Reflections – Thursday, August 25, 2016

Carol A. Hand

DSC01958

Gazing at an unmowed lawn
watching as wild flowers blossom after dawn
and turn into a golden garden dancing with the gentle breeze
Flowers bow gracefully now and then under the weight of feeding bees

We’re connected in this timeless moment
the sunshine, flowers, bees, and breeze – and me
Simply celebrating life peacefully – as it was meant to be

***

Note: It’s a strange thing. This is not what I would have chosen to write today. As I work on the details of a syllabus for a research class I’ll be teaching in a few weeks, I am dealing with the serious issue of protecting “human subjects” from harm.  Yet, this poem came this morning as I sat thinking about the assignments I still need to describe. I trust it came to mind for a reason. It does help me remember to be grateful for the ability to find beauty in the most ordinary, unexpected places. I hope it does the same for those who read it.

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Ah, summer outdoor chores, you have to love them
Mowing the lawn that remains, “Sweating to the Oldies” comes to mind
This is really more like the oldy profusely sweating
But it’s something I can still do because life’s been kind
One has to find the humor in getting older
And be grateful for the challenging tasks we can still shoulder.

lawn mower

My old rechargeable battery-powered mower

I encourage you to watch the embedded video link above if you need to laugh today, or read the following poem. I discovered it many decades ago when I developed a workshop for men who were caring for an older relative.

This Will Shock You!
(Anonymous)

This will shock you!
I’m never lonely here – for I have four men in my life.
Don’t tell!
I get up in the morning with Charlie Horse.
I spend all day with Arthur Itis.
I dine with Will Power.
I go to bed every night with Ben Gay.

Everything is farther away now than it used to be.
It is twice as far to the corner, and they have added a hill I’ve noticed.
I have given up running for the bus; it leaves faster than it used to.
And it seems to me that they are making stairs steeper than in the old days.
Have you noticed the smaller print they are using in the newspapers now?
And there is no sense asking people to read aloud.
Everyone speaks in such a low voice I can hardly hear them.

It is almost impossible to reach my shoelaces.
Even people are changing.
They are much younger than they used to be when I was their age.
On the other hand, people my age are so much older than I am.
I ran into a classmate the other day, and she had aged so much I didn’t even recognize her.

I got to thinking about the poor thing while I was combing my hair this morning
And in so doing I glanced at my reflection in the mirror.
You know, they don’t even make mirrors like they used to.

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Sunday, August 21, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Know the Tao
Without leaving your doorstep
See its face
Reflected in the window
To seek it outside
Is to leave it behind.”
(Dreyer, 1990, The Tao of Inner Peace, p. 49)

I’m grateful for the almost five year respite I’ve had to simply observe life from the safety of my little home on the outskirts of a city. Living simply, alone, has given me an opportunity to contemplate many things, including the meaning of praxis. It’s not enough to acquire wisdom and knowledge without action. It is truly unwise to act without knowledge. And it’s hubris to assume that one has the answers for others. One needs to engage with others in dialogue to uncover meaning and possibilities and play a role in building authentic collaborative transformative actions.

“It is not enough for people to come together in dialogue in order to gain knowledge of their social reality. They must act together upon their environment in order critically to reflect upon their reality and so transform it through further action and critical reflection.” (Paulo Freire)

Blogging has helped me begin the processes of contemplation and re-engagement with the world. It’s helped me remember another time when I set off with little more than the clothes on my back and an infant daughter to begin the journey.

commune

Commune Life: 1973

Ultimately, that journey taught me many things. It helped me realize how important it is to share what we’ve learned with others, simple though that knowledge may be. I don’t need to travel far. I just need to be willing to reach out to others. To share knowledge, wisdom and skills honed by overcoming challenges and surviving suffering by offering what I’ve learned to others in whatever ways I can while respecting their perspectives and learning from them.

I’m grateful for the technology that makes it possible for us to join together to understand and resolve the divisions that keep us apart so all people, everywhere, can join in joyful song to call into existence the life of peace and community we are all meant to share.

***

 

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Friday, August 19, 2016

Carol A. Hand

A morning visitor, just my speed
for ample macro focusing time
A little slug looking for an early feed
as it secretes its trail of shimmering slime.

