Monday, December 12, 2011

Hope is a Thing With Feathers

This week is about looking forward.

Generally as the calendar year ends, all sorts of "top 10" lists come out, analyzing the past year. I have decided that I will make a top 10 list looking forward. I don't like to think of it in terms of resolutions; rather, these are observations and thoughts, in no particular order.

10. Building our community is an exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking thing. We want diversity that can function well as a whole. We are too small for massive conflict, but we are not Borg. We need diverse ideas.

9. Field experiences are fundamental. I woke up with that thought in my head today. Not entirely original, but always good to keep in front of the brain.

8. Publishing work is key - it marks the finish point of a project, whatever it is. In 2012, we will publish more of our work.

7. Google+ may not be the solution to online class issues (where face-to-face interaction is necessary), but that in combination with Edmodo may be.

6. We all function better when there is a plan broken down into concrete steps. It's okay to start with an abstract whole, but having an idea of how to get to the whole makes the process more peaceful. Sometimes just having the list is calming.

5. We need more art in our lives, just for its own sake. HoneyFern tries to tie everything to something tangible, but sometimes just studying an artist for the sake of studying an artist is a good thing.

4. "Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul." Emily Dickinson said that, and she was 100% correct. I feel my soul fluttering these days, and it feels good.

3. Learning for its own sake is valuable. Learning for the sake of a test is not. Repeat until it is burned into your brain.

2. Sometimes, taking the dog for a walk or doing yoga is hard to start, but it always, always feels good in the end. And the dog loves you and will sleep like a dead thing for the rest of the night.

And number 1, although it has no significance at this place in the list (even though it seems a tiny bit like it might):

1. Expressing gratitude is free and painless. Saying "thank you" to a person or to the wind or your god or the dog or whatever puts a beautiful intention in the universe, and that can never hurt. Be filled with gratitude, even for the struggles you face.

And there is my list. What is yours?

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