Bird Droppings February 10, 2021
Looking for a window can be a chore if you do not know where to look
I woke up very early today our dog was barking to go out and it was time for my wife to get up and get ready for work. It is hard to sleep in on days off when you fix breakfast and lunches. I walked out on my back porch only to catch a glimpse of the clouds moving getting ready for the coming rain along the tree line; a light drizzle was slipping in below the trees. It was just a coincidence that my dog wanted out exactly just before the rain was coming and dashed out of sight in the back yard. I view life as a series of interactions each interdependent upon the next and each interwoven with the previous. Over the past few days to a week I have bumped into six former students all wanting to talk and ponder.
A good friend and I often discuss Carl Jung and synchronicity. Those interwoven pieces of life that intertwine all that is and seem to be so “connected” and keep us all in place. I have held to and use the puzzle idea frequently when discussing life with students and associates. I borrow from Chief Seattle and throw out the idea of a web of life interconnecting the pieces as a glue holding all in place.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I meet people and try to understand where and why about each one I find so often many who are still seeking to understand themselves not clearly knowing who or where they are in relationship to all else about them. This is not to say I am searching for who I am daily.
“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” Albert Einstein
I was talking with a group of students working on projects for their class on learning how to teach a number of months back. They worked with a preschool class, each high school student works with a four-year-old on words, colors and all sorts of fun things. We were talking and a former student of mine came to mind. It has been nearly forty-five years since I took a picture of this child. He was about five years old and severely autistic. He was nonverbal and spent much of his time simply staring ahead. On a spring day he was looking out the window of the school which was in an old house in Paoli Pennsylvania in 1970. I went out the back door with my camera ran around the front to his window and took a picture. He had his nose pressed up to the window staring out. I often wondered what he was seeing as he stared straight ahead. Over the years as I look at that picture I find myself thinking he was trying to find a window. Even as he looked out the window he was still searching for a window that he could see through.
“I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.” Henry David Thoreau
I watched him as he approached the window, it was not the view he wanted but the temperature, the coolness of the pane of glass against his cheek. I was seeing a window and he was feeling a moist pane of cool glass. I was pulling out various books and ideas as I talked to this group of students who worked with little students. I shared author Shel Silverstein and a copy of The Giving Tree with CD, and also William Stieg and CDB a whimsical word puzzle (CDB – see the bee), and as I looked and thought many memories flooded back. Of working with children who probably still do not speak. Of searching for my own windows through in my life and occasionally only feeling the cool glass pane
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
As I think back over my discussion with those teachers to be, we started talking about people we would like to meet. Somewhere in an internet profile or such I wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, I added Gandhi the other day as we spoke. Most of the students were choosing contemporaries and most were celebrities. I thought over the years how our views change. For youngsters trying to find a window can be a chore not knowing where to look or maybe not even being tall enough to see out once there. As we get older the rules change we know where to look but have we drawn the blinds. We are tall enough to look out but do we really want to? Or are we content to simply press our nose to the glass and feel the coolness, never even attempting to see what lies beyond. It is a clear morning finally, although it is cold as stars fill the sky and a slight wind is blowing through the pine needles. A new day please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)