IMG_0575

A little creature much maligned
I admit I’m guilty of this, it’s true.
I know I honestly wouldn’t mind
if you only ate weeds instead of feasting on my gardens, too.

This year I’ve tried something new
to help you know what’s not in bounds
I routinely circle my gardens to deter your crew
with carefully spread coffee grounds.

IMG_0576

It seems to work for you and me
We’re able to coexist peacefully…

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Thursday, August 18, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Am I just a shadow,
a corporeal presence blocking light?

shadow 2

A ghostly apparition,
a transparent being barely visible to sight?

shadow 5

Or am I made of stardust,
a spirit glowing with an inner light?

shadow 3

Is my essence ultimately just a culmination of context, chance, and choice?

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – The Master’s Tools

Carol A. Hand

Learn the master’s tools well
But don’t let them blind you to beauty
Don’t let them silence your song
Don’t let them harden your heart
Don’t let them deaden your dreams
Don’t let them white-wash your wisdom
Don’t let them extinguish your hope for the world that could be
Use them wisely with vision and love to sing a new world into being

***

climatis flowers

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Monday, August 15, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Cricket song signals autumn is near

starlings

as do the flocks of starlings feeding here

garden 1

garden 2

Garden 3

garden 4

garden 5

Gardens to harvest, lessons to prepare
Moments to write are becoming rare

Manuscript editing postponed a third of the way through
as I return to teaching research – something I still love to do
My transition requires solitude and time for reflections

draw handstand 3

Bureaucratic rules and schedules allow few exceptions
making it a creative venture to weave critical thinking throughout
to inspire students to thoughtfully question what life is all about

social work paradigms 3

Grateful for another opportunity to learn and to share,
and encourage thought and innovation by those who care…

***

 Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Saturday, August 6, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Summer sights on my side of the city

summer sights 1

summer sights 2

summer sights 3

summer sights 4

show the march of time is not always pretty.

Still, life goes on…

summer sights 5

I watch as geese rest…

dandelion seed

Photo: Dandelion Seed (Wikipedia

and a lone dandelion seed floats in gentle breezes

soaring gracefully above highways and rooftops …

dandelion

to land where it pleases.

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – Friday, August 5, 2016

Carol A. Hand

The Bergamot (bee balm) bows and blows in the breeze
as a Brobdingnagian (big, big, BIG) bumble bee dines
in spite of its already bulging pollen-clad knees.

Where is my camera!,” the wishful would-be photographer whines…

***

bee and bergemot

Image: Microsoft Word Clip Art

Note:

Fortunately Microsoft clip art provided the perfect substitute above. Following is the best I could do today…

bergemot

bee on cone flower

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Reflections – The Legacy of Continuing Loss…

Carol A. Hand

A child kidnapped from the village road –
lured by strangers with the promise of a new adventure –
a ride in an automobile, a luxury rarely seen here.
He awoke hours later in a foreign place far from home –
held captive in a federal Indian boarding school.
He still carries the scars more than 70 years later –
one visible on his hand where he was struck on that first day
for speaking the only language he knew, Ojibwe;
the other hidden – a deep loneliness and longing for the home, family and culture
he vaguely remembered and imagined during the six decades he spent among strangers

***

Carlisle_pupils

Carlisle Indian Industrial School – 1879-1918 (Wikipedia)

***

All the child welfare system could do
was take a mother’s children away.
No one ever asked why she always had tears in her eyes.
Although her daughter cried for her beautiful mother every day,
no one ever asked what her mother needed to heal.
So the young girl spent her childhood with strangers,
a grieving mother mourned, and the White strangers felt virtuous.
The Ojibwe community lost yet another child to county removal
and the child welfare system closed the case, its job complete.

***

Before-After Indian Borading School npr

Before and After (California Indian Education.Org)

***

Only some of the many lost finally returned home in their third, fifth or seventh decade
to discover the community forever changed as close-knit ties had begun to fade,
suffering from the continuing loss of its children to foster care, adoption or school
year after year throughout the centuries of tightening colonial rule.
Yet I found many reasons to hope.
Despite enduring structures of colonial hegemony,
memories and stories of long ago, clear visions of what yet could be
provide blueprints for reweaving an inclusive healing circle of caring community.

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in Native American Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | 63 Comments