to all things
at every moment.
Fix your eyes
On all things and say:
from The Rock by Nikos Kazantzakis,
translated by Richard Howard
Last night at the Farmhouse we had a meeting about a different kind of school. I would like to say never again, to the way things have always been, and explore what can be. We talked a little about typical curriculum, but mostly we talked about the bright light, the gift, the inner knowing that we all possess. I wasn’t sitting with a group of theologians’ or philosophers’ (although I think one or two in our group could be someday); I was sharing a meal with people who believe there might be another way.
Vernal Pool Saturday, April 5th
We did simple things last night – but with great intention. We were in the moment as we ate food and dreamed of what our school could be. Our school. And as the children ran and played, moving from the labyrinth to the field and into the large play room we asked questions and pondered this dream. The conversation was rich and vibrant. There were questions and there were answers, which lead to more questions.
Wouldn’t we all like to leave some things behind? Don’t we all want another way, a more peaceful way? News filled with more violence in our schools, in our local governments, about wars of words and deeds across our land, and so many other lands. We alienate each other, we point fingers and get angry, but why? If we don’t try to change this who will? If not you, and me who? If not now, when? (Hillel) It starts today with me!
As I sit and ponder what can be I wonder where our common threads lie? Could it be as simple as sharing a meal with a stranger? Can it be a kind word with no expectation of any return? Perhaps a smile? Being cheerful and kind? Maybe a school that helps us to trust kids, trust their innate desire to learn? Could we make a difference?
We trust so little these days - our neighbors, our communities, ourselves, our children! But I remember so much of what I learned in the pick-up games down the street with my friends, in the games of town chase, and in the playground before the school bell rang in the morning. We negotiated, we petitioned each other, we picked sides and we even fought. But at the end of the day we were all friends finding our way. I read about different ways and I hope for the next generation of children we can challenge the status quo – so children can explore neighborhoods, ponds and streams, climb trees and build forts. If we get to know each other, honor each other, then maybe we can feel safe to have our kids explore. If we trust our kids to explore they can learn from their experiences and maybe the world will be a safer place. I wonder… is it possible?
Is it possible to say never again to the way things have always been and try something new? One thing I know for sure – and I learned it as a kid on the streets of our town – if I we don’t try we will never know!