Monday, March 2, 2009

like the immune system

a power within

as I chalk up the closing years
of my fourth decade as a teacher,
I look out at classes
and see student after student
find within themselves the wherewithal
to pull themselves together
and leap into excellence--

I celebrate when each takes the step into risk,
when each makes the effort to remain original, unique,
and, at the same time, to also let the model of others within them
so as to learn ways of being and doing
that further empower the uniqueness,

I celebrate each student who is true to self
and true to how much each should feel bonded to the other,

within each of us a whole system of defenses,
the immune system,
maintains integrity of self
despite contagion after contagion whispering denial,

I contend that within each of us is a power
that, when not buried away in denial
or short-circuited by self-doubt,
when not drained away by an imposed negative charge,
asserts an integrity of self,
which often achieves the extraordinary
as it acts to reveal that within
and as it acts to express a vision upon the world,

as a teacher I rarely seek to mold the clay before me
into a shape I find within my own will,
rather, I seek deep within the eyes of the student before me,
and speak to that power within
of how right it is to release itself,
I speak of what should be denied, fought,

and when the student leaps into excellence

how wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the leap!

by Henry Walker
February 28, ’09

1 comment:

Bill said...

nice, i wish i had a moment to think carefully about your analogy. Seems very promising.