence to speak its words. Turning inwards, being mindful of what the silence speaks provides the wisdom when needed.

Reach into the Heart

I arrive at the end of another busy, fruitful week. I begin the digital sabbath and spend time looking in, reading quietly, writing, and reflect on what is revealed. What is my heart’s purpose?

I gently reach into my heart,

A space not easily entered–

It resists busyness–

Asks for something different.

Here, at heart’s door

I listen carefully,

Patiently,

Then, a faint whisper.

Tenderly emerges…

Here, in delicate quietness;

Here, in exquisite solitude;

Here, in rich frailty;

Here, in soft strength

But, only when I listen

My inner teacher speaks.

What do I hear?

I am uncertain–

It is the soul that speaks

It speaks differently–

Not in human terms–

In spiritual terms.

Wisdom discerned…

Revealed slowly…

In that patience and calmness…

Life animated…

This way

Life’s fruit borne.

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