Tag Archives: community development

December Reflections about Connections

Carol A. Hand

The U.S. Post Office still delivers mail 6 days a week despite ongoing efforts to cut funding and services.

***

Connections to the outside

constructed social world

controlled by external forces

convenient when working

***

The White Pony waiting to be shoveled out.

***

Complacency ensues

capturing us unaware in

cyber-powered dependencies on

capitalistic competition and consumption

***

The radio/CD player that keeps Queenie and Pinto company by playing classical music during the day.
Two very old television sets for my grandchildren and parakeet: one TV only plays VHS tapes, the other only DVDs.

***

Creativity is nonetheless possible

Communities can come together across divides

cultivating new networks, knowledge,

comity, and common–wealth

clearing the ubiquitous chains of oppression

***

***

Words of Wisdom from the Old Days:

“Come on people now, smile on your brother
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now” (Get Together by The Youngbloods (1967))

***

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Grading Papers

Carol A. Hand

Grading student papers is not an easy job. It’s the reason I haven’t been on WordPress often these past weeks.  Yet I have learned how important it is to grade mindfully, because the words we use can change lives – for better or worse.

I’m posting a poem my colleague shared with me tonight that speaks to this truth with power and eloquence.

My Name Is Not Those People, a poem by Julie K. Dinsmore, read Danny Grover on YouTube:

Reflections Inspired by Geese

Carol A. Hand

Feeling physically fragile as I gently greet the morning
gazing up at the southwestern sky

a
silent
V of geese

soon
followed
by another, larger V
trumpeting encouragement
for the one temporarily leading
breaking through wind resistance
creating uplift for all those that follow
so others can save their strength for their turn
to carry the difficult responsibility of guiding others

working
together in harmony
because sharing responsibility
lightens burdens in the journey of life unfolding

***

Geese at home even in the city

***

Sending my best wishes to all.

***

Stewardship Anyway

Carol A. Hand

Ageist messages that I’m too old
at 70 to do simple chores
sometimes makes me hesitant to try
But my courageous daughter inspires me
and a funny thing happens when I do try
anyway

 

A Mini-maple gutter garden – July 2017

 

I realize with the right tools
like my “new” $20 8-foot ladder
from Habitat for Humanity’s “Restore”
I can clear the gutters of
sprouting baby maple trees
anyway

 

 

With my little green garden wagon,
work boots and heavy-duty gloves
I’m not too frail to haul and carry
landscaping blocks to upgrade gardens
and prevent continuing erosion
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

I’m not ashamed to sweat buckets
in my raggedy work clothes
doing honest manual labor
It’s a gift and a privilege
to take care of what I can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

Privilege requires responsible stewardship
regardless of what others do and think
with simple tools to extend our reach
and help us carry heavy loads
‘though the efforts are always a work in progress
it’s important to keep shouldering what we can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

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Sometimes I Just Don’t Understand

Carol A. Hand

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever understand

why people in power seem to care so little

about the suffering and destruction

they leave in their (una)wake(ning)

***

Microsoft WORD Clip Art – Sometimes I just can’t take a photo

***

Robin wings and bloodied backbone lying in the grass

A gift from my neighbors’ roaming cat?

It breaks my heart although they don’t seem to care

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever understand

***

Neighborhood – May 10, 2017

***

Garbage strewn across from

the neighborhood school

cluttering the little wooded stream

an elder’s shopping cart now inaccessible

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever understand

***

Neighborhood – May 10, 2017

***

Still, I will tend gardens, teach, and write about possibilities

even as I mourn while picking up the wings and sending love

I will clean up the little wooded area although others may laugh

because caring about the earth and others matters

Maybe it will inspire some to care

even though I may never understand

***

Blooming Bleeding Hearts – May 10, 2017

***

Learning and Celebratory Joy

Carol A. Hand

In the bleakest of times

with the most mundane tasks

transformation is possible

It’s what life sometimes asks

us to do

***

Fern Unfurling – May 7, 2017

***

Holding focus on celebratory joy

opens up sacred heart spaces

where deeper lessons are discovered

and shared perhaps tearfully from inner places

revealing what is true

***

An Early Blooming Gift, Scilla siberica ( Siberian Squill) – May 7, 2017

***

The threads of our kinship to all

strengthened anew

Our unique connecting patterns

in the tapestry of life

shining through

***

Blooming Pulmonaria ( Lungwort) – May 7, 2017

***

Acknowledgements:

In honor of the colleagues and students who continue to make teaching and learning sacred endeavors. And in gratitude to the computer and cable technicians who made it possible for me to continue writing despite a malfunctioning anti-virus program.

