Friday, October 27, 2006

Good morning!
It's a soggy, misty morning here in West Michigan. But we are pretty sure to be back in Ohio in a couple of weeks. And our new home will be wonderful.
Here's some more poetry for you to enjoy, to think about, etc.
Have a good time!
CONFORMITY

I'm like you and you're like me, and we might
Be twins, at least in dress and thought.
For that's where safety lies, among the
Boxes. Outwardly each box is
Angular, Rectangular, "square? Oh, my,
Even THAT idea creates discomfort
Somewhere, in some corner of some other
Box. Mustn't do that!
We think, falsely, that being different is being
Controversial, and that controversy
Intrudes upon learning. Oh, it can, at times
When learning's misunderstood.

Conformity's one of the toughest things
To forego, when young, and insecure, and
Doubting much. Conformity creates
False security, when insecurity's so strong.

But why insecurity at all? Why
Are the boxes so in doubt of self
And others? Why fear that, here, mobilizes
Hatred; there, submission; in yet
Another, secrecy? Is not each a form
Of conformity? Of course, not always,
But at times, not so?

And how does conforming further learning, growing?
By making all the boxes seem adjusted?
By making the system flow smoothly on,
No bumps or bruises? Where's the learning
In conformity? Where's the growing in thinking
Only thoughts already thought; repeating
The same old cliches; feeling only what others,
In their conforming spirit, will allow?

In sameness there is only sameness; no Bach, no
Einstein, no Will Shakespeare to carry
Mankind forward in the search; no art, no
Music, no creativity at all - humor
I suspect would not long survive. So open up the
Classroom box; transform the rows; engage
The mind and heart; and enter into the life
Of growth, and change, of loving and of
Learning - please,
don't
just conform!


CREATIVITY

Puzzles puzzling on puzzles
Can be annoying, when
Done aloud. Or when the confusion
Infuses itself into otherwise
Orderly discussion. Fog becomes
Clouds - clouds become
Thunderheads - a storm impends.

The storm crashes 'round, blowing
Where it will, bending, breaking,
Flooding its way; bright flashes
Now; great crashes then; and
When it's spent, what's left?

Oft this is the creative act, but
Not always. Other times it
Comes creeping in silently, intruding
Upon the reverie of aloneness
And Summer silence.

Somewhere in the midst, there is found
A divergence - a splitting of one
Into two, three, more - ideas, persons,
Sentences. Or convergence, when
Of a sudden, wholeness steals across
Subconscious fields to rest,
And wait.

Creativity is like this: art,
Music, humor, letters, all
Share this undefinable moment when
Something new is born. Or
Something old resolved, perchance,
Opening new fields, new vistas
And paths before unseen.

Try to grasp this in the net of
Order, discipline, it oft
Will slip away, unseen, unfelt.
Within the order of whatever
Sort, there must be room for chaos,
Momentary, silent or noisy,
Yet ordered, managed, contained
Within its own deep logic.

Measure it? Teach it? Hardly!
Facilitate it? Try! Encourage?
Certainly, if you dare, and choose to
Take the risks.
Provide a place for it; a spirit
Upon which it can feed;
Give tools, place and space,
And share the chance.

SELF

Self - that's what this is all about, but
Not quite as some might think.
There's some confusion on this point, for
There are those who think it responsible
For what some choose to call the "Me" generation.
Oh, certainly, there's some connection,
But oft misunderstood; misconstrued; used
As answer - conclusion - instead of
The beginning of thought, the attempt to understand.

In fact, those who're quick to blame, it seems,
Are more trapped in self than those
Who're the subject of complaining. So often
It's the case. And, once made,
Accusation shifts the burden, makes concern
Unnecessary. Hence, serving to assuage my
Feelings while disconcerting you, leaving you
Defenseless.

Unfortunately that's what so much
Of this is all about; insecurity, fear,
Guilt. We do have trouble facing what
Messages others present us; and when self
Intrudes itself as part, we tend to see it as
The whole. But self refers to confidence,
Assurance, and acceptance - the healthy,
Functioning state - of the person who knows
Who and what he is. Cocky? Not at all! Conceited?
Far from it; for conceit is
Insecurity overplayed.
"I am most free when I am most responsible".
Thus Sartre, and more the center of what's
Meant by SELF, than selfishness or whatever else may
Serve for blame.

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