Exchanges

Gratitude of Resistance Fifteen:
Exchanges. I forget if I have written about this in my Resistance Gratitudes,  but it bears repeating: School Foreign Exchange programs. They’re an incredible growing experience for students who go abroad, for the students who receive them, and for the teachers who experience students from around the world in their classrooms, and the chance to experience a collegial relationship with teachers from other countries. My school, Lancaster Mennonite, has students who come to us for three or four years from other countries, like Korea, Ethiopia, China, Japan, Ghana, and elsewhere, and just this past month, we hosted two short-term visiting groups–from Germany and France. These groups come with teachers, who teach their students a few lessons a day, and then visit our classes to observe how we do education in the US. I always look forward to having these visitors in in my classroom.  Both groups left us yesterday, and Monday is going to feel a little empty.

May we walk in Beauty!

Collegiality

This past week in Wooster, as I got to know the other teachers in my class, I began to think again of the beauty of collegiality, of having people who are all doing the same sort of work. I love my actual work colleagues, and I love the extended circle of colleagues, of people all working on similar tasks and issues in the world.

This morning my friend Tracey told me about a dream of hers where I had a cameo. During our short Messenger conversation, that word popped into my brain again: colleague. We have different professions, but we’re colleagues in this next layer of Work in the world, in the deep layers. When we talk together about what we’re doing to try to make change in the world, about how we’re involved in emphasizing and nurturing Goodness, we’re engaging in professional development as colleagues.

Another friend, someone I don’t know in real life, a woman I met through a mutual friend on Facebook, called me on the phone this week, just to talk about how we can create a network of people who support each other in this Work of pushing against the cruelty of the current US immigration policy of zero tolerance family separation. Her call reminded me that I am not just raging into the storm, but that I am part of a web of people doing the Work. Colleagues.

We’re colleagues, you and I, whenever we collaborate on this Work. I am greatly blessed in friends who willingly and tenderly mentor me in the Work, often without quite realizing that they are doing so. Let’s keep our hearts and eyes open for every opportunity for collegial collaboration in the coming weeks, every chance to build up the Staff in this job we have of making the world a better place.

This task ahead can feel so huge, so insurmountable. And I’m not entirely hopeful for the future, as least in the immediate sense. But we’re not going to be overcome while we sit passively by. We are rising, together, a host of colleagues in the Work of Goodness, like a great wave, to confront the powers that would destroy the vulnerable.

Take hands. Face into the wind. Stand strong. We will hold this ground together.


Gratitude List:
1. Colleagues in the Work
2. Mentors who teach by word and example
3. The young people who are rising
4. Family: blood and heart
5. The creative urge

May we walk in Beauty!

Truth is a Mirror


Time is Telling.

“The heart is the house of empathy whose door opens when we receive the pain of others. This is where bravery lives, where we’ll find our mettle to give and receive, to love and be loved, to stand in the center of uncertainty with strength, not fear, understanding this is all there is. The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.”
—Terry Tempest Williams
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“To understand the world knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence.”
–Teilhard de Chardin
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“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” — Maya Angelou
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“Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.” –Pablo Neruda
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“Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be okay.” –Anonymous
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“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old …” –e.e. cummings
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“Truth was a mirror in the hands of God
It fell, and broke into pieces.
Everybody took a piece of it,
and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” –Rumi


Gratitude List:
1. Collegiality. I really enjoy the people I work with. Laughing together is powerful social glue.
2. Cool mornings and rain.
3. Supper at Mexitaly last night. Big burrito with mango habanero sauce!
4. These cats. I know it’s an obsession these days. Thorby is so funny, flopping on the floor for belly rubs and petting his own face. Sachs still likes quiet, secluded spaces, but I no longer have to snort dust bunnies under the bed in order to get to know him. He comes out for regular petting sessions and purring.
5. Three deer in the horse field near Highpoint last evening when the sun was slanting in.

May we walk in Beauty!

After the Owl

EWK 2 001

Today’s prompt is to write a poem titled “After __________”

After the owl booms in the sycamore at dawn,
after your eyes adjust to the darkness,
after you stumble through the washing and dressing,
after the flicker of lights,
after the coffee,
after the tree pose,
after the quiet reading of O’Donohue’s poem,
you arrive with your heart at the blank page.

Gratitude List:
1. Collegiality.  Working as a team.
2. Blank pages.  That is to say, fresh possibilities.
3. Blank pages.  That is to say, a chance to start fresh.
4. Wild geese and starlings
5. Figuring out how to say what I really mean to say.

May we walk in Beauty.

Big Hearts

Gratitude List:

1.  Collegiality.  Sharing ideas.
2.  Snail Mail
3.  Is that a rain cloud?
4.  A cool morning for harvest
5.  Your good heart.  You know, we may be in completely different worlds when it comes to politics or to religion.  We might find very little to agree on when it comes to the issues that are thrown to us to fight about.  But when it comes down to it, I believe in your good heart.  I trust your essential connection to love and goodness.  I want to be worthy of your trust as well.

May we walk in Beauty.