***

Celebrating Possibilities

Carol A. Hand

Who would believe it’s possible
to witness lives transformed
in the span of a mere 2 years
by working together on a vision
of what could be?

Skills, knowledge and lasting bonds are built
when everyone shows up
graciously offering open minds and hearts
contributing their critical creativity to overcome challenges.

Divisions between teachers, learners, and cultures dissolve
expanding inclusive caring communities
empowered by life-long liberatory curiosity and compassion.

***

Students sharing what they learned to open up new possibilities and help create healthier communities

Celebrating Accomplishments –
April 21, 2017

Promoting restorative justice as an alternative to juvenile corrections

Celebrating Accomplishments –
April 21, 2017

Preserving culture and language by bringing generations together through storytelling circles

Celebrating Accomplishments –
April 21, 2017

Using research to involve youth in diverse communities to improve education

Celebrating Accomplishments –
April 21, 2017

Using skills to build programs to improve services for people who are homeless
and inspiring the next generation

Celebrating Accomplishments –
April 21, 2017

Celebrating connections and accomplishments

Acknowledgement:

In gratitude to colleagues and graduating students who make liberatory learning possible, and a special thank you to MJ for inspiring others by sharing her exceptional scholarship, tenacity, and wisdom.

Relationships and Responsibility

Carol A. Hand

What happens when people don’t show up
or fail to fulfill their obligations to others?

Do absences and empty spaces symbolize
what’s wrong with the world today?

***

Microsoft Word Clip Art

***

How can we work toward a shared vision of what could be
when too many are missing from the circle
of reciprocal committed caring relationship?

***

Microsoft Word Clip Art

***

How does this affect those who care enough
to do their part and meet their responsibilities to others?

***

 

Just connections

by Cynthia Renee Donner

What if we wondered what was hijacking our emotions,
and holding us in tightly wrapped boxes of fear, shame, anger and distrust
sealed by corporate satisfaction and greed;
as we’re fed from the roots of oppression.
Where it’s too dark to see truth,
amidst the noise of lies and deception
that relentlessly deprive and control thoughts,
what if we just started wondering?

Suburbia, by David Shankbone, Wikipedia

What if, in wondering, we chewed a little hole,
just enough to let in the light of another’s presence
from a nearby box;
and in that light we found each other’s hands
and just started holding?

What if holding hands
made us each desire to see and understand
more of each other
and so together we just chewed harder?

What if chewing harder together
warmed our hearts
which fueled our courage;
so we could pull each other through
the holes in our boxes,
to just embrace?

What if embracing each other
made us able to stand together
and see all the millions of chewed boxes near and far,
and caused us to just question?

What if our questioning
how and why all so many people are struggling to survive in boxes,
made us tune out the noise and just listen?

What if our listening to different stories
helped us understand the forces outside of ourselves that are controlling us;
and the realization of our own and collective suffering
made us just start thrashing?

What if our combined thrashing
caused our boxes to break down,
so we could all just join hands?

What if our collective hand holding,
helped us all just stand up?

What if just standing up together
made us realize that sometimes each of us needs to be just held up?

What if in holding each other up
we were able to move together to figure out what just what we needed?

What if figuring out together what we needed
fed our hungry conscious
and a collective vision just started to grow?

What if the collective vision was nurtured
by the power of our continuous connections
and we just loved what we found in ourselves and each other?

What if we grounded ourselves in that love
and co-created just enough changes to save ourselves and sustain our world?

Just thinking.

Community Clipart