It's an exciting time for our Poetry Friday host, Irene Latham, at Live Your Poem. Her new book, Don't Feed The Boy came out this past Tuesday! Congratulations Irene!
A week ago, my staff drove to the mountains to spent Thursday night and Friday together for our retreat. This time we had a facilitator that came to lead us in examining our lives particularly in using time more wisely. Most often, my colleagues have so much to do, and like many teachers and those in other lines of work, like writers, we make our lists too long and our expectations too high. The first questions asked this day were: How do we order our lives against stress and fatigue? and What are we confessing by how we order our lives? and How can we negotiate our lives so we can be fully mindful with those we care about?
|View from our family cabin! There was a small forest fire in the area. You can see the smoke in the photo.|
Our day filled with personal responses to these questions along with poems of inspiration. It was a special time of reflection and renewal. We didn’t talk of time management, but of those things that helped us find our Kairos—defined by Merriam Webster as a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action: the opportune and decisive moment. In our case, the definition appeared to be the time when one might relax, or other words might be piddle, dilly-dally, meander, wander, or wonder. Someone mentioned it could be in between time. For further pondering, we were asked to write about a mentor that might show us how to find our own Kairos. I wrote about my grandmother, who always found time for me and her other grandchildren. I wondered how she did it, and still managed her housework, cooking for many, still playing with all of us?
Here are two poems that were shared. Each time we were asked to reflect upon the words, and by this time, we were all relaxed, taking our time to find personal answers for the future.
The first is Opening Without Words, by a poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo.
It begins: It is the beginning of May
And over near the statue of Moses,
Raising his staff to something
None of us can see, hundreds of tulips
Have broken through the dark earth
The second may be more familiar: When Death Comes, by Mary Oliver
It begins: When death comes
Like the hungry bear in autumn;
When death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse;
It was a full and loving day, filled with quiet reflection and talk with colleagues, a time we don’t usually find in our full days, sometimes only grabbing a snatch of conversation in a hallway. I am grateful that our school gives us this day together.