Sunset over Between

Bird Droppings June 19-20, 2011
Sunset over Between

“When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, ‘Ours.’” Vine Deloria, Jr.

It has been a rapid quick succession of journeys and trips along with trying to keep my herb gardens watered and weeded over the past few weeks and it has been difficult to get into a routine. I drove up to north Georgia yesterday to sit in on a Foxfire teacher course and will be heading back up for a few more days tomorrow. As I returned from the mountains yesterday it was getting close to sunset and the great red ball gleamed red ahead of me and somewhere just as I reached a spot to get a photo it disappeared below the horizon.
Talking with the teachers yesterday and at each of the Foxfire courses is a recharge for me of my desire to strive to be a good teacher and always rekindles my hope that we can soon escape the prison of teach to the test and truly be educating children for life rather than a score on a end of course test. A good friend informed me that she and another teacher from her school both teaching with the Foxfire approach were back to back teachers of the year. That says something when you are breaking out of the traditional mold of teaching and using the approach that John Dewey promoted nearly a hundred and twenty five years ago.
My morning started with a trip to the doctor for my semi annual stretched to two years blood work. It always seems hard to find time to get to the doctor. But I am getting old and I was ganged up on and I was there at eight this morning to get poked and prodded. I went by our school to check on my animals and to touch base with administration; I wanted to throw an idea out. Everyone was else where when I got there after my doctors trip. I went by our house and unloading groceries and my grand daughter and I played for some time while her mother ran some errands. On one excursion out side sitting on the front porch rocking I looked about a hundred feet away and two baby deer very young judging by the size crossed into the woods. I showed them to my grand daughter but at six months and the camouflage of their spots I do not think she saw them.
My more recent reading has been one of a spiritual nature looking at various moments in my life each unique and synchronistic as I go my way. The timing of the deer today and over the past few days numerous events that were as eloquently timed as I continue on my own journey. It was nearly a year ago today I was taking my wife and son to an early morning flight to Dallas that put me on my way home as the sun came up over Atlanta. It was not a spectacular sunrise but still pretty coming up around the skyline. It was only a few hours later a call from my middle son he was back in Atlanta from Omaha Nebraska and the NCAA World Series, his school Georgia Tech was eliminated so they drove straight through to make classes on that day.
All in the same day a good friend had previously asked me to borrow so I headed to Athens to drop my book off for him to review. When I got home I noticed a bulletin in MySpace from someone who I have been reading their blogs and has been commenting on mine, a young lady from Canada. I had responded to a note earlier in the morning before going to the airport and received word she was heading to South Korea not sure why but a journey. She would write her thoughts often in riddles or a paradoxical way. Often you would have to think to unravel her meaning. So that day nearly five years ago her words of wisdom from jennjenn and we shall move on from there.

“Who knew? A journey always begins and ends in the same way” jenn

I have often written about the journey in life and or that life is a journey jenn went to Korea to teach English in a private school and learned much about life and people as she traveled through Korea and eventually China. I sat here thinking about what jenn wrote that day and what I had done in the course of a day I had gone over to Athens to sit and talk with a friend, another teacher needing some help with a project. He was just needing some ideas to get going to finish his master’s capstone so I left my capstone manual and drove home. He went on to pass his capstone and graduate only to end up moving to California to teach.

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” Henry David Thoreau

As I sat and thought and pondered Henry David Thoreau came to mind as he was a wanderer. He walked about to learn, to grow and to meet new people. His idea of a journey was it doesn’t matter what is ahead or what lies behind it is in our hearts that is important and in some ways this is perhaps what jenn was saying it is not about where we are going or when we come back if ever but what we carry with us is always the same who we are and why we are. I use often loosely the concept of soul as that inner part of us that is who we are.

“Illusion holds power over you when you are not able to remember that you are a powerful spirit that has taken on the physical experience for the purpose of learning. It has power over you when you are compelled by wants and impulses and values of your personality. It holds power over you when you fear and hate and sorrow and fester in anger or strike out in rage. It has NO power over you when you LOVE, when compassion opens your heart to others, when your creativity flows unimpeded joyously into the present moment. In other words, the illusion had no power over a personality that is fully aligned with the soul.” Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul

I was thinking of Gary Zukav as I was thinking about my starting idea which sort of wandered around and in and out but of soul and that our soul never changes. Where we go and why and when we come back our soul that inner driving force of energy remains and stays the same. Thomas Moore left the priesthood to become a therapist and writer holding a doctorate in psychology and theology. He writes about how do we take care of our souls and while a theologian he writes about the soul from a non religious point of view.

“We think of the psyche, if we think about it at all, as a cousin to the brain and therefore something essentially internal. But ancient psychologists taught that our own souls are inseparable from the world’s soul, and that both are found in all the many things that make up nature and culture.”

“Soul is not a thing, but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves. It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart, and personal substance. I do not use the word here as an object of religious belief or as something to do with immortality. When we say that something has soul, we know what we mean, but it is difficult to specify exactly what that meaning is.” Thomas Moore, The care of the Soul

It is the beginning and the end of the journey that of who we are and why our connections to all that is and was. I use this quote from Aerosmith often and believe it.

“Life is about the journey not the destination.” Steven Tyler

Here is for a safe journey for jenn and all else who are traveling my family and many friends be it from work, school, vacation or just going to Kroger and always please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

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