In the end, I feel an extreme sense of possibility. My mind runs over and over – how can I make a difference? How can I look at the world in a new way while also engaging my students to do the same? It is no secret that I find poetry as the vehicle for many of my thoughts and emotions. The following poem speaks to our power as educators. To steal a commonly used quote, we must be the change we want to see in the world. We have the power to affect generations to come – to educate the minds of the unborn.
I stand upon the threshold of possibility.
The door is ajar – the door
I can only pass through
as an individual.
It is easy, really, to be in a group
seeking to alter
In a group we are fearless.
As individuals, what will we be?
Taking the passion,
spiraling outward –
ripples on the pond.
Throw a stone,
watch it splash,
sink – long gone by the
final ripple’s calm.
Sleeping, alone, on a riverbed of stones
But that ripple – the stone’s legacy –
does not remember the splash.
Throw a stone, watch it splash.
Sink deep with the memory of the moment.
Say the word,
cry the tears,
be fearless of the splash.
Look above, see a generation of ripples,
created from understanding.
Gratitude is unspoken, often unknown.
Stand on the threshold, take hold of the stone,
look at the water.
Cross through the door and
sink deep in the river – look up
to the surface.
Watch the ripples – feel the
gratitude of understanding taught
as the result of
one spoken word.
Profound legacy of the stone –
fearlessness not forgotten
but passed on.
If not now, when?
If every small act of indifference is allowed, tolerated, where will it lead? We all like to think that true evil is large and well defined. But in fact, it’s the tiny pin-prick – the first rain drop. Negativity and evil spread like cancer – consuming the healthy cells and sucking their life.
I must set out to bear witness to the small acts of indifference, to take notice when another’s prejudices are brought to the surface. This seminar has been my call to action. The people I’ve come to know and love will be my network of possibility. I will never be the same teacher, woman, mother, or human as a result of this experience and for that I will always be thankful.
To my fellow seminar members and facilitators –
It’s about voices.
Like thread weaving a cloth –
the voices tell their stories to weave a picture
of what was,
what was lost,
and what must be.
I never want to forget the stories, the tears, the words, the tones, and the moments. We have come together in this beautiful city to share our understanding and confusion. I leave here with all of you – fingerprints on my heart. We came, we saw, we learned, we loved, and we spoke with our voices.
Twelve days ago we had not met and today you will never leave me. I love you all and am a better person for knowing you.
Thank you for an amazing experience!