Writing as far back as 1999, Poet and priest John O Donoghue talks of the much maligned way of knowing called imagination. Imagination he says is passionately interested in wholeness and wholesomeness. In John Quinn’s recent publication “Walking on the pastures of Wonder” he quotes John
“Huge multinational marketing systems are targeting teenagers and what they are achieving is incredible. Parents and teachers could never get teenagers into uniforms and yet multinational corporations have done it. Teenagers are all wearing designer gear. The label is more important than the garment. At the most subversive times of their lives, they are indoctrinated with this peer virus”
So who is shaping our life? Have you recently taken time to reflect on who is indoctrinating and telling us how to live life? I am really struck by the question of who is behind all of this paperwork and requirements which is managing to transform the workplace into some type of stress inducing, soul crushing environment obstacle race.
Look at your situation !!! Teachers bemoan the extra hours which seem designed to make them work longer and serve the god of “YOU have got to be seen to be working as long as somebody else” The system takes over, the why is not relevant. Medical employees need to do the paper work even if the patient is distressed, the farmer who has used a sprayer all of his life now needs a qualification to do so,the god of productivity in the factory is in charge, that care of the worker might be conducive to happiness and contentment is irrelevant.
Who is behind the paper trail epidemic I ask you dear reader. Are we all going through a teenager stage yet again? Are we so used to powerlessness that we shut up and put up. Is it irrelevant that our very soul is being sinned against, our imagination sidelined, our sense of place in this wonderful world unimportant.
Dear reader i would love to hear your opinion, at least it would be a sign of hope if you took the time to reflect on this. If confused perhaps turn to wonder
Reclaiming our place in the world
“I think of cancer as a teacher that was not invited, but has come to my house to visit from time to time nonetheless. It sits on my left side whispering insistent questions that I cannot answer but still must explore: Who am I when I stop doing, when I am not a caretaker as my mother was, or a boss as my father was? What have I come here to give? What is unfinished for me to learn, to experience? Am I leaving a legacy that enables others to live bigger lives than I have?…..But you don’t have to be in a life-threatening situation to want to delve into this kind of inquiry. Some of us are called to it by numbness, fatigue, or boredom. Some of us have the sense that we’re not using ourselves to the utmost. Even at their happiest moments, others feel something is missing.”
(from I will not live an unlived life, by Dawna Markova)
In this wonderful book, Dawna Markova explores questions about life and meaning. She reminds us that we can only know our truth when we slow down and be in our own quiet company.
This season of dying called Autumn, and the imminent approach of Winter provide us with such an opportunity. With this in mind, I invite you to spend a day walking, sitting and being on the beautiful golden slopes of Ben Bulben.
In his book ‘Wild Mind’, Bill Plotkin uses the term ‘Loyal Soldiers’ to describe the aspects of our personalities which are formed in early childhood in response to physical, psychological or social wounding or threat. Examples include how we learned to suppress our natural exuberance, emotions and desires so that we could fit in to the expectations of our parents and others. Harsh self-criticism, false self-flattery, placing our own agenda last, suppressing our wildness are some of the ways we learn as children to deal with our environment.
Now is the time to stop and wonder if we are still using some of these methods as adults, methods which served us well as children but as adults restrain us and stunt our wellbeing. This day together can begin the discovery for you and will provide an environment where you can ask questions and receive some guidelines on the way forward in the company of the ‘more than human’ world. The day will include input, time alone, group sharing and experimental work which will inform you as you approach the season of winter, a time to stop and look inward.
In the event of unsuitable weather conditions, an indoor venue will be available. Please dress in several layers and bring a waterproof jacket and trousers if possible. Bring a notebook and pen, and a packed lunch with a hot drink.
Date: Sunday 15th November
Cost: 50 euro or whatever you can afford
Booking: Peter Devlin on 086-3663276 or [email protected]
Venue: Slopes of Ben Bulben
Meeting point: car park of Henry’s restaurant on main Sligo-Bundoran Road, 7 miles from Sligo on right hand side,( or 3 miles from Grange on left hand side if coming from Bundoran) at 9:45.
Referring to the harsh winter of the American mid-west, Parker Palmer says: “If you live here long, you learn that a daily walk into the winter world will fortify the spirit by taking you boldly to the very heart of the season you fear.” (Let your life speak)