Bird Droppings June 21, 2012
Sometimes we need to clean our ears
Kind of sort of gross to ponder ear wax and all, but I was thinking more symbolically. So often in life we hear within our own perception and really do not hear what is really being said we formulate and postulate the answers and comments from others before they even finish so we can respond or get on our way. Time is always a factor as we subconsciously ask please speak faster I need to be so and so in a minute. Sometimes we need to listen more careful and unbiased not letting our own perceptions color what is being said, a difficult task in the least. Sometimes we need to let a person finish what is being said and focus on the heart of the matter.
I started thinking back five years or so to a graduation ceremony at our high school and to perhaps one of the hardest summers of my life. My father passed away as well as my father in law. However it was about this time back in 2007 a friend passed on. Just about every day Kenna would come by my room at the high school to talk about what was troubling her or to tell about her successes as well. Somewhere on my wall of photos is a picture from when she was in ninth grade smiling and happy. I have seen Kenna cry and giggle and about every emotion that we as humans are capable of. I consider Kenna a dear friend. I received several calls while in class atGeorgiaSouthern and felt I needed to call and find out what was going on. My son informed me Kenna had been killed in a car wreck. It has only been a week since I received a call about my two sons and their car wreck. John and Matt were bruised but ok. That first moment is something as a parent you never want to hear.
I last talked to Kenna about going to college and she told me about plans for an apartment and was so excited. I borrow from Carlos Castaneda periodically and he writes often of choosing the path of the heart, Kenna was about heart, ask those who knew her. Carlos Castaneda in his journeys through the series of books discusses as he learns the ancient ways of a warrior. Some will say he fictionalized his mentor Don Juan a Yagui Medicine man but his words of seeking heart are so true.
“A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.” Carlos Castaneda, 20th century mystic and Toltec warrior, Journey to Ixtlan
As I read so many years ago Carlos learned to not be limited by his own perception and to try and understand the other persons view of what was here. As I teach so often we limit our responses to our view as a teacher never taking into account the students and how they see this reality. Maybe Kenna came to talk and often listen because I tried to see her view not just mine. When I read this passage from Castaneda I thought of how teenagers live life so often. “A warrior must learn to make every act count”, few of us live this way. I only knew Kenna ever so briefly but I do think she tried to make every moment every act count.
Many times we as parents see only our window on life and not our children’s. Speaking as a teacher and parent there are sixteen hours of another world a child lives in we do not see. It is in those minutes much of what happens in our eight hours of school is scripted by, arguments with boyfriends/girlfriends, fights with parents, drugs, drinking, and not all is bad. There are children who are deeply loved and who have parents who are concerned about them but we see only the reflections and we respond with our own biases and perception of that world. So many times we are wrong.
We need to clean out our ears listen more attentively why is this student or child upset, acting out, or seeking attention. Could be we heard but our ears were plugged. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and please keep Kenna’s friends and family in your thoughts this day and please always give thanks.