Friday, February 10, 2012

Facebook Posting February 5, 2012

I must admit to reading Parker Palmer's "Let Your Life Speak," for the third time. I continue to return to it for its resonance within my current life situation, perhaps even to my whole life situation. That is the light it shines on the posture from which I approach my existence and more importantly how I must change this posture to regain equilibrium again. Just before I read the passage below, I had remembered how ignored my acceptance that I could not teach all kids but arrogantly did not trust that someone else could.

"One sign that I am violating my own nature in the name of nobility is a condition called burnout. Though usually regarded as the result of trying to give too much, burnout in my experience results from trying to give what I do not possess - the ultimate in giving to little! Burnout is a state of emptiness, to be sure, but it does not result of giving all I have: it merely reveals the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place."

A year of milestones: turning fifty, meeting Kay and her dying, then mom passing a month later. These events individually would have derailed even the strongest of us, I think. But it was working at a school that did not align with my teaching philosophy that finally put out my light. It was classic in terms of Palmer's definition that "when the gift I give to the other is integral to my own nature, when it comes from my own organic reality, it will renew itself." Not one element of the school culture aligned with my own nature. The gift of this insight, I am sure, will relight the flame that has always sparked my invention.

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