A rock flower and song


Bird Droppings April 11, 2014
A rock flower and song

A journey begins with a step and apathy begins with turning your back and saying I don’t care. Last week I had my last IEP of the year. I recall another afternoon when my laptop was acting weirder than normal and all of my school email jumped to my personal outlook account and then disappeared. My entire address book all of several months of writing went into computer limbo. I came home still the same on my home Windstream account and my email for school was not there and went back to school logged on again and everything came up. Something simple was not working my pass word was wrong according to my computer then I checked and caps lock was on, a simple fix. Then suddenly as if by magic my personal account was gone again which was very frustrating not understanding electronics and computers at times. It seems they were doing server work at school unbeknownst to those of us using it.

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” Benjamin Franklin

Just as I did on that morning it is so easy to get caught up in oneself and our own little troubles. The following are the words to a song sent to me many years back by the mother of a teenage daughter. I remember the song from many years ago. My friend said her mother enjoyed this song which was recorded by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmy Lou Harris among so many others to use the words as I sit here I wonder how many folks will remember them and or the song.

Wildflowers
By Dolly Parton

The hills were alive with wildflowers
And I was as wild as, even wilder than they
For at least I could run, they just died in the sun
And I refused to just wither in place
Just a wild mountain rose, needing freedom to grow
So I ran fearing not where I’d go
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow
And the flowers I knew in the fields where I grew
Were content to be lost in the crowd
They were common and close, I had no room for growth
I wanted so much to branch out
I uprooted myself from home ground and left
Took my dreams and I took to the road
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow
I grew up fast and wild and I never felt right
In a garden so different from me
I just never belonged; I just longed to be gone
So the garden, one day, set me free
Hitched a ride with the wind and since he was my friend
I just let him decide where we’d go
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow

So often poetry and songs have meaning hidden in the words, it might be in the way they play out and many times in a song the melody adds to the feeling and attitude portrayed by the words. Watching one of the American Idol contestants a year or so ago sing a song made famous by Garth Brooks and several even commented on his great song writing. Keith Urban a singer songwriter too offered the actual song writer Tony Arata from Nashville. Although Tony went to Georgia Southern by chance and will often show up in small venues in Statesboro. Tony was my brother in laws college roommate. I throw out another song while I am on Tony Arata, The Dance words are powerful as is Garth’s delivery of the song. Back to business as I was reading this morning so many teenagers feel as did this wildflower desiring to be or wanting to be free. Yet as I read the words to the song an image of a wild rose growing in a sidewalk crack in New York popped in my mind and a line from another song made popular in early 1970’s.

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They took paradise and put up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell

In the past months I have addressed apathy and a recently a dear friend in a teachers meeting in Conyers was discussing apathy with teachers and how we can combat it. I was thinking about that all night, first apathy is like a virus it replicates rapidly and soon over whelms. Soon it takes over but what does apathy look like and feel like. There are key words and phrases, such as whatever, because, no reason, I’m passing, I’ll do it tomorrow, everybody else is doing it, it’s not mine, and a good one let me copy your homework. The list goes on and on apathy, procrastination and not caring can be rampant.

I am reading again a book, Neither Wolf nor Dog, written by Kent Nerburn about Native American Spirituality. The Introduction to the book is a few pages long telling of a motorcycle ride into the plains and of a large rock considered sacred to the Sioux. It is called the buffalo rock. A rather simple large boulder situated in the migration path of the buffalo that looked somewhat like a buffalo. Today it has a plague on it telling its historical significance and an iron fence around it to protect it. Nerburn writes of how he was taken to tears looking at this ancient symbol caged as he wrote and as he walked around pondering the thousands of years of people who would touch the rock for luck in the hunt or simply honor and respect as they rode by this rock in the plains of America. As he walked about sitting on top of the rock very carefully placed a crumpled cigarette not snuffed out by a careless tourist carefully crumpled and the tobacco spilled out onto the surface of the rock. Tobacco is sacred to the plains Indians and someone had carefully honored the rock and memories. Someone still cared.

As I look at schools and look at the concept or possibly illness of apathy. I wondered first is someone caring enough to seek a cure. Second could it be possible to weed out teachers who teach and lecture apathetically which then causes apathy in students. It is not just a school thing for many students learn apathy at home. I remember many years ago a professor who would walk in never address the class, go to his podium and start reading the book and when the bell would ring stop, leave the room and that was it. In a semester he never addressed a question a student had, an issue was never brought up, he gave a final and who knows if anyone passed. Was his class or was it his classes that were apathetic. Most assuredly he had some symptoms and from there the degree of apathy can vary, although I would say it was serious with him.

Apathy is much like a vacuum however once the seal is broke once learning is allowed in it fills rapidly. Curing apathy however often requires others to lend a hand. Begin a new day with a new thought reach for the stars as last night with a clear crescent moon and stars. I read if you can see more than eleven stars in the constellation Orion you have a clear night, I saw twenty eight earlier this morning. Seek out something new, wonderful, and interesting. Apathy breeds within itself and upon itself. It is thinking and learning that keep apathy away. Another wonderful day for each of us please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste. I will end with one of my favorite quotes borrowing from the Governor of California, “I’ll be back”.

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

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