Praying. It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t
try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak.
it this poem, or a dream I recently had about “speaking in such a way that everybody can understand” or was it the chat with dear Hai yesterday morning…?
Actually it has been on my mind for quite some time: The
power of WORDS, how a word can bring us together or can separate us.
We had a discussion with the ELI team about this matter lately. Eurasia Learning Institute is sharing its experience knowledge and is active in many different contexts: in special
education, in the Camphill network, in public schools, in businesses, in Universities, in Sangha’s, in Vietnam, in Europe
Each time ELI team needs to understand the context and adapt to the specific situation in order to understand and be understood
by our partners, friends…what words help so that others can understand us better…we need to be authentic and reflect who we are and yet do it in such a way that does not exclude others…what words in-prison us and only those who think like
us can understand…insider “jargons”, ready made phrases, expected answers, that sound just like what “our insider group” wants to hear, but excludes all those who are not like “us” and often excludes our own authenticity…
Yesterday Hai sent me the photo of a booklet he wrote describing his daily /therapeutic/ educational mindfulness practice with a youngster living with disabilities in Tinh Truc Gia . He said it is a 12 page booklet in which he describes in
detail the observations and reflections on his therapeutic actions in order to explain and to transmit to other educators so that they can learn/grow and understand the WHY and the How of such actions and thus learn the wonderful and so interesting work of
a social therapist/special educator.
I said to Hai: Oh it is so good that you document all these very unique practices that TTG has developed over the years…Hai answered: But we do this since many years….
What did I tell Hai in lesson Nr 1 when he started working with us 9 years ago?: Say what you do, Do what you say… and yes that’s what we are doing Hai!
It is the sharing, the transparency and the generosity of our work that makes
me happy !
And now I come back to the poem…Mary Oliver says : “ just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak”.
In our conversation with the ELI team about “the right words” we agreed that when it is authentic, even if it is simple, but close to our experience,
when it comes from our heart and our deep understanding and has gone through our real life actions and has proved itself valid and helpful, we might be on the right track …patch a few words together….it is a doorway to thanks and a silence
in which another voice may speak…
Here another Mary Oliver poem:
Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
Or as Ocean Vuong (Vietnamese American poet) says:
Forget about poetry, I think we all have a stake in communication and communicating something that is more precise to our inner lives,” he says. “We have the social language that we use
that allows you to transact yourself through the day, but if we live too long in that space, we start to lose touch with language. I think poetry gives you permission to not have to talk about the weather. Whether you want to be a poet or not, I tell my students
you all have a stake in finding a method of communicating your inner selves, or else it’ll be erased.”